HON ALISON XAMON (North Metropolitan) [6.20 pm]: I will make some comments about the City Beach high school site, an issue that will not go away. I indicate my ongoing disappointment with the government’s decision-making around what will happen with this site. To reiterate, I am talking most particularly about the decision to spend millions of dollars of public money to move the International School of Western Australia to the Doubleview Primary School site, which has not been good for the Doubleview community and has been a monumental waste of funds. I was completely unsurprised to learn that Bob Hawke College will likely hit capacity almost the moment that it becomes fully operational. Noting that that is only six years away, so assuming that any of us are able to get at least one more term in this place, we are talking about when we are still going to be here. We will see. In the meantime, Churchlands Senior High School and Shenton College continue to burst at the seams. It is becoming a very real issue and this is before we account for the required infill throughout the western suburbs.

We are already planning another 21 000 dwellings in the heart of the western suburbs, and it is reasonable to expect that large parts of the 16 000 additional dwellings in Perth and the 60 400 additional dwellings in Stirling will look to the western suburbs or at least parts of the western suburbs for their schooling. That does not include the approximately 3 000 proposed additional dwellings that are set to be delivered by Subi East MRA or the yet to be specified infill from the redevelopment of the Princess Margaret Hospital for Children site. A lot of these dwellings will not have been built by the time Bob Hawke College is full. I am very concerned that, despite multiple questions about this issue from me and the opposition, the government continues to be very cagey about whether it intends to sell the City Beach high school site.

I choose to be glass half-full about this matter and say that that means, hopefully, there is a chance that it will not sell it. If that is the case, I say again: do not sell it! Please do not sell the site. Please, please, please do not take a short-sighted view of western suburbs public schooling. Please hold onto the site. The mistakes that were made in selling off so much of the western suburbs education land in the 1990s are precisely what have caused this issue now. We have to be much smarter than that. We must not make exactly the same mistake with the City Beach high school site. It is already zoned as a school. We should have kept the international school there. It was a foolhardy decision to move it to Doubleview and cause so much disruption. The government should not compound the situation by getting rid of that site.

I make it very clear that there is an expectation from all of us who are keeping a very close eye on what happens with the future of public schooling in the western suburbs that the government will not sell off any more of that land. In the meantime, the government must make immediate and long-term strategic decisions to take the pressure off the other high schools, Churchlands and Shenton College, because Bob Hawke College ain’t going to cut it.


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