Renmark High School Redevelopment

Mr WHETSTONE (Chaffey) (11:36): I would like to rise to make a small contribution. Renmark High School is one of the high schools in the Riverland, and I am very, very proud that one of my children attended there for a couple of years before heading down to Adelaide to finish his schooling career. Renmark High School is a very proud school located close to the banks of the beautiful River Murray. It has students from very diverse cultural backgrounds and walks of life and they have been very well regarded in terms of their academic and sporting achievements.

Over time, I have been very proud to be a part of that school community, whether it is helping to coach sporting teams or whether it is giving support to the athletics. In 2019, was proud to be invited to officially open the new state-of-the-art STEM facility. I thank the Minister for Education for asking me to do that because it gave me an opportunity to reconnect with that school and continue to foster the good relationship with the principal, Mat Evans. I think Mat is doing an outstanding job.

We must acknowledge the Marshall Liberal government for its foresight and its support for all of the education system in South Australia and, importantly, the regions. The regions have been reborn within education, to see the upgrades of our schools through different programs, not only the STEM facility but all of the upgrades, the opportunities that the schools now have with a government that is looking to govern for all of the education system right around the state.

The new development is a $5 million upgrade, with 26 trades involved, and it comes with a lot of beautification upgrades, whether it is fixtures and fittings, the school is very much appreciative. It gives them the opportunity not only to put some beautification in there but give a little more ownership of that school to the students and make it a better learning institution. The school is obviously getting ready for the transition of year 7 into high school by 2022, and everyone is on board. There are a number of schools in the Renmark area, approximately six schools, that feed into Renmark High School.

The new student services reception and offices, the creative learning classrooms, the counselling offices and the breakout spaces are part of the upgrade. Minister Gardner and I have visited Renmark High School to have a look at those upgrades. The teachers, the students and the Renmark community are very proud of the school. It is one of the great learning beacons in the area.

The refurbishment of the home economics classroom and the physical education offices, the new mechanical extraction system in the tech studies area, the replacement of air conditioning in a number of the buildings and asbestos removal are all part of upgrading some of the ageing infrastructure. This is a clear indication of the government's commitment to the long-term future of our regional schools and education.

I thank the school community as a whole for their patience and flexibility. I thank the minister for his foresight in supporting Renmark High School and I wish all the students a good learning year, particularly in these uncertain times.

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