Victoria ushers in education jobs blitz

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Victoria’s Premier Daniel Andrews & Education Minister James Merlino

By SAT News Desk

MELBOURNE, 18 May 2020: The Victorian Government will fix old buildings, deliver extra classrooms and build ten brand new schools in a state-wide construction blitz that will create thousands of jobs across the state and kickstart Victoria’s economy.

Premier Daniel Andrews and Minister for Education James Merlino today announced more than $1.18 billion in
education infrastructure projects – part of the $2.7 billion Building Works package that will build the projects that matter to Victoria and create the jobs that matter to Victorians.

Premier Daniel Andrews says, “It just makes sense. By investing in our schools, we’re giving our kids the classrooms they deserve – and importantly, creating thousands of new jobs.”

Together, the school building projects will create space for more than 21,000 extra students in Victoria’s education system and create more than 1,600 local construction jobs in communities across Victoria. The projects were selected because they could get underway as soon as possible – delivering local jobs supporting local businesses.

Minister for Education James Merlino says, “We’re investing more than a billion dollars in better schools and kinders as part of our record investment in education – so all Victorians, regardless of their background or circumstances, get a world-class education.”

The package includes $438.6 million to build ten new schools and deliver a further four stages of new school
projects to open in 2022 across the state, providing new spaces for more than 7,000 Victorian students. This
includes $119 million to build the Greater Shepparton Secondary College as part of the Shepparton Education Plan.
Just over $130 million has been allocated to the Established Areas Program to provide additional capacity at nine
metropolitan schools to meet enrolment growth, supporting space for 1,550 students. To further boost capacity in
schools across the state, $114.5 million will purchase and refurbish relocatable school buildings – providing space for an extra 12,775 students in the 2021 school year.

The Government will provide $388.8 million to deliver 57 upgrades and modernization projects at schools across
Victoria. Many of the projects deliver on key 2018 election commitments. This funding includes $4.2 million to
rebuild Clifton Creek Primary School destroyed in the bushfires earlier this year.

Schools across the state will also share in $10 million to support infrastructure modifications for the 2021 school year for schools that have students with disabilities, as part of the Accessible Buildings Program. $20 million will also be provided for a Minor Capital Works Fund to bring forward small priority projects identified by schools.

In addition, Victorian TAFE students will soon benefit from having works carried out at their campus, with TAFEs to share in $55 million to help address maintenance needs.

Minister for Skills and Training Gayle Tierney says, “It is more important than ever that we invest in our TAFEs so that Victorians can continue to get the best training in state-of-the-art facilities for the jobs that they need.”

This investment also includes a further $27.7 million for the Building Blocks program, which provides grants for
local governments and not-for-profit organizations delivering a funded kindergarten program to increase their
capacity to meet the demand for places, upgrade and improve existing facilities, and to access the latest technology.

This education building program of more than $1.18 billion is in addition to the $6.1 billion already invested by the Victorian Government on school upgrades since 2014 which has supported more than 7,500 construction jobs.

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