• State Member for Monbulk, Deputy Premier, Minister for Education

    As your State Member of Parliament, I am passionate about representing our local community. My office and staff are here to help you and your family. Please feel free to contact my office in Belgrave, or send through an email.

  • A BIGGER, BETTER PINKS RESERVE FOR THE OUTER EAST

    Families in the outer east will be able to rely on outstanding local sporting facilities, with a re-elected Andrews Labor Government to deliver $10.5 million towards the redevelopment of Pinks Reserve in Kilsyth. Pinks Reserve is one of the most well-loved and popular sporting precincts in the region – but despite record levels of participation, the facilities are struggling to keep up. The massive upgrade from a re-elected Labor Government will improve the reserve’s basketball, football, cricket, softball, netball, badminton, table tennis and recreational facilities.

  • MORE HOSPITAL AND AGED CARE BEDS FOR MELBOURNE’S EAST

    Families in Melbourne’s outer-east will be able to access better hospital and aged care services close to home with a re-elected Andrews Labor Government to deliver a massive expansion of the Angliss Hospital at Ferntree Gully. Premier Daniel Andrews today unveiled the $20 million new intensive care unit, second short-stay unit, refurbished paediatric area and new mental health spaces in the emergency department, promised and delivered by Labor.

  • MORE TRAIN STATION CAR PARKING FOR MOOROOLBARK COMMUTERS

    It will be easier for local commuters to find a car park with a re-elected Andrews Labor Government to build more car parking at Mooroolbark Station. Whether it’s building more car parking or removing dangerous and congested level crossings, only Labor will make it safer and easier for locals in Melbourne’s east to get where they need to go. We promised to remove the level crossings at Mountain Highway and Scoresby Road in Bayswater to allow more trains to run and stop drivers from getting stuck at the boom gates, and that’s exactly what we’ve done. There’s more to do and only Labor will build up to 450 new and upgraded car parks at Mooroolbark as part of Labor’s $150 million Car parks for Commuters Fund.

  • AWARD WINNING GARDEN TO BE RE-CREATED IN OLINDA

    Families across Victoria will be able to enjoy upgraded botanic gardens with a re-elected Andrews Labor Government to deliver a $5 million boost to ensure they have the facilities they need. The funding will mean gardens, picnic facilities, trails and nature play areas can be upgraded to ensure the gardens can cater to both visitors and local communities. The centrepiece of the upgrade package will be $1 million towards a re-creation of the ‘the Australian Garden’ exhibit, which was the first and only Australian garden exhibit to win the Best in Show Gold Medal at the prestigious Royal Horticultural Society Chelsea Flower Show in London in 2013.

  • AWARD WINNING GARDEN TO BE RE-CREATED IN OLINDA

    Families across Victoria will be able to enjoy upgraded botanic gardens with a re-elected Andrews Labor Government to deliver a $5 million boost to ensure they have the facilities they need. The funding will mean gardens, picnic facilities, trails and nature play areas can be upgraded to ensure the gardens can cater to both visitors and local communities. The centrepiece of the upgrade package will be $1 million towards a re-creation of the ‘the Australian Garden’ exhibit, which was the first and only Australian garden exhibit to win the Best in Show Gold Medal at the prestigious Royal Horticultural Society Chelsea Flower Show in London in 2013.

