Primary school shut out

Falls Creek visitor boom puts pressure on limited spaces

FALLS Creek boom as a year-round resort is excellent news for the local economy, but has led to fierce competition for places at Falls Creek Primary School with up to 30 students without a place this winter.

Because of limited space and facilities the school is capped at 30 places.

The new demand means that a large number of local workers maybe forced to either drive their children to and from Mt Beauty each day, a 60km round trip, or split the family so that one parent can live with the children in the valley.

After months of negotiation the Education Department has now told parents their hands are tied, while member for Benambra Bill Tilley last week in Victorian Parliament called on the Education Minister James Merlino to intervene.

Damian Heman of Tawonga South is one of the parents who has been working to reinstate the bus service which used to carry secondary college students from Falls Creek to Mt Beauty until about six years ago.

“I have surveyed all the local schools and there are nearly 30 students who are in need of this service,” he said.

“I approached the Education Department who were very co-operative to begin with, and I thought they were working for a resolution of the problem but in the end they said it was department policy not to provide the bus because Falls Creek is not the students’ permanent home.”

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