HSC submission regarding the Kodak Development Plan

Below is the submission from HSC regarding the Kodak Development Plan (available for download as a word doc here). The Kodak site in Elizabeth Street, North Coburg is a significant infill housing development. You can read more about the Kodak development here.

State Planning Services
Department of Planning and Community Development
GPO Box 500
Monday 22 February 2010
To Whom It May Concern:
This is a submission by the group High School for Coburg (HSC) re the Kodak Development Plan in particular reference to infrastructure provision and need.
Early Years  
The report states that demand for early years facilities will decrease to 2020 however the company responsible for Moreland council population data, Id, say there is nothing to support this assumption. In their projections the 0-4 age group increases in North Coburg over that time. Therefore taking into account Kodak population as well, which isn’t factored in by id until 2019 it is impossible to come to the conclusion that the demand for early years facilties will decrease to 2020.
Id projections which the report was apparently based on shows an increase of only 6 couple families with children in Coburg North from 2006 to 2021. This is a clear underestimate when you consider just the Newlands part of Coburg North which is the relevant portion for Kodak to be considering. Id tell me this figure was reached by an offset of families where adult children are leaving. That may be the case for whole of North Coburg but the Newlands portion is experiencing huge influx of families with children as first home buyers
The report incorrectly states that there is occasional childcare at Newlands Community centre,  in fact this hasn’t been available for several years.
We ask that early years infrastructure provision and demand is looked at with more specificity and accuracy for the Newlands area.
Secondary Education Facilities 
We note that there is no mention of secondary education facilities for this area.
This was also the case with the Coburg Initiative early on, until community consultation identified the need for a high school to be the biggest equal issue for the Coburg community. (CI Speak Out in the Mall 2009 ) resulting in it's inclusion in the previous two CI newsletters.
There are 22 primary schools and yet not one open entry state secondary school servicing the Coburg and West Preston area.
Justin Madden MP acknowledges a trend for families to leave the area when their children reach high school age, he uses this trend as justification for no high school. HSC say families leave because there is no school and would stay and help build this community if there was a local high school. We have two directors of local real estate agents who back this up – they say people are leaving and also not moving in because there is no secondary school.
HSC’s survey report representing 556 local children also backs this argument. Over 50% said they were considering leaving due to no high school, where as 96% would use it if one existed.
The new Precinct Structure Planning Guidelines for growth area developments (launched by Justin Madden MP) state that at a population of 30,000 planning for secondary school should be included. HSC argue that Coburg is a growth area and the population of Coburg plus Coburg North had exceeded 30,000 back in 2006. Yet still no secondary school planned.
The guidelines also call for the following design response –“How are children encouraged to walk or cycle to school ?”
In Coburg North and in fact Coburg and West Preston, walking or cycling to school is not an option as there is no state secondary school for this community. This appears to be at odds with State, Federal and council aims to reduce green house gas emission and doesn’t allow for the health benefits and greater connectedness to community that come from active transport to school.
Minister Bronwyn Pike, in a letter to Kelvin Thompson MP  re HSC, said that "a provision plan is developed for each community."
Minister Pike said  "data considered for the plan includes population data, current and future demand and local community education needs.
Redevelopment of the Kodak and Pentridge sites and the likely number of families and children who will live in these areas will be considered as part of the overall facilities planning for both primary and secondary schools in Coburg."
DPCD and ID projections show the Coburg SLA has the greatest number of children and the highest expected growth in Moreland - add to this the very large number of children in West Preston and there is clearly great level of need for a secondary school and many families being denied equity of access to secondary education.
HSC asks that the report considers the Darebin side of Elizabeth Street when considering provision and demand as there is a Natural Neighbourhood which spans the Darebin and Moreland border and indeed the border of Pascoe Vale and Preston state electorates.
The Kodak development is occurring within this secondary education black hole which represents a major gap in provision and can only add to the need.
HSC asks that the community infrastructure report reflects this.
Yours sincerely,
Catherine Hall

Can you help us promote Playtime in the Park?

Playtime in the Park is shaping up to be a great afternoon. Not only do you get to show your support for a high school in Coburg but the entertainment looks fantastic! We have comedian Justine Sless, music from Short Order Schefs, Ross McLennan and Boxty. There will also be a sausage sizzle, cake stall and face painting, all in the beautiful surrounds of the Coburg Lake Reserve. Why not make a day of it and attend the MCPEG Walk in the Park in the morning then mosey on up to the lake? You'll be in good company, that's for sure.The rentention of open space, the need for a general entry high school, both big issues for Coburg right now.
HSC Three to a Page DL

We have flyers which you can print out and pass around, perhaps at work, school or childcare. HSC is also now on Facebook and we'd love it if you could find us and spread the word over there too.

High School for Coburg presents Playtime in the Park

HSC is organising a relaxed family fun day at Lake Reserve, Murray Road, Coburg on Sunday 14 March 2010 from 12pm – 3pm.

This is a free event with live music, children’s entertainment and a sausage sizzle on the banks of Coburg Lake.

Come and say hello, enjoy the music and show your support for an open entry high school for the community.

Add this date to your diary and we'll see you there!

More information – highschool4coburg@gmail.com

Proudly supported by Chemist Warehouse and My Chemist, Coburg.

HSC and Ride to Pool day this Sunday!