Media Centre

More Support For Swimming Lessons In Victorian Schools

Victorian schools will get even more support to improve the delivery of life-saving swimming and water safety programs thanks to the Andrews Labor Government. Minister for Education James Merlino today announced the introduction of swimming coordinators across every Victorian education area to support schools to offer swimming programs and award Victorian Water Safety Certificates. The 17 swimming coordinators will also support the delivery of new resources and training for teachers developed by Life Saving Victoria as part of a $4 million 2018-19 Budget investment in swimming and water safety education. The Labor Government has increased funding across the previous two Victorian Budgets to give schools further support and ensure there is no financial burden on parents. This $19 million investment in the Swimming in Schools program has seen the number of Victorian government schools offering swimming lessons jump from 91 to 97 per cent last year. However, this has not been reflected in the number of schools using the Victorian Water Safety Certificates, with many students receiving alternative certificates. The swimming coordinators will take a proactive role in supporting schools and swimming lesson providers to use Life Saving Victoria’s new online system to award certificates to students who demonstrate the required swimming abilities in 2019. The Labor Government made swimming compulsory in the curriculum in November 2016. The Victorian Curriculum expects students will achieve the equivalent of the swimming and water safety skills set out by the Victorian School Water Safety Certificate, which includes being able to swim 50m continuously, before leaving primary school. Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “Every drowning death is one too many and nothing is more important than ensuring our kids are being taught this life saving skill. We are leading the nation when it comes to delivering swimming in schools but we still want to do more.” “We know we have thousands of kids learning to swim at the level required to obtain the certificate but not receiving it because schools and swim schools are not aware of how to obtain it or are providing alternative certificates.” “To further support our schools to deliver this program we will introduce swimming coordinators across the state. This will ensure there is an even greater focus on teaching our kids to swim, providing further support to teachers and schools.” Download the Media Release (529 KB)

More Support For Swimming Lessons In Victorian Schools

Victorian schools will get even more support to improve the delivery of life-saving swimming and water safety programs thanks to the Andrews Labor Government. Minister for Education James Merlino today announced the introduction of swimming coordinators across every Victorian education area to support schools to offer swimming programs and award Victorian Water Safety Certificates. The 17 swimming coordinators will also support the delivery of new resources and training for teachers developed by Life Saving Victoria as part of a $4 million 2018-19 Budget investment in swimming and water safety education. The Labor Government has increased funding across the previous two Victorian Budgets to give schools further support and ensure there is no financial burden on parents. This $19 million investment in the Swimming in Schools program has seen the number of Victorian government schools offering swimming lessons jump from 91 to 97 per cent last year. However, this has not been reflected in the number of schools using the Victorian Water Safety Certificates, with many students receiving alternative certificates. The swimming coordinators will take a proactive role in supporting schools and swimming lesson providers to use Life Saving Victoria’s new online system to award certificates to students who demonstrate the required swimming abilities in 2019. The Labor Government made swimming compulsory in the curriculum in November 2016. The Victorian Curriculum expects students will achieve the equivalent of the swimming and water safety skills set out by the Victorian School Water Safety Certificate, which includes being able to swim 50m continuously, before leaving primary school. Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “Every drowning death is one too many and nothing is more important than ensuring our kids are being taught this life saving skill. We are leading the nation when it comes to delivering swimming in schools but we still want to do more.” “We know we have thousands of kids learning to swim at the level required to obtain the certificate but not receiving it because schools and swim schools are not aware of how to obtain it or are providing alternative certificates.” “To further support our schools to deliver this program we will introduce swimming coordinators across the state. This will ensure there is an even greater focus on teaching our kids to swim, providing further support to teachers and schools.” Download the Media Release (529 KB)

Second Campus For Richmond High School Opens Doors

Richmond families can now access a new, state-of-the-art vertical secondary school, with the Griffiths Street campus of Richmond High School officially open. Today, Minister for Education James Merlino joined Member for Richmond Richard Wynne, Principal Colin Simpson and the Year 7 and 8 students and teachers to celebrate the opening of the Griffiths street campus, complete with four storey main building with plenty of classrooms and flexible space. The $43 million school also gives local students access to exciting sporting facilities, including competition grade netball courts, that will be shared with residents to fully embed the school with the local community. Richmond High School opened last year with Year 7 students based on the Gleadell Street campus. The school was designed by Hayball and built by McCorkell Constructions and ADCO Constructions. The Andrews Labor Government is building the Education State so that every student can access a great school and has invested $3.8 billion in the past four years to improve classrooms, upgrade facilities and build new schools across the state. The Labor Government will also open 100 new schools across the state over the next eight years. Victoria’s school building boom has delivered new schools and more than 1300 school upgrades supporting almost 5000 construction jobs for Victorians. Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “Victoria’s population is booming, and we have got on with the job of building and upgrading schools across the state to meet the needs of our growing communities.” “Now fully open, Richmond High School is more than just a great new local school, it will be a hub that provides great facilities that everyone in the community can be proud of.” Quote attributable to Member for Richmond Richard Wynne “The community campaign hard for this school after the Liberals closed Richmond High School, and to see it completed is a reward for all of that hard work.”   Download the Media Release (531 KB)

