Thursday, 21 March 2024


Kialla West Primary School

Kialla West Primary School

Wendy LOVELL (Northern Victoria) (17:54): (810) My adjournment matter is for the Premier, and it concerns safety at the proposed new kindergarten to be co-located at the Kialla West Primary School. The action that I seek is for the Premier to detail the government’s plan for increasing safety and accessibility for pedestrians and vehicles at the school, including by expanding the drop-off and pick-up points and separating pedestrians from traffic at the pedestrian crossing. On 1 March the state government announced that Kialla West Primary would be the site of a new co-located early learning centre. Co-located early learning centres were a policy that I championed during my term as minister for early childhood in the former Liberal state government. The current state government has continued to roll out this model of early learning education and care services because it delivers good outcomes for children, families and schools. However, with the co-location come responsibilities for the government to ensure other infrastructure at the school is able to cope with the additional students, families and traffic.

Kialla West is a school that is already struggling with traffic movements and safety at its drop-off and pick-up points and school pedestrian crossing, which is located on the Goulburn Valley Highway. The crossing was the site of the horrific accident in September 2018 when a truck collided with a vehicle carrying a school family. Sadly, one of the children is still undergoing medical treatment to this day. Over five years have passed since the accident, and still no major safety improvements have been made to the crossing. In addition to the safety issues at the crossing, the school’s drop-off and pick-up points at the front of the school and in Cemetery Lane already struggle to cope with current demand and will need to be expanded and improved to manage additional traffic for the early learning centre.

A co-located early learning centre will be a fantastic addition to the Kialla West Primary School. Having children’s services from birth to grade 6 co-located on the one site will benefit the community and the school. For students it provides a seamless transition from early learning into primary education; for families it provides the convenience of maternal and child health, day care, kindergarten and primary education at a single destination; and for the school it provides a feeder stream for enrolments and stronger connections with their families. It is normal for schools with co-located early learning centres to experience growth in prep enrolments that leads to growth in the school student numbers over the next few years. This will mean that not only does the government need to invest in immediate safety upgrades of the school crossing and drop-off and pick-up points but it will also need to provide funding to expand the school.

I raise this matter for the attention of the Premier because although it is one issue of safety at the school, it involves the cooperation of three ministers: the Minister for Roads and Road Safety, the Minister for Education and the Minister for Children.