Rochester crossing may be set to see another day

By Alex Gretgrix

ROCHESTER Primary School is celebrating the rescue of its school crossing after it was announced last week that the site is likely to remain.

And while the school might not be able to keep its paid supervisors, principal Graeme Hodgens said it was still a win.

“It was just a relief to know the safety of our students is being considered,” he said.

Member for Murray Plains Peter Walsh said for a small regional school which would never qualify for paid crossing attendants, a decision by Campaspe Shire to maintain the infrastructure outside the school was still a major good news outcome.

He said everyone in the community should be proud of their efforts in the campaign.

“After the work we have all put in I am delighted with the outcome because regardless of traffic numbers there are times at the crossing, especially those 15 minutes after the primary and secondary schools get out for the day, when there are students, parents and cars everywhere,” he said.

He said when he got involved in helping the school save its crossing, the end game was to not lose the infrastructure.

“Even if the crossing ends up with just the flags and no supervisors it is still a much better outcome than what Graeme and his school were facing,” Mr Walsh said.

While Department of Education policy won’t allow for teachers to fill the roles of supervisors on a permanent basis, negotiations will take place to see if volunteers among the parents of students or the wider community could take on the role.

“The shire has to train and accredit those people, and you have to remember they would be volunteers, not paid supervisors, but the school has every right to be excited about this outcome,” Mr Walsh said.

Campaspe Shire Council chief executive Declan Moore said the council would be available to discuss the next step.

“The council has offered to work with both school principals at Rochester and Echuca East Primary School, in the first few weeks of next term, to transition the operation of the crossings,” he said.

Mr Hodgens said he was grateful for the support the school had received.

“While it isn't quite over yet, we are so thankful for everyone who has worked with us to get us this far.”

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