THE establishment of a high school at Brighton catering for years seven to 12 is now much closer following commitments from both major parties in the election campaign.
While the Liberals committed $30 million to establish the high school, Labor promised to investigate the establishment of a Brighton high school in its first year, if elected to government.
Brighton Mayor Tony Foster said either way, the high school was a step closer and the many years of work to ensure additional education opportunities for the community were starting to bear fruit.
Brighton Council welcomed both election promises and while the Liberals $30 million promise actually puts money on the table for the first time, Labor also recognised the growing need for a high school.
“The $30 million commitment is outstanding and I am confident any investigation or study will only confirm the need,” Cr Foster said.
“We have been working to achieve this for many years and for Brighton and the surrounding region, this was undoubtedly the most positive outcome of the election campaign.
“Demographic research shows that Brighton will be the fastest growing local government area in the State over the next decade and the need for a new high school is paramount.
“Brighton Primary School, with an enrolment approaching 700, is already one of the largest primary schools in the state, yet on ending grade six virtually every student travels to Glenorchy or Hobart to go to high school.
“Brighton has affordable land and families want to move here. The only thing holding back growth is the lack of a high school offering years seven to 12.”
Cr Foster said Brighton Council was a strong believer that improving education outcomes could play a major role in enhancing social and community outcomes in the municipality.
“The Jordan River Learning Federation (JRLF) caters very well for children in Bridgewater, Gagebrook and Herdsman’s Cove, however the active promotion of the JRLF to Brighton students and families over many years has failed.
“Each school day, hundreds of extra vehicles travel south taking children to private and government schools outside the municipality.
“The establishment of a high school in Brighton, progressively offering years seven to 12, has been a priority of Brighton Council for many years and will also serve the Southern Midlands and Central Highlands communities.
“There is sufficient land available in Brighton, a potentially large student population and proximity to the Farm School.”
The Liberals also committed additional funding and education resources to upgrade the Farm School at Brighton.
“These are significant investments and will provide much-needed education opportunities for the community, to support the current and anticipated growth of our region.
“The Council and no doubt the community will be working hard to ensure that these commitments are delivered as soon as possible,” Cr Foster said.