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Coalition kicks off Kilmore secondary

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The Liberals-Nationals Coalition has pledged $200,000 if they form government at the state election to undertake a feasibility study into a secondary college for Kilmore.

The funding comes as the community, local government and key stakeholders call for choice in education options for the community of Kilmore, with the primary school supporting more than 500 students.

Shadow Minister for Education David Hodgett said Kilmore’s options needed to be explored.

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“After two years of interrupted learning, it is essential our kids and staff are given the best facilities possible to catch up,” he said.

Liberal candidate for Euroa Brad Hearn backed the investment and reiterated the importance of increased investment in education.

“As a teacher I’m incredibly passionate about education and ensuring we get our fair share of investment in country towns,” he said.

“The Liberals have a strong plan to lift educational standards in Victoria and I’m committed to ensuring that every community has the facilities they need for this learning to take place.

“The Kilmore community has been calling for this, the families have been calling for this, the primary school has over 500 students and the local government is pleading with government to listen, it’s time we explore the needs of this community, its common sense”

The Nationals candidate for Euroa Annabelle Cleeland also met with Colmont School stakeholders to discuss future options for that school.

“The reality is the Andrews Government has dropped the ball on education in our region’s growth corridor,” Ms Cleeland said.

“Just down the road Broadford is at capacity with Kilmore families being turned away despite no public secondary option in town.

“While The Nationals have committed $8 million to Broadford Secondary, we know that the growth in Kilmore means further investment is needed down the highway.”

Ms Cleeland said Kilmore deserves education services to match it’s growing population.

“Kilmore has a massive catchment area, and the primary school offers a great range of options, but we need to look forward to what is next for these students,” Ms Cleeland said.

“This feasibility study will be vital in allowing us to get all the data together, conduct long-term planning and find the best solution to the education needs of the Kilmore community.

“Exploring the needs of Kilmore students is essential to ensure that we have the infrastructure that we need to into the future.”

The need for a Kilmore Secondary College was raised at the Euroa candidates forum at Seymour last week.

Mr Hearn said a case for the school needed to be presented well.

“We want to see that the people of Kilmore and that the Shire of Mitchell are heard when they call and plea for public education options,” he said.

“The public education system plays a vital role in providing every opportunity to every young person, and at the moment from the reports of the community and the reports of local government for that community, this is not occurring, and this is where we need change.”

Ms Cleeland she believed that Kilmore was the only town a population of about 10,000 that didn’t have a public funded school.

She said parents, particularly at Kilmore Primary School, were concerned about the issue.

Ms Cleeland said 27 families were turned away from Broadford Secondary College for enrolment next year.

But Labor’s Angela Tough said the 27 families were outside of Broadford’s school zoning area, and lived closer to other schools, according to the Department of Education.

She said land behind Assumption College had been identified for a potential site for a public secondary college.

“It’s [a Labor government] not opposed to a state secondary college in Kilmore,” she said.

“Kilmore is a growing suburb and with a predicted population increase over the next 20 years, that will be something that a trigger will be hit and the Department of Education – the people who make the decisions about these things – they will be the ones that make the decision about Kilmore having a secondary college, not politicians.”

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