$292m To Put Sustainability At The Heart Of Schools

Minister for Education James Merlino and Member for Thomastown Bronwyn Halfpenny turned the first sod at one of 15 new school building projects on Monday, which will build awareness of environmental sustainability through an exciting partnership with CERES.

Getting building started at the new Epping North Primary School site, Minister Merlino announced that CERES will run educational program at the schools which will embed a ‘whole of school’ approach to sustainability.

CERES will deliver the environmental program ResourceSmart Schools, with activities such as monitoring energy use, and water and waste management. CERES currently delivers the program in over 270 schools in Victoria to help schools benefit from embedding sustainability into everything they do.

Students will also learn about biodiversity and how their school can contribute towards sustainable living and financial savings through environmental sustainability. School staff will be supported with professional development and resources to make connections with sustainability in their curriculum.

This partnership delivers on the Andrews Labor Government’s Education State commitment to partner with industry and community organisations.

The new Epping North Primary School will also have a YMCA long day care centre, a community hub and a shared oval with Whittlesea Council – maximising space for students and the community, with the additional benefits of an amphitheatre and outdoor stage.

Delivered through a $291 million Public Private Partnership, the 15 new schools will be financed, designed, built and maintained by Learning Communities Victoria for 25 years. They are being built in some of the State’s fastest growing areas.

The 15 new schools are:

  • Mernda Central Years P-6
  • Mernda Central Years 7-12
  • Mernda South Primary School
  • Epping North Primary School
  • Pakenham South West Primary School
  • Heather Grove Primary School
  • Cranbourne South West Primary School
  • Casey Central East Primary School
  • Point Cook South Years P-9
  • North Geelong Special Developmental School
  • Bannockburn Years P-6
  • Bannockburn Years 7-12
  • Armstrong Creek Special School
  • Armstrong Creek Primary School
  • Torquay North Primary School

The 2015-16 State Budget is the biggest school education budget on record, delivering close to $4 billion over four years – a record investment that will ensure every community has access to a great local school, and every child gets the chance to succeed.
The transformation of Victoria into the Education State sees a $730 million investment going into education and school infrastructure over the next four years.

The Education State is about taking our education system from good to great by fixing our schools, early learning facilities and skill centres, and building the right infrastructure to support our kids to thrive – because good infrastructure makes for great places to learn.

Quotes attributable to Minister for Education, James Merlino

“Today marks the start of construction of the Epping North Primary School, one of 15 new schools being delivered by the Government through the New Schools Public Private Partnership Project.

“Construction is now underway to deliver the new schools across some of Victoria’s fastest growing communities in time for opening in 2017 and 2018.”

Quote attributable to Member for Thomastown, Bronwyn Halfpenny

“This partnership with CERES will give students the skills they need to live sustainably – something they will take with them for the rest of their lives.”

Quotes attributable to CERES CEO Cinnamon Evans

“It’s vital young people learn about sustainable living, so we are delighted to be working with these schools on this exciting project.”