Support public health and safety

February 16, 2018

I would like to thank all who have so far signed the Whiteheads Creek petition and encourage others to show support by also signing. The numbers are encouraging from the completed forms that we have received back so far.

What the petition is asking Parliament for is to allow the flash flood waters direct access to the river. Thus preventing further loss of life and damage to property. Also to stop the sewerage water running though the town causing bad smells and possible heath issues. Not to mention the mosquito breeding.

This is an important issue to the present and future health and safety of Seymour residents and the community.

I believe that Parliament has been made aware of Seymour’s current situation and so I can’t express how important it now is for residents to have their say by supporting this petition.

Petition forms can be found in various businesses around town and everyone above 18 years of age who lives in the postcode 3660 may sign. Please help make our town a pleasing environment for locals as well as visitors to the area.

— Peter Chapman,


School on never-never plan

I do not want to diminish the excitement felt by parents and friends of Seymour College P-12 after the recent announcement that the Andrews Labor Government has thrown another $6.88million at the school for the ‘‘development of new classrooms’’.

However, I am concerned that this much-publicised announcement by Jaclyn Symes is little more than an expensive, taxpayer-funded smokescreen, with no real commitment by the government to complete construction of the college as promised a decade ago.

Since the 2007 plan to merge the town’s two primary schools and technical college into a Prep-12 college on one campus was hatched, the trail of broken promises for funding to finish the three-phase project has muddled the real story.

A brief history lesson shows us that the estimated cost of the merger project was nearly $40million in 2012. At that point, the project’s design had been on the drawing board since 2009 and had seen an investment of $22million for the first phase, only. This provided for the construction of new classrooms for P-4 students, with promises that the middle and senior students would soon get their own 21st century ‘‘learning areas’’. These were to have come during stages two and three at an estimated cost of $18million — funding that never eventuated.

To recap, a Labor-led Government forced the project in 2007, with no provisions to go beyond Stage 1. A subsequent Coalition-led Government failed to allocate funding to see the completion of this project. And, since returning to Government in 2014, the Andrews Labor Government has taken three years to announce ‘‘new funding’’.

But what specifically will this funding be used for? Keep in mind, according to last week’s Telegraph, the project still needs an additional $8 million before construction on the long-awaited middle and senior classrooms can start.

We also know the taxpayer-funded design of 2009 has been replaced with a recently completed re-design that provides for less classroom space and fewer buildings. In fact, the project is no longer being called a merger, but a ‘‘modernisation and upgrade’’.

So, despite the fanfare, it appears Seymour College still lacks the funding for completion of its now diminished new classrooms and buildings.

I look forward to Ms Symes announcing whether the missing millions needed to finish this project will be allocated in May’s budget or become a November election campaign promise — one that can be broken again.

— Daniel Young,

Member for Northern Victoria

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