Appetite for construction

27 Sep 2017 Mansfield Courier, Mansfield VIC (General News) by Steve Vivian State government wants to get the job done and fund Mansfield Secondary Colleges full redevelopment. THE State Government has sent its strongest indication yet that Mansfield Secondary College (MSC) could receive funding to the tune of between $4-5 million in next Mays state budget. The government has said it wants to get on with the job and fund the schools Master Plan. Last month MSC announced it would ask the State Government for between $4-5 million to rectify what the school considers are its most glaring issues. The funds, if committed to MSC, will pay for a new indoor gymnasium, a modernised technology and art space and render the schools ailing B Block classrooms obsolete. Labor upper house member Jaclyn Symes (MLC, Northern Victoria) last week told the Mansfield Courier that the State Government was not walking away from MSC, and would fund the schools full redevelopment. We have a commitment to get the job done, and Im committed to making sure the community knows we wont just move on from the initial funding, Ms Symes said. Declaring the sometimes tick box ethos of the political funding process which can lead to halfbaked projects as a concern, Ms Symes reiterated her commitment to ensuring MSCs redevelopment is fully funded. I dont like to operate in a situation where schools are given effectively hush money, and then we move onto the next one, said Ms Symes. I want to make sure theres a commitment from me that I havent put (Mansfield) in the done box. I havent moved on, I dont want to half finish another school, and I want to finish Mansfield Secondary College. Cindy McLeish (MLA, Eildon) continues to push strongly for the next phase of MSCs redevelopment, and says getting it all done at the one time makes sense. B Block absolutely needs to be de-commissioned as soon as possible, said Ms McLeish. It is decades old and well past its use-by date. Mansfield is a great place to live, and to attract and retain families in the area we need to have quality education facilities and that quality education with your public school. The political efforts of Ms Symes, Ms McLeish and the school could soon pay off. Ms Symes, who earlier this month visited MSC to discuss how the schools plans are progressing, said she is working closely with the school to give it the best chance of receiving funding as soon as possible. Im working with (MSC) on a plan to put the school in a good position for additional funding in budget rounds, said Ms Symes. We had a good strategy meeting. Im really impressed with the school, and it was fantastic that they had their school leaders in on the meeting. I had a very frank conversation with them about how to best position their efforts. The school, however, is no monty to receive funding in next Mays state budget. But Ms Symes said she is currently trying to put MSC on the best path to do so. We have to try and work out whether we can be in a position for a budget next year, or the following, she said. Ms Symes said the Mansfield community and MSC has done the best job possible of lobbying for the local community and its students. Its absolutely fantastic; one of the best things about MSC is the community connectedness of the school, she said. We are really conscious of the school as a community asset. The school is doing everything right, but weve just got to make sure that its budget ready. In the meantime, MSC principal Tim Halls vision to have no facilities left at the school that are sub-standard is gaining momentum. Its not a matter of if, its a matter of when, said Ms Symes. I think that as a Labor government weve sent a very strong message that we are investing in your school, were interested in your outcomes, we like what youre doing, and we want to get the job done. Caption Text: SYMES SUPPORT: Labor upper house member Jaclyn Symes (MLC, Northern Victoria) has sent positive signals in Mansfield Secondary Colleges direction. Licensed by Copyright Agency. You may only copy or communicate this work with a licence.