Second Campus For Richmond High School Opens Doors

Richmond families can now access a new, state-of-the-art vertical secondary school, with the Griffiths Street campus of Richmond High School officially open. Today, Minister for Education James Merlino joined Member for Richmond Richard Wynne, Principal Colin Simpson and the Year 7 and 8 students and teachers to celebrate the opening of the Griffiths street campus, complete with four storey main building with plenty of classrooms and flexible space. The $43 million school also gives local students access to exciting sporting facilities, including competition grade netball courts, that will be shared with residents to fully embed the school with the local community. Richmond High School opened last year with Year 7 students based on the Gleadell Street campus. The school was designed by Hayball and built by McCorkell Constructions and ADCO Constructions. The Andrews Labor Government is building the Education State so that every student can access a great school and has invested $3.8 billion in the past four years to improve classrooms, upgrade facilities and build new schools across the state. The Labor Government will also open 100 new schools across the state over the next eight years. Victoria’s school building boom has delivered new schools and more than 1300 school upgrades supporting almost 5000 construction jobs for Victorians. Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “Victoria’s population is booming, and we have got on with the job of building and upgrading schools across the state to meet the needs of our growing communities.” “Now fully open, Richmond High School is more than just a great new local school, it will be a hub that provides great facilities that everyone in the community can be proud of.” Quote attributable to Member for Richmond Richard Wynne “The community campaign hard for this school after the Liberals closed Richmond High School, and to see it completed is a reward for all of that hard work.”   Download the Media Release (531 KB)

New Inner-City Primary School Opens Doors

The Andrews Labor Government has delivered a new, state-of-the-art education facility for inner city families, with South Melbourne Park Primary School opening its doors for the first time. Minister for Education James Merlino and Member for Albert Park Martin Foley joined staff and students to celebrate the opening of the $31 million school, which features revitalised heritage buildings, modern classrooms, performing arts facilities and a gym. South Melbourne Park Primary School was built to meet the growing inner-city enrolment demand for primary education and can accommodate 550 students from Prep to Year 6. Located in Albert Park Reserve, the school is surrounded by unique flora and fauna and is close to sporting facilities including the Victorian Institute of Sport, Athletics Victoria, and the Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre. The school is one of nine new Victorian government schools opening this term and one of 100 new schools to open across the state over the next eight years under the Labor Government’s school building program. The Labor Government has already invested more than $3.8 billion to deliver new schools and more than 1,300 school upgrades, supporting more than 5,000 construction jobs for Victorians. That building boom will continue over the coming years, with builders already appointed to start delivering 11 schools across the state that will open in 2020. The Labor Government is ensuring every child has a great local school and a great start in life. Quote attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “South Melbourne Park Primary School will be more than just a great new local school, it will be a hub for the whole community.” Quotes attributable to Member for Albert Park Martin Foley “Local families will now be the first to experience this brand new school.” “We’re ensuring our growing community has the education facilities it needs so our kids get the best start in life.” Download the Media Release (530 KB)

