Councillor Update from High School for Coburg

This is the text of an email sent by Catherine Hall to the Moreland Council on 23/08/09

Dear Mayor and councillors,

Thank you to councillors John Kavanagh, Toby Archer and Kathleen Mathews-Ward and to Barry Hahn for attending HSC Q&A on 19 Aug. Special thanks to Cr.Oscar Yildez for being a panelist on the night. Apologies if we missed any other councillors.

On being informed councillors are to have a meeting with Wayne Craig from the education department Northern Region we thought it best to give you a quick update.

Families supporting HSC 1,250

High School for Coburg (HSC) have had two meetings with the department to date. At the July one with Kyrs Hendrickson and Peter Enright it soon became apparent that their numbers were very different to council's projections. ID who did council's, predict the only significant growth in youth demographic is going to occur in Coburg, which already has the greatest number of young people in Moreland. The department's demographers say the growth is going to be in the north of Moreland and don't predict anywhere near the same growth. HSC directed them to Robyn Mitchell, council research officer to verify the numbers we are using and they agreed to meet us again and review the discrepancy. When we met with them on 17 Aug we reiterated that ID have the best record for projecting accurately compared with ABS and DSE and are the only company that comes to council to do local research for their projections. The department response was to say that ID come and see what council want and gear the results that way because they want the work.

Apart from being a slur on ID and indirectly, the council this is a flawed supposition because why would council want inflated projections? This would entail expensive preparation for provision of services that aren't required. Also it doesn't explain the excellent record ID have for accuracy and the fact that 95% of councils use them.Example of projections done by the dept demographers: Moreland population will increase by 4,000 by 2031.This is patently extremely underestimated because there are 16,000 new homes estimated to be built in that time.

We say the numbers are here in the Coburg area now and even more so into the future.

HSC applauds work being done at Box Forest and Fawkner high schools to increase profile and enrolments and this should help enrich those communities however indicating that there are spaces at those far away schools is not a blow to the campaign for a high school for this community. I imagine there are also plenty of spaces at the Coburg Senior High site.

There has been an idea put forward from a certain political quarter that the HSC campaign will work against Brunswick high school's submission for funding to enable 150 extra places.We do not wish to get into an either/or scenario but if forced into that corner, I will make a very big noise about the numbers for high school aged young people below:

12 -17 year olds in 2006 /2016 /2031.

The 2006 number is indisputable ABS, the next two are ID forecast projections.

Brunswick 739 / 807 / 883
Coburg 1,509 / 1,795 / 2,020

This school is very big, has just decided they want to cap preps at 100 and the school council has voted in support of HSC. The department do not include it in their calculations but it is part of this community needing a high school. Coburg West Primary, which is beyond capacity, capped and zoned is the most represented school in HSC working party and furnished us with 100's of supporters at their fete. Brunswick East Primary parents are also big supporters and Carlo Carli has said that the increases in Brunswick primary enrolments are mainly Coburg families.

This is to illustrate to you the large area we represent which contains families considering moving away because their community has no high school. We will be able to show you evidence of that once our survey has been input and analysed and we thank council for assisting with that process.

Kind Regards and apologies for lengthy email,
Catherine Hall

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