By TONY FOSTER
STATE Cabinet’s April meeting with the Brighton Council was extremely positive and represents an important step in our working together with the newly re-elected Hodgman Government.
As Brighton Community Newsreaders will note, the Government took the opportunity to announce the commencement of consultation for the new Brighton High School. This is really positive as is the expectation that actual construction will commence next year.
Brighton Council has been promoting the high school project for many years to cater for our population growth, support the good work being undertaken at the Jordan River Learning Federation and also to cater for students from the surrounding region. Education and Training Minister Jeremy Rockliff deserves great praise for the high school project. Mr Rockliff has been a long-time supporter and we worked with him to see the project gain development priority. Minister Rockliff was successful in convincing his Cabinet colleagues and a new Brighton High School was a key election promise for the Liberals in the most recent state poll.
It is pleasing that it is now being delivered so early in the term of the new Government, and we are very pleased with the Government’s progress and timetable.
Council also took the opportunity provided by the Cabinet visit to discuss the important infrastructure requirements needed to support education developments, such as Metro bus services, roads and parking.
It is worth noting that the newly returned Government chose Brighton as the location for its first regional Cabinet meeting. I believe this is recognition of the growth we are achieving, the energy of our people and the potential to build on this in the years ahead.
The Government commended Brighton on its innovation and particularly Council’s ability to live within its means, evidenced by our fair rating policy that has seen us keep rate rises at or below the increase in inflation for the past 22 years. Importantly, we are intending to maintain this in the coming financial year.
Brighton Council is determined to work with all tiers of Government to achieve the best outcome for ratepayers and our community. This includes working with our neighbouring councils in our sub-region group, as well as the State and Federal Government.
We’ve had great success in gaining Federal funding for the upgrading of the Brighton Bowls and Community Club and the Brighton Streetscape project, as well as State and Federal funding for roadworks and bridges. Now the high school development represents a major advancement.
So, the regional Cabinet meeting, the State Government’s high school announcement and the positive discussions with Council all amount to good news for Brighton.
The community now has the opportunity to have input to the high school development as a first step and again, the Government must be commended for consulting with the community as it commences the vital planning phase.
Most importantly, in the coming year, once the plans are completed, we will see the commencement of construction of a new high school that will dramatically improve educational opportunities for Brighton and the surrounding region.