Weatherill Labor Government neglects Coomandook Area School

Severe budget constraints and a closed pool are impacting students at the Coomandook Area School (CAS) and all blame lies with the Weatherill Labor Government, according to Liberal Member for Hammond Adrian Pederick.

Mr Pederick, who first raised this issue in Parliament on 12 November 2013, believes the Weatherill Labor Government is showing serious neglect towards CAS.

“The CAS is currently facing a budget crisis, in particular concerning the cost of water usage,” said Mr Pederick.

“The School receives $22,000 per annum to water school grounds, including the oval, used for school sport and physical education.

“However, the bill for 2013 was in excess of $55,000.”

According to Mr Pederick, some drastic budget decisions have been made, including only watering one quarter of the school’s oval, which has impacted the students’ ability to play sport and participate in physical education activities.

Mr Pederick is concerned the $22,000 budget for water has not increased over the past six years, even though the price of water has increased by 227 per cent in South Australia under Labor.

“The school has introduced efficient measures and has reduced its water usage over recent years,” said Mr Pederick.

“However, the costs have tripled and, quite simply, the DECD budget is inadequate to cover costs.”

In addition to the bill shock issue, the School’s swimming pool has been out of action since February 2013 due to maintenance issues and a lack of support from the Weatherill Labor Government.

Mr Pederick is concerned the School is facing the real possibility of being shut down and is frustrated by the lack of response from Minister Rankine.

“I first raised this issue in November 2013, and to this date the Minister has failed to contact me on this extremely important matter,” said Mr Pederick.

“There is a very real fear amongst teachers, the governing council, students, parents, and the community, that the Coomandook Area School will be forced to close due to the high costs, lack of adequate budget funding and lack of support from the Weatherill Labor Government.

“These are serious Weatherill Labor Government failings and I call on Minister Rankine to make the issues facing the Coomandook Area School a priority.”