With kids back in the classroom, the Andrews Labor Government wants to make sure our students have the gyms, libraries and learning spaces they deserve.
That includes delivering the biggest single boost to school infrastructure in the state’s history, bringing the total investment on improving and building new schools to more than $9 billion over the past five years.
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 will provide $122.4 million for a new vertical primary school in North Melbourne opening in 2023, and deliver a further four stages of new school projects, including at Clyde North Station Primary School, Preston High School, the new Benalla Campus of Wangaratta District Specialist School, and the new San Remo Campus of Wonthaggi Secondary College.
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 Minister for Education James Merlino
“This year, our kids have been learning long division at the dinner table and doing science experiments at the kitchen sink. As our state recovers, we want to give students the fantastic new learning spaces they deserve.”
“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.”
Reviewed 24 November 2020