Thursday, 17 April 2008

Save Black Rock's historic site

Under the Kennett Government the Black Rock Maternal and Child Health Centre, next to Black Rock Kindergarten on Bluff Road, was closed down, a sign at the time that the area's population was ageing. Mums in the area had to go to Sandringham or Beaumaris.

Now, with a booming population of young families in the area, what does the Council decide it will do? No, not re-open it or use the site to further develop much needed early childhood services. No, it is seriously looking at selling off the site, because according to councillor Derek Wilson, the Council believes it is now "surplus to requirements.''

Not only that, but the Council is talking about selling off part of the neighboring kindergarten's land as well!!

Hardly a reflection of Prime Minister Kevin Rudd's focus on early childhood services and a push to improve access to three-year old kindergarten.

This area already has a major problem with access to three-year-old kindergarten places, not to mention a need to expand its Maternal and Child Health Services.

So here's a radical idea - why doesn't the council RE-OPEN a Black Rock branch of the maternal health centre. Or, even more radical, expand the kindergarten to give more families access to places - after all study after study shows just how important pre-school is for children in terms of their long-term educational prospects.

Baysidemama contacted Cr Derek Wilson who says he is "keeping an open mind and I know a lot of people are really unhappy with the idea.''

Well the Council is going ahead this Monday night with a vote on whether to formally advertise the proposal and seek public comment.

He also says the Council prefers a hub model of childhood services based in central locations. That is however , bad luck for the every expanding number of families who live around the Black Rock and Beaumaris area who need these services nearby.

There are petitions circulating around the Black Rock shops and the kinder and Sandringham Maternal Health Centre - please sign them. And make your thoughts heard by voting in our poll (see column to the right).

We'll have more on this over the next few days, so stay tuned.

And remember Kevin '07 is saying yes to more early childhood services - not less!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I agree totally - why not create an early childhood services precinct there.
- Sadie