MEDIA RELEASE

7 November 2019

 

Member for Northern Victoria Tim Quilty invites education minister to ageing school building

Tim Quilty, Liberal Democrats Member for Northern Victoria, visited Wodonga Middle Years College to see for himself how teachers and students are struggling in the outdated Huon Campus.

With no funding since 2008, the building is suffering a catalogue of problems which Mr Quilty wants to share with Education Minister James Merlino.

“If the Minister saw what I saw on Monday, I’m certain he would be more than happy to open his cheque book and fix the problems facing the staff and students at Wodonga Middle Years College’s Huon Campus,” Mr Quilty said.

“The windows of the building are in such a poor condition that panes of glass get blown in during bad weather, which has forced the school to spend $15,000 boarding up or caging in windows to prevent serious injury. The toilet blocks are rotten and mouldy, and water pipes are leaking large quantities of water.”

Mr Quilty explained that the Victorian School Building Authority (VSBA), which is responsible for managing school building infrastructure, has been slow to respond to calls from school principal Vern Hilditch for help.

“Mr Hilditch and his staff have been waiting patiently for answers from the VSBA and I believe a visit from the Education Minister, where he could see for himself the challenges which students are facing, would pave the way for a resolution,” Mr Quilty said.

“If the Minister’s schedule prevents him from visiting Wodonga, I would be happy to organise a meeting in Melbourne where school representatives could share their views.”
Mr Hilditch said that despite the problems associated with the ageing building, the school and its staff are working hard to provide a quality education for the students in Years 7 to 9.

“Facilities do make people feel better about themselves and their education, and we are continuing to provide extremely good programs for students in the existing conditions, but improvements would help us,” Mr Hilditch said.

“We do as much maintenance as we can, but when a building gets to be 20 years past its use-by date, you cannot keep on top of the maintenance.”

CAPTION: Liberal Democrats Member for Northern Victoria Tim Quilty visits the Huon Campus of Wodonga Middle Years College where school principal Vern Hilditch pointed out maintenance problems with the ageing building. Mr Quilty plans to share his findings with Education Minister James Merlino.

For more information, contact Graham Springett | 0408 208819