The Victorian government is shelling out almost $240 million to buy land for 14 new schools across suburbs in Melbourne's growth corridors.
hooPremier Daniel Andrews made the $236.8 million announcement on Tuesday to invest in sites across Melbourne’s southeastern, western and northern suburbs.
“We are in some regards playing catch up but we are pleased to do it and get on with providing the land, facilities and the ongoing funding school communities need right across our state,” he said.
Mr Andrews said the government was “negotiating in good faith” the cost of each site.
“We are very confident we are able to secure that land and then get on with the planning and building so that communities … have got the facilities they need almost to stay in front of that growth,” he said.
Education Minister James Merlino said an extra 90,000 students in Victoria would need to be accommodated by 2022.
“This is part of the biggest school building program in the history of this state,” he said.
Mr Merlino said it took about two years to design, fund and build a new school.
Victorian Opposition Leader Matthew Guy said if the government had not scrapped the East West Link road, at a cost of $1.3 billion, it could have opened 40 new police stations and 40 new schools.
“The Liberal National Party have been talking about the issues of population pressures for three years. It is the biggest issue facing Victoria today about the way we grow our state and the way we grow our city,” he said.
Mr Guy said it was important to take the pressure off Melbourne and encourage people to live outside the city.
Opposition education spokesman Tim Smith said Melbourne was the fastest growing city in the western world and a minister for population and decentralisation was needed to grow the state.
Public input is being sought ahead of school construction including design, community access and facilities.
NEW SCHOOL SITES:
* Clyde North Secondary School
* Clyde North Primary School
* Thoroughbred Primary School
* Cranbourne West Secondary & Special School
* Merrifield West Primary School
* Footscray Learning Precinct – Seddon Campus
* Grasslands Primary School
* Rockbank P6 Proposed New School
* Cobblebank Secondary School
* Wollert Central Primary School
* Wollert East Primary School
* Wollert East Secondary School
* Wollahra Primary School
* Pakenham Henry Road Secondary School