INDEPENDENT polling of the Brighton municipality strongly supports the promised Brighton High School being developed on the current site of the Jordan River Learning Federation School Farm and the farm being moved to rural land on the town’s outskirts.
This poll was commissioned by Brighton Council to provide an objective assessment of community sentiment on the location of the new Brighton High School and the existing Jordan River Learning Federation School Farm, including relative support for nominated options for both schools.
The telephone survey of Brighton Council residents was conducted by respected Tasmanian pollsters Myriad Research during August this year. The total survey sample of 419 respondents (50 percent from Brighton and 50 percent from other parts of the Brighton municipality) broadly reflected the population profile of the Brighton municipality for area, age group and gender and provides statistically valid outcomes for the target population – Brighton Municipality permanent residents aged 18 years and over.
Knowledge of the proposed high school development was high, with 87 percent of respondents familiar with the debate and up to 93 percent awareness in the Brighton township.
Interviewing was conducted over various times and days to maximise the opportunity for all qualified residents to be included in the survey sample.
All respondents were read the following concise outline prior to questioning:
Brighton Council is of the view that the new high school is best located on the current School Farm site, next to the existing Primary School, with the re-developed School Farm located in a more rural location and close to the Brighton township.
Council believes that a co-location of the Primary and High School will be best for student access, transport and safety aspects, with a new location for the School Farm allowing for its redevelopment and growth in a more appropriate rural location.
The Government’s view is that the new high school is best located on one of the three potential sites – close to or within existing sporting and recreational facilities or on a greenfield site close to the town centre, with the School Farm continuing at its current location.
The Government has proposed three possible locations for the new high school –
- on the existing sporting and recreation grounds at Pontville
- next to existing recreation facilities in Racecourse Road
- on the corner of Elderslie Road and Brighton Road
Myriad Research reported a clear majority of survey respondents in favour of the School Farm site option (close to 60 percent of total) compared with a significantly lower support for the Government option (just over 30 percent of total), with 10 percent not favouring either option. The relative levels of support are summarised in the table and chart below:
|The new Brighton high school located on the existing School Farm site next to the Primary School, with the School Farm moved to a rural location close to the Brighton township||59.2|
|The new Brighton High School located at one of the proposed State Government sites, with the School Farm remaining in its current location||31.0|
|Don’t mind/don’t care||5.0|
Levels of support for the School Farm option were similar for those living in the Brighton township and those living elsewhere in Brighton and marginally stronger for female residents and those with children under 18 living at home.
The main reasons for supporting the high school being developed on the School Farm site were:
- High school next to/near primary school makes sense (35 percent of total respondents)
- Farm should move – more room, space to grow (24 percent)
- Traffic, parking, safety issues (14 percent)
The main reasons in support of the State Government option are:
- School Farm is established where it is – don’t move it (19 percent)
- Range of other reasons in favour of the Government option (10 percent)
Brighton Council has provided the State Government with a copy of the research report to assist its consultation and decision-making process.