Last Monday the education minister Peter Collier met with outgoing Dawesville Liberal MP Kim Hames and candidate Zak Kirkup in an open forum to discuss the future of education in the electorate, with the possibility of a secondary school for Dawesville on the agenda.
The area is currently serviced only by Halls Head College for a public secondary school, and Mr Collier heard concerns the population was not growing fast enough to support a new high school.
“There is land allocated, but we need the numbers, and the numbers that we’ve got for our schools here don’t warrant a new high school yet,” Mr Hames said.
As well as land for a secondary school, the education department has also identified a site for a second primary school in the suburb.
However, there is no immediate plan for the development.
“It all slowed down with all the downturn we’ve had and the change in prices, all that development out in that corridor has slowed right down,” Mr Hames said.
“There was a lot of pressure on me… about seven or eight years ago, that was when we only had the middle school here at Halls Head, but when that changed to being a full high school the pressure went off, because nobody wanted to go to the middle school.
“As a high school there’s so many new facilities and it’s much better managed now, people are happy.”
Mr Kirkup said if elected he planned to keep a close eye on population growth in the area.
“Dawesville itself is an old area that now has those new pockets,” he said.
“I’m very keen to make sure we keep a very close eye on that… so we can work with the minister earlier rather than later to make sure we respond to those needs, if it gets to that point.
“I know that many families are keen to see a new high school built in or near the suburb Dawesville.”
Mr Kirkup said as a growing population with many young families he would like to hear directly from the community on the future direction of any proposed high school.
He has organised a second meeting for 6-7pm on Thursday March 2, at his campaign office at 609 Old Coast Road, Falcon.
The public are invited to attend.