$730 Million To Fix Our Schools And Keep Our Kids Safe

The Andrews Labor Government will deliver the biggest school infrastructure program in Victoria’s history with $730 million to build, upgrade and maintain schools across the state.

This includes $610 million for government schools and $120 million for Catholic and Independent schools.

School capital funding was halved under the previous Liberal Government. Across Victoria, kids are learning in rundown, uncomfortable and overcrowded classrooms. Many ‘temporary’ buildings have stood for decades. Many more are riddled with asbestos.

The 2015-16 Victorian Budget provides $325 million to renovate, refurbish or rebuild 67 schools – 25 of them in our fast-growing outer suburbs and 21 in regional Victoria.

One of the schools to receive a $10 million rebuild is Essendon East Keilor District College, identified as one of the state’s most rundown schools with 1341 maintenance items requiring attention.

The Budget also provides $35 million for more than 120 new, safe relocatable classrooms to ease the pressure and reduce overcrowding at schools that are bursting at the seams. These modern relocatable classrooms will cater for approximately 6000 students over the coming years.

High risk asbestos is always removed from our schools, but many schools still have asbestos in their buildings as it was a widely used building material until the late 1980s. The Labor Government has a plan to remove all asbestos from all school buildings.

To meet this commitment the Budget will also provide $42 million as part of an extensive $100 million asbestos removal program. This program is the first phase in the Labor Government’s commitment to remove asbestos from all school buildings.

The Budget also provides $10 million for an Inclusive Schools Package to provide additional infrastructure and equipment to support students with disabilities at schools across the state.

Population growth in some suburban and regional areas has outstripped local services and schools, giving students crowded classrooms and giving parents few choices for their child’s education.

The Budget provides $111 million to deliver or complete 10 new schools:

  • Craigieburn North West Primary School
  • Sale Specialist School
  • Tarneit P-9 College completion
  • Hazel Glen College completion
  • Albert Park College – Year 9 campus
  • South Melbourne Park Primary School
  • Footscray Learning Precinct (Footscray City Primary School, Footscray City College)
  • Richmond High School
  • Bannockburn 7-12
  • Mernda Central 7-12

The Budget provides $20.45 million for two major regeneration projects for schools abandoned by the Liberals, in Ringwood and Morwell, and $40 million to purchase land for new schools in some of our fastest growing suburbs.

Secondary students also deserve a head start for a hands-on vocation – a chance to build the foundations of their career early while maintaining their enrolment at their local secondary school.

The Budget provides $8 million to establish Tech Schools across the state, which will be open to students from Years 7 to 12 who will learn skills alongside a comprehensive secondary education, and an additional $4 million has also been provided for operating costs.

Overcrowded and rundown schools that will receive a rebuild of $10 million or more under the Budget include:

  • Geelong High School
  • Viewbank College
  • Sunshine College
  • Elwood College
  • Brunswick Secondary College
  • Daylesford Secondary College
  • Essendon East Keilor District College
  • Phoenix P-12 Community College
  • William Ruthven Secondary College

Quotes attributable to the Minister for Education, James Merlino

“This is the single biggest increase in school funding in Victoria’s history.”

“You can’t get a first-rate education in a second-rate classroom. That’s why the Andrews Labor Government is building – and rebuilding – schools right across Victoria.”

“The Liberals halved funds for school buildings and left them to rot. We promised to fix our schools and we’re getting on with it.”