Online Assessment 3

Victorian secondary schools left in the dark

The Victorian Labour Party has been slammed by experts for “overlooking” secondary schools in their education investments.

Primary schools around Victoria are receiving significant funding from the Brumby Government however, secondary schools are now on the political agenda for the upcoming State election.

Australian Education Union’s Victoria branch President, Mary Bluett, said the need for education investment, specifically secondary, was paramount for this election.

“There is simply being more resources put into primary rather than secondary,” she said.

Mary Bluett audio by julianamare

The State Budget is set to deliver $230.3 million to build or renovate schools as part of the Victorian Schools Plan, a $1.9 billion investment to better Victoria’s education facilities.

Victorian Council of Social Services CEO, Cath Smith said investment in education and other social services has actually been ineffective because Government spending is the same as it was ten years ago.

“The Government’s been spending money but they haven’t actually been able to keep up with the level of growth,” she said.

Population growth contributes to poor education says Bluett, because students in those areas have less access to facilities due to the lack of infrastructure.

These “growth corridors” such as the City of Casey, require more planning and services which Bluett says the Government is providing.

“This Government is planning better for growth than I’ve seen from the previous Coalition,” she said.

Map: The City of Casey, Victoria.

Online Assessment 2

Victorian water plans threatened by climate change

Experts say Victoria’s water saving campaigns are insecure due to the Government’s failure to factor global warming into their plans.

The Victorian Government’s Our Water, Our Future plans are under fire as the North South pipeline and Wonthaggi desalination plant appear environmentally inefficient.

Map: Approximate pipeline route from the Goulburn River to the

Sugarloaf Reservoir.

Kelly O’Shanassy, CEO of Environment Victoria said after the poor rainfall in spring 2006, the Government made a panicked water plan for the future.

The desalination plant is “about the most energy intensive way in the world you could use to create water” she said.

Climate change, O’Shanassy said, is a “vicious circle” endangering our rivers and dams by poor rainfall, making the desalination plant an environmental problem, not solution.

Sustainable water expert, Grace Mitchell said that future security for the plant is lessened because it’s an “energy hungry source of water”.

The North South Pipeline will also face problems in delivering the proposed 75 billion litres of water to Melbourne.

“You’re going to have less water and therefore savings are going to be less” O’Shanassy said.

Environmental group Plug the Pipe oppose the pipeline claiming alongside environmental issues, it would take water away from an already stressed region.

O’Shanassy said it didn’t make sense to take water from a drier area in the north for the wetter south where alternative options are available.