Community Services Education Local Issues

Equal Education is a Right not a Privilege

14 August 2015

The students and teachers at Echuca Specialist School need and deserve a permanent home with access to capital funding and facilities to take them into the future.

Echuca Specialist School provides education for children aged 5 to 18 years with moderate to severe intellectual and associated disabilities.   

Member for Murray Plains Peter Walsh said the school has suffered enormously because it is not built on education department land.

 “This results in tens of thousands of dollars being paid in rent instead of facilities for the students, and offers the government an out in terms of providing capital funding and facilities.

The school began in 1997 with two portable classrooms and since that time the department has “tacked on” ten more portables which are non-purpose built and outdated.

Mr Walsh said the buildings are struggling with the basics of sewerage and power, there is only one suitable wheel chair access, and the gravel carpark is in very poor condition.

“Many of the students have high needs and use specialised equipment and it is simply not good enough that they are subjected to these poor conditions, he said.

Mr Walsh visited the school today as part of his mission to gain government funding to support the Echuca Schools Regeneration Project which will bring together Echuca Specialist, Echuca South and Echuca West Primary Schools on a new greenfields site.

“I am proud to say the Nationals Liberal Coalition in government made a commitment of $25 million in capital money to support this project.

“It is vital that students in a special school setting receive a quality education in a modern purpose built school and as a community we must not rest until that funding is honoured.

School Council President and parent Scott Morrison said parents have a shared experience of a “general feeling of somehow not deserving better facilities.”

“This feeling has a sad reflection on school culture,” he said.


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