No sign of a new school

Jackson Lavell-LeeBusselton Dunsborough Times

The State Government has advised there are no plans or funds for a new primary school in Dunsborough in the near future.

A billboard, right, erected by Dunsborough Lakes Estate developers Urban Quarter Estate in 2015, suggests a school would be built in the area. The claim isn’t unfounded, with the land at the corner of Diamante Boulevard and Dunsborough Lakes Drive owned by the Department of Education.

Estate manager Geoff Bowman said the developer had been advised by the previous State Government it intended to develop the land into a school.

“It’s unfortunate, the land is sitting there —“We have another 300 lots to sell so that would mean a lot more families in the area,” he said. We would certainly support a new school,” he said.

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Mr Bowman’s desire for a school to be built to match the town’s growing population is shared by the City of Busselton and residents.

Minister for Education Sue Ellery said on current demand, a new school was not needed in the Dunsborough area.

“Decisions to build new schools are made based on projected enrolments at existing primary schools, the expected site capacity of that school and the viability of the proposed new school,” she said.

“We will continue to monitor the requirements for a new primary school in Dunsborough.

“The site will remain set aside as part of the State Government’s strategic future planning process for new primary schools until such time that a new school is required.”According to the department, enrolment numbers at Dunsborough Primary School had fallen to 684 students from 708 in 2017.

City of Busselton director of planning and development services Paul Needham said the City was aware of the Dunsborough community’s wish for a school in Dunsborough Lakes.

“The City has been liaising recently with the Department on a range of schools planning and development issues,” he said.

Resident Sam Allen said the billboard and land allocation provided Dunsborough families with “false hope” for the school. “I see a lot of families down here, and judging by the expansion expected, we most definitely need it,” he said.

Vasse MLA Libby Mettam said she would continue to advocate support for the future schooling needs of the Dunsborough.

“While student numbers have since flattened following the introduction of an additional stream at Our Lady of the Cape and development of Cornerstone there are clear and outstanding needs at Dunsborough Primary,” she said.

What do you think? Email JUeditor@bdtimes.com.au.

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