Member for Narracan Gary Blackwood has called on the Victorian Government to provide funding to Thorpdale Primary School to build a new boundary fence.
Speaking in Parliament Mr Blackwood said the current fence had passed its life span and that staff and parents had to repair it on a regular basis to ensure students were safe.
‘Last week I met with Brenda Murphy, the president of the school council, and inspected the existing fence,’ Mr Blackwood said.
‘Most of the boundary fencing is post and wire farm fence and in very poor condition.
‘There is a renewed sense of urgency to ensure that this fence is replaced, as staff at the school have had to do some quick repairs themselves in recent weeks.
‘It is impossible to safely secure the school boundary with the existing structure, and the safety of students is definitely compromised, especially any student with special needs who may be tempted to wander.
Mr Blackwood said $60,000 was needed to complete the project and given the schools proximity to a nearby creek and main road it was essential that it occur as soon as possible to ensure student safety.
‘To the east of the school is a creek and a dam, and on the western and southern boundaries are major roads.
‘One of the roads is the main road to the Latrobe Valley and is frequented by heavy trucks, b-doubles carting milk, timber, fuel, potatoes and onions. Because of the size of these vehicles drivers may not be able to see or stop in time for a small child.
‘Thorpdale Primary School is very well supported by parents and the community, but finding the $60,000 required to replace the existing fence with a suitable structure is very much out of the reach of the school community.
‘The community is very proud of its primary school of 57 students, and student numbers are expected to increase to 70 next year.
‘I urge the Minister for Education to seriously consider how he may be able to provide a grant or funds from any source that will assist Thorpdale Primary School to improve the safety of its students,’ Mr Blackwood said.