In Parliament

Adjournment - Elwood College


Tuesday 19 February, 2019.

Mr NEWBURY (Brighton) (19:15):

My adjournment matter this evening is to the Minister for Education, and the action I seek is for the minister to commit to funding the proposed Phoenix Centre at Elwood College in Elwood. Elwood College has a vision to rebuild their existing theatre and gymnasium as a sports, recreation and arts hub that they are calling the Phoenix Centre. Their Phoenix Centre vision would include development of a new competition-compliant multi-lined netball-sized indoor court with spectator seating; change rooms and toilets; a recreation/dance/rehearsal studio; multipurpose recreation rooms; court and theatre foyers; dressing rooms; and a refurbished theatre. The sports hub would include an indoor netball facility and covered outdoor basketball courts.

With a shortage of community sporting space in the City of Port Phillip, the project is timely and much needed. In fact the Phoenix Centre project would be a game changer not only for Elwood College but also the Elwood community more broadly. Their vision is backed up by a comprehensive feasibility study and business case that clearly identify a current and growing shortage of sports courts in the region; the significant role the theatre plays for community performing arts participation; and that the facilities are needed to improve sport, recreation and performing arts opportunities for students and the broader community.

Elwood is a vibrant and growing community. In fact over the next six years Elwood College will grow from 900 to 1500 students. And what makes Elwood College so special is that it is the heartbeat of the Elwood community. Not only is the site an important place for learning during the day but it is also a place for the community outside of school hours. Community groups actively use the space to recreate, to perform and to practise their arts.

I cannot reiterate how strongly I support Elwood College and their vision for the Phoenix Centre. I congratulate the school, led by Principal Rhonda Holt, and the school parent body, who have done much of the heavy lifting in putting pen to paper on this project. I call on the minister, in the lead-up to the budget, to recognise the importance of Elwood College and their proposed Phoenix Centre and to commit to funding this important project and make this vision a reality.