State Planning Services
Department of Planning and Community Development
GPO Box 500
EAST MELBOURNE VIC 3002
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.
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.