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‘People power’ key to college funding

BIG WIN: Horsham College school council president Rowan Smith gives the thumbs up with Member for Lowan Hugh Delahunty. Picture: DEAN LAWSON

Horsham mayor David Grimble has described a $10-million State Government budget commitment to start rebuilding Horsham College as a win for ‘people power’.

Cr Grimble said solidarity between key Horsham groups and the general community had led to a consistent message and perseverance had paid off.

“It’s a sensational outcome. As a regional city it is so important to have quality educational facilities. That’s why it has been a number-one council priority,” he said.

“It has shown what people power can do with a consistent message across several organisations.”

Member for Lowan Hugh Dehahunty announced the funding in front of  college students and staff, and education, community, business and development leaders last week. He made the announcement in an open space previously home to the college library demolished after a fire a few years ago.

The funding includes about $7.5-million for the replacement of the college’s mathematics and humanitities-administration blocks and middle-school toilet blocks.

It also includes $2.5-million for general facility upgrades as determined by college leaders.

School community leaders identified a need to rebuild the college, with some of its buildings dating back to the 1950s, about 14 years ago.

About half a dozen college community council presidents have passed the baton on the issue with the latest, Rowan Smith leading celebrations on the breakthrough decision.

Mr Smith, in ending his speech in response to Mr Delahunty’s announcement, summed up the feeling with a simple: “You bloody beauty!”

He said afterwards that he expected preparations for stage one of the overall $20-million project to start as soon as possible.

“It’s a win for the school, but importantly it’s a win for the community overall. It reinforces the idea that with community connections, you can make things work,” he said.

The school council has pleaded with successive governments in a fight for development. Representatives have had several meetings with Mr Delahunty and led Education Minister Martin Dixon on tours through the school.


The campaign gained support and momentum from Horsham Rural City Council, Business Horsham, Wimmera Development Association and the school community as a whole. The Weekly Advertiser also weighed in heavily on the issue.


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Posted on Mar 26 2014

Posted by on Mar 26 2014. Filed under Education, FEATURED, News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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