Major kinder upgrades at Stratford and Maffra
Two new significant kindergarten upgrades in Maffra and Stratford were opened today thanks to a $599,700 investment by the Victorian Coalition Government.
Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull, officially opened the centres today and said the $300,000 investment at Stratford has increased its capacity to provide 25 additional four-year-old kindergarten places at any one time, as well as providing an additional playroom, kitchen, bathroom and extra storage.
“We have also invested $299,700 in Maffra’s ‘Glassford’ kinder with the upgraded centre increasing its capacity to provide 28 additional four-year-old kindergarten places at any one time. Wellington Shire Council and the local parents groups also made significant contributions and are to be congratulated,” he said.
“Like Stratford, at Maffra kinder there will also be an additional playroom, bathroom area and extra storage for local Maffra families as well. “In the short term, not only have these centres provided more kindergarten places, it also brings many long-term benefits to local families, including giving children the best possible preparation for school.
"These upgrades will cater for the needs of the communities into the future,” Mr Bull said.
Minister for Children and Early Childhood Development Wendy Lovell welcomed the upgrade of the kindergartens.
“Upgrading children’s facilities is part of the Victorian Coalition Government’s plan to build a better regional Victoria by ensuring young children have a great start in life.
“The Coalition Government has invested $1.7 million in the Shire of Wellington region through record investments in early childhood infrastructure,” Ms Lovell said.
“The Victorian Coalition Government is building a better Victoria, with $106 million in state and national partnership funding invested since December 2010 towards building and upgrading hundreds of services, including many in regional Victoria.”
New Sale Specialist School funding
Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull, has welcomed the announcement today by the Deputy Premier and Member for Gippsland South, Peter Ryan, that the future of the Sale Specialist School has been secured.
Mr Bull said a four hectare site on the Princes Highway, in Sale’s north, had been acquired with the government committing $4 million in the 2014-15 Victorian Budget for planning and design, and to deliver stage one works.
“This is a great day for students, parents and teachers at the Sale Specialist School,” Mr Bull said.
"Today's announcement will make an enormous difference to the lives of so many children with special needs and their families.
"The families of students both present and future that access this school from towns in my electorate like Maffra, Heyfield, Stratford and surrounding districts will be delighted.
"To all those who have lobbied for this outcome, my congratulations and like them, I am already looking forward to this new facility opening its doors.
"Finalising a site for the school has been a drawn out and complicated process, but today's announcement is a major step forward in establishment of a new purpose built facility that will meet the needs of the community well into the future," Mr Bull said.
Mr Ryan said the site chosen was one of the largest of the 13 sites originally offered up by local landowners, enabling construction of a school that will cater for a growing demand for years to come.
“The community can now look forward to the planning and design works for the new school beginning.
“It was not possible to begin designing the new school until the land had been secured, but with the land now purchased we can start the process with certainty,” Mr Ryan said.
“I strongly encourage parents and families to share their vision and ideas with the school board about how they would like the school designed and built.”
Mr Ryan said once planning and design was complete, initial works would begin at the site.
“The intention of this first $4 million is to enable stage one works to begin. The balance of funds to complete this project will follow,” he said.
Launch of new Learn Local Alliance
Gippsland East Learn Local Alliance (GELLA), an alliance of Noweyung, Paynesville Neighbourhood Centre, Buchan Neighbourhood House and SNAP Gippsland, was officially launched today by Member for Gippsland East, Tim Bull.
Mr Bull said the formation of GELLA is a culmination of a journey that started in 2012 with the closure of Community College East Gippsland.
“With the closure came a gap in the provision of adult education and in particular pre-accredited course training and it is very pleasing to see, that in a relatively short time, there is a training presence again operating back at this site.
“I would like to thank Gippsland East Local Learning and Employment Network (GELLEN) and East Gippsland Shire Council for working together to document the impact of the closure of Community College East Gippsland and providing advice on how to best address the resulting gaps in adult education.
“GELLA will offer courses at the former Community College East Gippsland site and from the start of term two, there will be at least six new pre-accredited courses on offer,” he said
Mr Bull said small providers at times find it hard to deliver Adult Community and Further Education (ACFE) funded services and by forming this alliance GELLA will be able to share resources, ideas and expenses to improve service outcomes.
GELLEN Executive Officer, Jacqui Bramwell, said “by forming an alliance we are hoping to look at ways in which we can offer coordinated courses, raise the profile of learn Local in East Gippsland and increase participation in pre-accredited training”.