Last week I visited Damascus College Ballarat to advise principal Matthew Byrne and other school leaders that their school would be receiving $1 million from the Andrews Labor government's capital funding program for non-government schools. The $1 million will support a $2.5 million project to refurbish and extend some of the school's science rooms and the arts space. That will be well received by the school.
Archives: November 2017
I was pleased to visit Ballarat Steiner School last week to share the news that they will receive $634 000 from the Andrews government for the construction of a new multipurpose building and for refurbishments to the current multipurpose space. This new building will be a great addition to the growing school.
Students have integrated a number of initiatives into the school, including creating a school veggie garden with composting, organising plastic-free wrapping days for school lunches, changing over to energy-saving light bulbs, placing signage beside light switches and taps promoting energy-efficient use and publishing articles about sustainability in the school newsletter.
This Monday I visited the Scarsdale campus of Woady Yaloak Primary School to announce that the campus would receive funding from the Andrews government school shade grants program to install a large double shade sail to protect students from the sun. The new shade sail will give students the benefit of UV protection while being active outdoors — a great job.
Looking at the central issue of this bill, which is around the vaccination of children, it is amazing to think how far we have come in the last 100 years. It is not that long ago that we had very high child mortality rates. It must have been so distressing for families 100 or 200 years ago to know that many of their children would not live to adulthood. Of course many families had a large number of children to protect against the loss of some of their children so they could at least get some of them through to adulthood. It must have been hugely distressing to lose any children.
We know that good governments recognise that we need to look ahead to keep tabs on our water resources and to ensure that we can plan ahead in terms of the water use that people want to take advantage of in the years ahead. We know of course that a potable water supply is important for drinking — for human and animal consumption and in industry. We know it is important when growing our crops in irrigation areas in particular but also in other areas, and we know it is important for recreation.
As the minister would know, $1.6 million was allocated in the last budget to construct a new kindergarten and early learning centre in the Sebastopol West area to support a community that is growing in the number of houses that will be constructed on the site. The new kindergarten is being constructed off-site by ARKit construction, and I understand the kindergarten is now complete and ready to move on-site. I think that will happen this Friday, and I will be pleased to see it actually coming on-site.
As we have heard from previous speakers, this government has in line with our Towards Zero strategy on trying to reduce the road toll undertaken a range of strategies, whether that be road infrastructure investment, whether it be the wire barriers on the side of the road or whether it be road improvements in a whole range of other areas, like addressing dangerous intersections.
Drugs, Poisons and Controlled Substances Amendment (Medically Supervised Injecting Centre) Bill 2017
I am confident that we will demonstrate as a government this is the right thing to do. It will be something that will be saving the lives of people who do have serious drug problems. There is plenty more that this government is doing, including doubling the residential rehab beds and committing to more in that area, and I am pleased to see we are getting a residential rehab unit in Ballarat next year.
This project will connect the many existing off-road paths, which have been constructed across Ballarat along creeks, disused rail lines and through many other tracts of public land, by providing safer links through Ballarat's CBD. The creation of this significant new network of bike paths will encourage more people to enjoy the opportunity of appreciating our beautiful city by bike. Plans for the new cycling network are being developed by VicRoads and the City of Ballarat.
I visited the Ballan Brumbies Basketball Club training session last Thursday to announce a grant of $1000 for new uniforms for the club. The funding is being provided from the Andrews government's sporting club grants program. Club president Renee Baker does a fantastic job. It was great to see so many enthusiastic boys and girls at the after-school training session last week. Springbank Football Netball Club also received $1000 for new equipment from the program. I am proud of our clubs in the Shire of Moorabool for their great work.
This initiative is a direct outcome of last November's regional assembly, where health and in particular the improvement of long-term health outcomes for people in the Central Highlands were identified as priorities. As a result the government has been working with local health agencies to set a long-term goal of a 5 per cent increase in the number of people in the community meeting healthy eating and physical activity guidelines.
Preventative health was also the main theme of my recent visit to Sovereign Gardens in Sebastopol to open a community health presentation by the Heart Foundation for elderly residents. At the Heart Foundation presentation, one of many undertaken across Ballarat, residents learned about preventative risk factors. I want to commend the Heart Foundation for their great work in this area.
I just want to provide an account of some of the things that Labor has done to extend our national parks system and to protect our environment, because back in my teaching days, before I came into this house, I reminded and educated my students that we in Australia have a very sensitive environment that needs to be respected and that we need to live in a sustainable way in our environment, understand that environment and act to ensure it is protected.