Other recent news:
IN REFERENCE to the police report headed 'Teen bashed at fundraiser' in a recent edition of The Murray Pioneer (30/3/10), I would like to express my disappointment in your reporting of the incident.
THE RELOCATION of the Riverland Special School has been ongoing since 2004 when the governments wanted to redevelop the existing site when there was around 40 plus students.
The school received $1 million from the Federal Government and $400,000 from the State Government for redevelopment of the present site.
The school’s governing council and staff did not accept the redevelopment plan that was attached to this money because the building was not suitable for this special needs school.
In due course the district superintendent, school principal and I had a meeting in Adelaide with DECS. The money for the redevelopment was put aside to go towards relocation to a level site.
A site behind the Berri TAFE College and Glossop High School senior campus was picked out. This land is owned by the Government.
This would have put the school alongside the Berri ovals and the other complexes that were to be built there in due course.
This relocation would have also put the school near a shopping complex, which would assist the students in the handling of money by being able to purchase various items.
In November 2008, after the school’s annual craft fair and with the principal’s permission, I did some homework on putting up a cover for the school buses to be parked out of the hot sun or wet weather while at school.
This was going to be funded by using the Craft Fair money raised over many years that had built up in the school reserve fund. Now DECs is making the school use these funds to fund extra SSO positions.
In the summer the temperature in the buses is over 50C. Some buses are used during the day and take the students home after school.
The air-conditioning in these buses has to work triple hard to try to reduce this temperature to a reasonable condition.
The cover would have helped keep this temperature down when loading the students in hot or wet weather.
As it takes a reasonable time to load the wheelchair students, they get very hot or quite wet, depending on the weather conditions. The buses cannot be left running while being loaded for safety reasons.
I was surprised that this cover could not be moved to the new facility. This is because it would be classed as a fixture, so it did not go ahead.
There have been many studies done about the relocation of the school. The school now has in the vicinity of 77 students and in the past few years there have been another three school rooms added to the present site.
I will be a thorn in the government’s side until this school is relocated as at the present location it is causing problems for a lot of students, teachers, SSOs and parents/guardians.
The present school is located on a very steep side of a hill in a Berri housing area with a public road running between the two school properties.
Our school is helping all the other government schools in the Riverland region by taking their students that have special needs.
I look forward to seeing this new school up and running before the end of this year as the previous government could do things in Adelaide in very short time – as the past 12 months has shown.