Home' South Gippsland Sentinel-Times : May 9, 2017 Contents THE SOUTH GIPPSLAND SENTINEL-TIMES, TUESDAY, MAY 9, 2017 - PAGE 3
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l Wonthaggi’s 2017 State Budget shock l
Wonthaggi Secondary College and the extended community are dumbfounded as to how
the school did not receive any funding for a desperately needed new senior campus. Photo
courtesy of ‘Bass Coast From the Sky’.
THE Wonthaggi Amateur Basketball Association
is understandably shattered that money was not
allocated to a new senior campus for Wonthaggi
Secondary College, with a new basketball stadium
dependent on the school’s project being funded.
An application was made to the Victorian School
Building Authority’s Shared Facilities Fund for
$4.5 million to go with the $1.5 million already
committed by the Bass Coast Shire, but there are
serious doubts now about the future of the $6 mil-
“If you haven’t got a school project, there’s no
‘shared facility’,” said Acting Wonthaggi Principal
Campus Manager Phil Hughes reluctantly agreed
saying not only was it devastating for the commu-
nity to miss out on such an improvement to sports
facilities, but it was also a missed opportunity for
greater community involvement in the college go-
WABA president Cath Garnham said the asso-
ciation was bitterly disappointed with the budget
after believing they were close to obtaining a new
“I’m disappointed for basketball, but I’m super
disappointed for the school and the area. It’s crazy
the conditions they’ve got to study in and teach in
– it’s embarrassing,” she said.
“It makes it hard now because it was all sort of
tied to the school.
“We’re looking at other options for funding and
we are still trying. The Better Indoor Sports fund-
ing is something we could still get.”
Cath vowed to keep fighting for a new stadium.
“It’s either that or we don’t get anything, so we
have to keep fighting on,” she said.
“No one’s disagreeing that the need is there.
Some of the hard work’s been done but we’ve still
got a couple more hurdles to jump.
“How can you have six ministers down to see it
for themselves and not do anything about it? If it’s
not important now with six of them down, then
when’s it going to be important?
“We’ve learnt to not count chickens before they
hatch, but I was as confident as we could be this
time. Everywhere we were going and all discus-
sions we were having indicated it was going to hap-
pen, we just had to wait for budget.
“We’re still working with (Eastern Victoria MP)
Harriet Shing and (Bass MP) Brian Paynter and
the council’s been great, so we’ll keep plodding
Members of the Wonthaggi Secondary College’s building committee, including, from left,
Acting Principal Darren Parker, College Council President Geoff Robertson, Maintenance
Manager Darren Martin, Acting Campus Principal Marg O’Donnell and Campus Manager
Phil Hughes fear last week’s State Budget decision has sunk the three-court stadium pro-
posal as well. M401917
Basketball loses out
on $6m project too
AS willing as Bass MP Brian Paynter is to right
the wrongs of his predecessor Ken Smith and
the Napthine Government, in not funding a new
senior campus of the Wonthaggi Secondary Col-
lege, the community’s best hope of success still
lies with Eastern Victoria MLC, Harriet Shing.
Ms Shing was genuinely cut-up about the de-
cision last week, not to fund the project in the
State Budget but she has pledged to re-double
her efforts over the next 12 months.
“It’s awful. I’m devastated. I’ve been working
on this since 2014,” she said, dismissing claims
that Gippsland’s money had been sucked up by
the Latrobe Valley.
“Unfortunately it’s the size of the project at
Wonthaggi that might have made it difficult to
fund. We’ve been left with such a backlog of
schools that need to be done.
“But I can certainly understand people being
upset. I’ve been upset about it myself which is
why I put something out straightaway on Face-
“I wasn’t in the room when the decision was
taken so I couldn’t tell you the reason but you
can be sure I’ll be fighting tooth and nail to get
it next time.
“I don’t know if there’s any chance of it being
funded outside the Budget cycle, that’s difficult
with a $22.7 million project, but if there’s a way,
I’ll find it.”
Ms Shing said she was prepared to be involved
in any community campaign to get funding and
urged the school to use her as a resource to get
access to the decision makers.
Harriet still our best hope
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