Joanne Ryan MP
Federal Member for Lalor
Joanne Ryan MP

Little River PS OSHC Constituent Statement

I am pleased to follow the member because I am going to speak about one of my very small schools, Little River Primary School. I spoke about the reclassification that this school has seen, which will see a $16,000 cut in its out-of-school-hours care funding, which risks this school actually losing its out-of-school-hours program. Last week I wrote to Minister Ley about this issue and I have not yet received a response. But past and present families of students from the school have contacted me over the last week. I wanted to share with the House some of their thoughts about the importance of this small school.

I heard from Travis Lines, who wrote:

As an alumnus of the Little River primary school and a born-and-bred Little Riveran I would like to extend my thanks to you for the speech you gave in parliament this week … It is of tantamount importance that Little River Primary School is protected. Indeed, in your speech you note its centrality to the community and the special role it plays in the lives of the residents of Little River.

I studied at Little River Primary School from 2000-2006. Unfortunately, I moved on to secondary school before the Bracks government presided over the total redevelopment of the school. I was, however, at the school during the planning phase and I can assure you that, whilst roasting inside our portable buildings during the summer months, the excitement about the potential for a new school was palpable.'

And this is a really critical point. Millions was spent on this school, which has 114 students. If the out-of-school-hours care funding cut occurs, the school risks losing the out-of-hours school program, which in turn will see students move to other schools to get before- and after-school care. This will reduce the numbers at Little River Primary School and see a waste of a redevelopment of the school and a threat to this small community, for which the school is the central hub.

This young man says:

My time at Little River also helped fuel my passion for science, which I believe has played an enormous role in my current enrolment in Biomedicine at the University of Melbourne.

It was a fabulous letter that I received from this young man, echoing the things that I had said in the parliament last week about the importance of this small piece of funding and the importance for Minister Ley to relook at this, to talk to the department and to reverse this decision about the classification.

I also heard from Tash Jennings, who has begun an online petition to petition the federal government to review the decision. She says:

This is such an incredible disjustice to our little community. If this decision is not reconsidered many parents will have to remove their children and relocate to other schools. The consequences will then be even further reaching.

I would like to stress that point. The impact of this measly $16,000 could see this very small community have very detrimental impacts. (Time expired)


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