I rise to raise concerns on behalf of my constituents in relation to the sale of three former school sites. They are the former Bellfield Primary School site, the former Haigh Street Primary School site and the Banksia secondary college site. It has been revealed in the Heidelberg Leader that Banyule City Council has done a deal to provide $26 million to the state government, via a loan the council will take out, to purchase these sites from the government. My concern is that the community already owns these community assets, these school sites, and community members are now paying a further $26 million, along with an annual interest bill of over $1 million on the loan, through their rates to again purchase these sites for the community.
The $26 million the government will pocket from the sale of these three school sites is not going to be returned to the Ivanhoe community; it is not going to be returned to local schools to provide the investment they need.
Not only have residents in my electorate seen three schools closed and not only do they have to pay $26 million of their own money for sites they already own as community assets, but none of that $26 million is going to be spent upgrading local schools that are crowded and need investment and capital works. For three years this government has failed to invest money in local schools, and it needs to put this $26 million into Ivanhoe schools.