Upgrade hangs in balance

Declan BushAugusta Margaret River Times
Vasse MLA Libby Mettam is concerned Cowaramup Primary School will miss out on funds her previous Government pledged to renovate it.
Camera IconVasse MLA Libby Mettam is concerned Cowaramup Primary School will miss out on funds her previous Government pledged to renovate it. Credit: Declan Bush

Vasse MLA Libby Mettam is concerned Cowaramup Primary School will miss out on the $6 million upgrade her previous government promised as Labor hunts for savings.

Mrs Mettam said the lapsed pledge included $2.5 million for a new six-classroom block, three more early-childhood classrooms, two general classrooms for $2.75 million and extra parking bays and extensions to the administration block.

She said the previous government’s commitment “was based on a clear need to make an upgrade to the school facilities, and as such should be something any new government should support”.

“Built in 1923 and with the school population having doubled in the past decade, it is vital that the new Labor Government recognises these growth needs and commit to improve the infrastructure and support the growth at this primary school with the best facilities into the future,” she said.

Cowaramup Primary School Parents and Citizens Association president Jodie Buck said the school had been “overlooked for important and beneficial upgrades for some time now”.

Ms Buck said the student population continued to grow and the community had welcomed the previous government’s funding promise.

“This is such a precious age for our children and they deserve the best start to life with a school that is big enough to accommodate them all,” she said.

The Shire of Augusta-Margaret River and the P&C have been working together to solve parking problems created by growth at the school (see page 6).

Mrs Mettam said Cowaramup was one of the fastest-growing areas in her electorate and residents would be “bitterly disappointed” to miss out on the school upgrades.

Education Minister Sue Ellery said the previous government “wrecked the State’s finances”.

“All spending must be carefully considered and so we will work our way through all proposals in the budget process,” she said.

“The McGowan Government is committed to numerous important regional projects in the South West, including school upgrades.”

Cowaramup Primary School principal Peter Howse referred calls to the Education Department’s media team, who declined to comment.

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