LABOR will fund a $45 million school within the city link precinct if elected, says leader Mark McGowan.
Due to open in 2020, it would be integrated with a relocated and expanded Scitech and the two would take over Perth Modern’s role as the go-to school for Perth’s smarties. It would revert to being the intake school for local students and get a small upgrade to cater for 200 new places.
Premier Colin Barnett’s unimpressed with the idea of a high school in an entertainment district, while Mr McGowan says the location benefits from being close to public transport and the state’s main theatre, art gallery and library.
Perth Labor candidate John Carey says “look where the density infill is: The growth is in the inner city areas” and with the government so gung-ho on density there needs to be the schools to cater for new families moving in.
Last year East Perth parent Andrew Flavell said the inner city needed a high school option. His daughter’s currently at Highgate primary but once she hits high school the closest option is Mt Lawley.
Alex Castle has a child in year 5 at Mt Hawthorn. She’s usually a Labor voter and the city school plan “cements how I would vote anyway”.
“I think it’s fantastic that both sides of government have realised it’s a pretty important issue and it’s great to have so many options,” she says.
“I really like the education central plan, I feel that it’s actually exciting and looking towards the future in a better way that what the Liberals are proposing.”
One concern the Voice has often heard from parents is the possibility the Liberal plan for a new City Beach school could redraw intake boundaries. Ms Castle says “a lot of families have made a choice on where to buy a house based on which school their child can go to”. Mr Carey says this new plan won’t force anyone to go to a different school: “If you’re currently a parent right now living in those suburbs, we’re keeping that choice because I know some people have made a decision about buying property [so their children can] go to Churchlands or Mount Lawley.”
by DAVID BELL