Schools are a big winner in last week’s Budget 2020/21 which will see the Victorian Government invest a further $3 billion across the state – delivering the biggest single boost to school infrastructure in the state’s history and bringing the total investment to more than $9 billion over the past five years.
Member for Northern Victoria, Mark Gepp welcomed the budget announcement which is providing funding of $1.65 million to Swan Hill Specialist School to build a new outdoor multi-sport courts with roof.
The multi-purpose court will enable student to participate in a variety of sports including basketball, netball, futsal, badminton, tennis, volleyball featuring a synthetic rebound ace surface and roof to protect students from the sun. The project will provide the school and community a space for sports and physical activity.
Swan Hill Specialist School will also receive $45,310 for upgrades to school fencing to support a safe and secure environment – made possible through the Minor Capital Works program announced today.
The Victorian Budget 2020/21 invests more than $3 billion in school upgrades, including $1.1 billion as part of the previously announced Building Works Package, with a further $1.9 billion to roll out the next phase of the school building boom.
This extra $1.9 billion investment will support more than 6,400 in construction and supply chain jobs, including more than 4,830 jobs related to projects in metropolitan Melbourne and more than 1,570 jobs related to projects in regional Victoria.
It includes $1.28 billion for 162 upgrades – targeted to schools most in need – with the architects to be appointed from January 2021 and construction work on every project to start within 16 months, creating a pipeline of work.
More than $388.8 million of this investment will go toward improving facilities at 39 specialist schools – Victoria’s single largest investment ever in upgrading specialist schools.
More than $85 million will expand seven existing schools – providing space for 1,175 extra students. And to ensure we can continue to meet future enrolment growth, more than $147 million has been allocated to acquire land for 11 new schools.
The Budget also includes:
- $70 million for the Planned Maintenance Program to support upgrades and improvements at around 300 schools
- a further $50 million to fast-track shovel-ready projects at around 300 schools through the Minor Capital Works Fund
- an extra $20 million to build inclusive learning spaces and accessible playgrounds for students with disabilities through the Inclusive Schools Fund
Victoria’s school building boom is the biggest in the country. More importantly, it’ll mean our kids have the classrooms – and the bright futures – they deserve.
In the past five years, the Labor Government has invested more than $9 billion in more than 1,600 school upgrades – creating more than 10,000 construction jobs – and is now ahead of schedule its commitment to open 100 new schools by 2026, with 48 new schools opening between 2019 and 2022.
Quotes attributable to Member for Northern Victoria, Mark Gepp
“This funding has given Swan Hill Specialist School the green light to begin their outdoor multi sports project – which is great news for students, staff and the community.”
“I was pleased to support Swan Hill Specialist School with their project idea. The Victorian Government is supporting schools across the Northern Victoria to help students reach their potential with modern, safe and practical spaces to learn and thrive.”
Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino
“This year has shown that a school is so much more than four walls and a roof. But by investing in new classrooms and new facilities, we’re making sure our school communities are stronger than ever.”
“By investing in our schools, we’re investing in our kids’ future – and creating thousands of new jobs as we rebuild from this pandemic.”
Quotes attributable to Jodie Walters, Principal Swan Hill Specialist School
“Swan Hill Specialist School couldn’t be happier and more excited with the budget news. The provision of a covered sporting area will allow for the further inclusion of all students in physical activities and provide opportunities for more great programs across the school and with the community.”
“We are so pleased to take another step forward towards a purpose-built school and facilities that match the high quality education provided by our amazing staff.”
Quote attributable to Joanna Hulland, School Council President – Swan Hill Specialist School
“Swan Hill’s summers are hot, with many school days over 30 degrees. So for our kids to be able to have an outdoor sports area with cover is sensational!”
“We greatly appreciate this grant and look forward to its construction.”