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By Kyra Gillespie

Some Pakenham residents have been left scratching their heads at the naming of Pakenham’s newest primary school.

According to the Victorian Government Gazette issued on 17 May, the Primary School under construction on Atlantic Drive, in the Cardinia Lakes estate, has been titled Pakenham Primary School.

The school was given the working title of Pakenham North-East Primary, but all references to its geographical location have now been scrapped.

“The government bureaucrat tasked with dreaming up the school’s official moniker appears to have been unaware of the proud history of Pakenham Consolidated School,“ Gembrook MP Brad Battin said.

The original Pakenham State School opened in 1875 before it was amalgamated with several smaller Primary Schools to form Pakenham Consolidated in 1951.

Pakenham Primary version 2.0 will now join Pakenham Consolidated, Pakenham Lakeside, Pakenham Springs, and Pakenham Hills Primary Schools in serving the
community.

“Despite its title, Pakenham Primary School will geographically be further from central Pakenham than Pakenham Springs, Pakenham Hills, and Pakenham Consolidated,“ Mr Battin continued.

“I have no doubt that the local community would be better qualified to name the school, finding something that considers both Pakenham’s history and geography.“

Members of the Cardinia Lakes Residents Group have echoed Mr Battin’s sentiments.

“Naming the school Cardinia Lakes Primary School would have made the most sense,” Cardinia Lakes Residents Group Secretary Genevieve Shallard.

“The current name is confusing; Pakenham is a big area now and the name should be relevant to its specific location in Pakenham.

“Cardinia Lakes is the area that the school is connected to so the name should reflect that.”

The school will accommodate 475 students from Prep to Year 6 and received an additional $9.9 million in the 2018-19 State Budget for construction.

The contentious name has been confirmed as the title for the new school being built at Atlantic Drive in Pakenham in an official statement from Education Minister James Merlino’s office.“Pakenham Primary School has been confirmed as the name for the new school,“ the spokesperson said.

“The school has been known by its interim name Pakenham North East Primary School during the planning process.

“Construction is underway and the school is due to open at the start of 2019.“

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