Come and say hello to some of the HSC working group as we sizzle sausages at the Ride to Pool day - we'll be there from 12 pm on Sun 21 Feb. You can enjoy the the beautiful Coburg Olympic Pool in its lovely, lush creek side setting.and a fantastic local band line up:

2.00 - 2.30pm Que Paso (bluegrass band)
2.45 - 3.15pm Nicola Lester.
3.30 - 4.00pm Nick Murphy
4.15 - 4.45pm Ross McLennan
5.00 - 5.40pm Short Order Chefs

Entry is free as Christine Campbell, the member for Pascoe Vale, is sponsoring the event. The pool will be open usual weekend hours from 11-6. Pass it on and see you there!

Rally for a High School

Last Friday, High School for Coburg parents group braved the rain to rally outside Minister for Education Bronwyn Pike’s office last Friday.  Minister Pike has recently agreed to set up a task force investigate the demand for a new school in the Coburg area.

A school for our community

“We applaud Minister Pike and her commitment to look at this long standing issue and to encourage her to set up a truly independent taskforce to examine the issue now,” said Cate Hall, co-founder of the HSC group. However, in the Moreland Leader on Monday 1 February, the Minister was talking down the need for a Coburg school before a taskforce has even been formed. “Minister Pike said she is concerned a Coburg High would not be used. We remind her that 96% of the respondents in the HSC parental attitudes and intentions survey said they would send their children to a Coburg High. Her statistics are incomplete and misleading and her obvious bias makes it imperative that this task force has an independent chairperson and a mandate to be truly impartial." Hall said.

Local schools build communities

A High School for Coburg report card was presented to the Minister's office. You can read and/or download it here. There was also coverage of the rally in the Moreland Leader - with the opportunity to have your say! View more pictures of the rally over at our Flickr page.

Matt reads the report card

Opinion Ignored

by Cate Hall

This is HSC's response to the Minister for Education, Bronwyn Pike's comments in the Moreland Leader (Pike says Coburg School may not be used - Moreland Leader - 01/02/2010). An edited version was published in the letters section of the Moreland leader on 08/02/2010.
While High School for Coburg (HSC) thanks Minister for Education Bronwyn Pike for agreeing to MP Christine Campbell's call to set up a taskforce to look at state secondary education provision for Coburg, West Preston and surrounds, we strongly disagree with her comments in the Moreland Leader Monday 1 February 2010. Her obvious bias makes it imperative that this taskforce has an independent chairperson to present fair and reasonable results without outside influence. 
Minister Pike says a Coburg High "may not be used” – she has obviously chosen to ignore the HSC parental attitudes and intentions survey results which show 96% of respondents would send their children to a Coburg High. She also says Coburg had a high school which parents chose not to send their children to.That is a complex story of school closures and amalgamations and it is arguable that some schools did not get the extra support required from the very beginning. 
It is time to look to the future and provide valid options, not dredge up the past.The community is no longer willing to accept Coburg’s place in the education department’s too hard basket. They do not want to move suburbs or send their children far away to attend high school and many cannot afford this option .Equitable access to education is what’s required. 
Minister Pike is fond of saying “it takes a village to raise a child" - one of the basic requirements of the village is a secondary school, and for this wonderfully diverse community it would be a hub, enhancing connectivity and sustainable development. Minister Pike refers to "early analysis" showing greater growth in student numbers in the Brunswick area than the Coburg area. That is either disingenuous or she is getting bad advice.
Her comments are at odds with the recent DPCD and Moreland Council projections showing much greater numbers of young people in the Coburg area right now and much greater expected growth in Coburg into the future. For example in the 10-14 yr age group there are roughly twice as many in the Coburg Statistical Local Area (SLA) ( 2,671 children ) than the  Brunswick SLA. For 15 -19 yr olds Brunswick SLA decreases long term by 277  while Coburg's numbers grow by 681.* 
And why is Minister Pike talking about Coburg and Brunswick numbers around  the launch of Glenroy and Fawkner re-branded schools?  Is it to justify the fact that the spending on secondary education in Moreland is occurring in the north and in Brunswick in spite of the greatest number of young people being in the Coburg area where there isn't even one open entry state high school? 
HSC ask Minister Pike to make this “early analysis" available to the public, along with other data that we have repeatedly asked the department for, so that the community can see the whole picture.We have 22 primary schools, the greatest number by far of young children in Moreland now and into the future and no open entry state high school, what's the story?

*A visual representation of the DPCD statistics can be seen here. The raw data was sourced from the DPCD site, scroll down to the end of the page and click on detailed data files.

High School for Coburg Rally

If you are concerned about your children's education, the first High School for Coburg rally as an action group is on Friday 12 February at 10am outside Minister for Education Bronwyn Pike's office at 146 Peel Street Nth Melbourne, just near the Queen Victoria Market. Kids welcome.

The rally will run approx one hour, long enough to get a few photos for the Moreland Leader and hopefully the city dailies, answer a few questions for journalists and do a live radio cross.

Feel free to make your own banner or sign and wave it on the day; we need bodies to send a message to the Education Minister.

Unfortunately, the Minister is talking down a local high school in this weeks Moreland Leader so it is time to put some pressure on her in an election year and let her what you want for your community.

Your support would be much appreciated!

High School for Coburg – a community initiative