The state government is on track to deliver more than $80 million worth of infrastructure this year.
MORE than $80 million worth of developments to accommodate the growing school student population have been approved so far this year.
A recent approval of a $28.5 million school in Brabham, north-east of Perth, has cemented a facility for up to 540 primary school students in the area.
The Metro Outer Joint Development Assessment Panel approved the proposal last month. The panel members gave swift and unanimous approval for the school, to be named Brabham East Primary School.
The panel considered the construction was needed to meet a rapidly growing younger population in Brabham.
School enrolment is expected to increase by 333 students to an overall 873 in the area, according to the JDAP report.
“The site of the proposed development comprises a total area of 3.5 hectares, within the rapidly expanding suburb of Brabham in the City of Swan,” the report said.
“Currently, the residential lots opposite the adjoining roads are in various stages of subdivision and development but are generally unconstructed.”
Brabham East Primary School will comprise eight new buildings and four modular kindergarten or pre-primary buildings.
With the Brabham approval, the government has progressed its commitment to open two new public schools by 2025.
In July, the JDAP approved a $37 million primary school in Eglinton in the City of Wanneroo, which is expected to accommodate up to 620 students by the 2025 school year.
“These works would facilitate school enrolments to increase by 386 students to a total of 1,006 students, broken down into 120 kindergarten students and 886 pre-primary to Year 6 students,” the development application said.
The school build includes 10 modular general classroom buildings and two for kindergarten/pre-primary.
Similarly, Eglinton has been described as a “rapidly expanding suburb” in the report, with the panel considering the proposed school build to be necessary public infrastructure in the developing area.
A $16.3 million upgrade to the Harrisdale Primary School, to replace 17 transportable buildings with permanent structures, was approved in April.
According to the development report, there were 1,157 students enrolled at the Harrisdale school in 2022, accommodated on site in permanent buildings and 29 transportable buildings.
“The proposed upgrades will allow for the removal of 17 transportable buildings,” the report said.
“Once the upgrades are complete, 900 students will be accommodated in permanent buildings on the site.
“The remaining 257 students will be accommodated in 12 existing transportable buildings, which are to be retained.”
However, the Department of Education’s enrolment projections for the school indicate student numbers would decrease to less than 900 total students after 2026.
“At which time, all students can be accommodated within permanent buildings onsite,” the report said.
Areas in need
In 2022, then-education minister Sue Ellery said the proposed Brabham East Primary School would provide enrolment relief for nearby Brabham Primary School.
Meanwhile, the proposed Eglinton South West Primary School is expected to provide enrolment relief to Shorehaven Primary School.
In December, Butler MLA John Quigley said he had been advocating for a new public primary school for Eglinton residents for years, launching a petition to kickstart the process.
“Eglinton is growing fast, and quality local schools are key to our efforts to build Perth’s north and provide the best opportunities for families who call it home,” he said.
According to the government’s policy planning document for school sites, there has to be one four-hectare government primary school site to service every 1,500 dwellings.
For secondary schools, one school site was needed for every four to five public primary schools.
The operational policy was implemented in December, overriding the previous ratio range of 1,500-1,800 dwellings per public primary school.
The government said the previous ratio range was not delivering effective outcomes.
“This has resulted in insufficient school site planning and the oversubscription of many schools,” the government said on its website.
“Oversubscription can result in sub-optimal outcomes for the useable area of a school and the functioning of the adjoining transport network.
“Suburbs experience demographic changes over time, which can impact on enrolment numbers and, in some cases, the need for school sites.”
The Department of Education has been contacted for comment.