Sell’em off & pack’em in

Carine SHS, October, 2013

Carine SHS, October, 2013,

See this article “Squeeze on Schools” . “ELLENBROOK Secondary College could lose a third of its recreational oval space with the introduction of 30 demountable classrooms over the next three years.”

Get use to crowded public high schools, it seems to be part of the state agenda for us.

The State Government is constantly releasing cheap public land (schools) to developer buddies who demolish all of the often structurally sound buildings, carve it up into lots and sell it off for big profits. Fortunes are being made along the way.

Then the Government goes into the public purse to fund lucrative contracts to cram new buildings or set up demountables on the remaining school properties to accommodate the growing number of students in our rapidly increasing population.

Just out my way north of the river, Churchlands, Carine and Duncraig SHSs have had many big trees, remnant bushland and open space cleared to build big new classroom blocks and other buildings and facilities recently. Sure this is to accommodate influxes of year 7 students who will start attending high school earlier as of next year and need to finish them by January 2014. But surely this beggars the question, couldn’t they have kept some properties like the Edith Cowan/WAIT campus, with all of its perfectly sound class rooms and lecture theatres (or at least part of it) to create a year 11 & 12 centre for Churchlands SHS next door? Why couldn’t the have done the same with the Carine TAFE site down the road from Carine SHS’s year 11’s and 12’s? At Duncraig SHS they have also cleared a big area of trees and remnant bushland to build more classrooms and an administration block after closing nearby Padbury SHS only two years ago, which was very close by (neighbouring Craigie SHS was also sold)?

Why are tax payers paying for all of this unnecessary construction and then being told they have to cut education costs?

Carine SHS sign

In the UK and other places you are not allowed to just demolish structurally sound buildings. This is because the energy used and carbon created in the demolition, construction, building material production processes are massive and they just don’t have the space for all of the rubble to go to land fill. This build to replace attitude must stop because it is wasteful, it is bad for the environment and it is bad for our state education budget. Because if you remember, recently there was some controvesy over the fact that the funds recieved from selling schools does not go to the DET, it just goes to treasury.

They have quite a long list of school properties they sill want to sell. So what does this mean for our kids? Each time they close a school and build a new subdivision it creates more students. Those students and the ones that attended the demolished school are then forced to commute long distances to the nearest high school, often too far to walk or cycle. This leads to road congestion, the overloading of our stretch public transport systems, lost productivity and reduced physical activity and therefore poorer public health outcomes. Basically, greater numbers will have to travel longer distances to crammed overcrowded schools which will have a reduced standards of amenity (i.e. fewer trees and less open space). Meanwhile the developers, big builders and politicians send their kids to beautiful leafy spacious private schools.

Is this a deliberate scam to fleece tax payers by the Development and Construction Complex (DCC) and crony politicians or are they just short sighted and incompetent? They seem to think it is fine to sell off public assets as a means of funding services? But this is not a sustainable business model. You can only sell so many organs and then what? What will they do when there is nothing left to sell? How will the picture look by 2030 if DCC pundits and lobbyists and facilitating crony politicians get their way and our population rises well over 3 million?


This entry was posted in Public Open Spaces, Remnant Bushland, Schools, Sustainability, Transport, Urban Forest, Urban Planning, West Australian Government and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Sell’em off & pack’em in

  1. Dylan H. says:

    It should illegal here to demolish structurally sound buildings too – such a policy would have also kept housing affordability in check.

    • Yes planned obsolescence is the Development and Constructions business model

      • Robin says:

        It should be illegal: to demolish structurally sound buildings, which already have used lots of embodied energy during construction that would not be lost if the buildings were renovated/recycled; to force children (going to schools) and adults (going to work) to travel further and thus use more unsustainable energy resources; to allow government to sell public land and facilities without consultation with taxpayers; to allow profits from sold-off public infrastructure to go into consolidated revenue without consultation with taxpayers; etc.
        I have a 55 year old house (now on a developed triplex site) which I have renovated, with a view to its lasting another 55 years at least (no doubt with some future renovations to keep it up to date).

      • Agreed, thanks Robin.

  2. Pingback: Save Our Ovals – Doubleview and Inglewood |

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