MOUNT Scopus Memorial College’s hopes of relocating to the geographic core of the Jewish community received a significant boost in Tuesday’s Victorian Budget.
Funding has been allocated to map out the redevelopment of Caulfield Hospital on its Kooyong Road site potentially to be shared with a Mount Scopus main campus. The allocation is part of a $180 million building works package announced by state Treasurer Tim Pallas in the Budget.
A spokesperson for the Mount Scopus Foundation stated, “We believe that this first official step creates the potential for our school to relocate into an all-new campus in the heart of the Jewish community, with first-class facilities that the entire community can benefit from. We look forward to working with the state government and state opposition to make this vision become a reality.
“A project of this scope will take many years before it is realised, and as long as the college remains in Burwood, we will be maintaining and developing the existing facilities, while focusing on keeping school fees as low as possible and assisting parents in need.”
The Caulfield Hospital site – and a proposal for Mount Scopus to share it with a redeveloped hospital – were raised before last year’s federal election, with talk of an arrangement between the college, Deakin University, Alfred Health (owner of Caulfield Hospital) and the federal and state governments.
The plan was for Deakin to eventually expand into the Mount Scopus Burwood campus site, and for Mount Scopus to move to Caulfield alongside a redeveloped hospital.
In April last year, weeks before the federal election that would see Josh Burns become Labor MP for Macnamara, the candidate joined shadow attorney-general Mark Dreyfus at Alfred Health to announce a $5 million grant for a feasibility study if Labor won government.
“I’m pleased that the Andrews Labor Government has decided to fund this business case to turn Caulfield Hospital into a world-class community site and healthcare facility,” Burns said on Tuesday.
The move was also welcomed by Caulfield Liberal MP David Southwick, who said, “Following the great efforts of local residents and the Mount Scopus leadership, it is pleasing we now have taken the next step towards unlocking the potential of this site.”
The Budget also allocated an additional $3.5 million towards the proposed Jewish Arts Quarter, bringing the state government’s total contribution to the project to $5 million.
Victorian Multicultural Affairs Minister Ros Spence noted the project “will create a vibrant hub for the people of Elsternwick and showcase Jewish culture”.