New Inner-City Primary School Opens Doors

The Andrews Labor Government has delivered a new, state-of-the-art education facility for inner city families, with South Melbourne Park Primary School opening its doors for the first time. Minister for Education James Merlino and Member for Albert Park Martin Foley joined staff and students to celebrate the opening of the $31 million school, which features revitalised heritage buildings, modern classrooms, performing arts facilities and a gym. South Melbourne Park Primary School was built to meet the growing inner-city enrolment demand for primary education and can accommodate 550 students from Prep to Year 6. Located in Albert Park Reserve, the school is surrounded by unique flora and fauna and is close to sporting facilities including the Victorian Institute of Sport, Athletics Victoria, and the Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre. The school is one of nine new Victorian government schools opening this term and one of 100 new schools to open across the state over the next eight years under the Labor Government’s school building program. The Labor Government has already invested more than $3.8 billion to deliver new schools and more than 1,300 school upgrades, supporting more than 5,000 construction jobs for Victorians. That building boom will continue over the coming years, with builders already appointed to start delivering 11 schools across the state that will open in 2020. The Labor Government is ensuring every child has a great local school and a great start in life. Quote attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “South Melbourne Park Primary School will be more than just a great new local school, it will be a hub for the whole community.” Quotes attributable to Member for Albert Park Martin Foley “Local families will now be the first to experience this brand new school.” “We’re ensuring our growing community has the education facilities it needs so our kids get the best start in life.” Download the Media Release (530 KB)

New Inner-City Primary School Opens Doors

The Andrews Labor Government has delivered a new, state-of-the-art education facility for inner city families, with South Melbourne Park Primary School opening its doors for the first time. Minister for Education James Merlino and Member for Albert Park Martin Foley joined staff and students to celebrate the opening of the $31 million school, which features revitalised heritage buildings, modern classrooms, performing arts facilities and a gym. South Melbourne Park Primary School was built to meet the growing inner-city enrolment demand for primary education and can accommodate 550 students from Prep to Year 6. Located in Albert Park Reserve, the school is surrounded by unique flora and fauna and is close to sporting facilities including the Victorian Institute of Sport, Athletics Victoria, and the Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre. The school is one of nine new Victorian government schools opening this term and one of 100 new schools to open across the state over the next eight years under the Labor Government’s school building program. The Labor Government has already invested more than $3.8 billion to deliver new schools and more than 1,300 school upgrades, supporting more than 5,000 construction jobs for Victorians. That building boom will continue over the coming years, with builders already appointed to start delivering 11 schools across the state that will open in 2020. The Labor Government is ensuring every child has a great local school and a great start in life. Quote attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “South Melbourne Park Primary School will be more than just a great new local school, it will be a hub for the whole community.” Quotes attributable to Member for Albert Park Martin Foley “Local families will now be the first to experience this brand new school.” “We’re ensuring our growing community has the education facilities it needs so our kids get the best start in life.” Download the Media Release (530 KB)

New Inner-City Primary School Opens Doors

The Andrews Labor Government has delivered a new, state-of-the-art education facility for inner city families, with South Melbourne Park Primary School opening its doors for the first time. Minister for Education James Merlino and Member for Albert Park Martin Foley joined staff and students to celebrate the opening of the $31 million school, which features revitalised heritage buildings, modern classrooms, performing arts facilities and a gym. South Melbourne Park Primary School was built to meet the growing inner-city enrolment demand for primary education and can accommodate 550 students from Prep to Year 6. Located in Albert Park Reserve, the school is surrounded by unique flora and fauna and is close to sporting facilities including the Victorian Institute of Sport, Athletics Victoria, and the Melbourne Sports and Aquatic Centre. The school is one of nine new Victorian government schools opening this term and one of 100 new schools to open across the state over the next eight years under the Labor Government’s school building program. The Labor Government has already invested more than $3.8 billion to deliver new schools and more than 1,300 school upgrades, supporting more than 5,000 construction jobs for Victorians. That building boom will continue over the coming years, with builders already appointed to start delivering 11 schools across the state that will open in 2020. The Labor Government is ensuring every child has a great local school and a great start in life. Quote attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “South Melbourne Park Primary School will be more than just a great new local school, it will be a hub for the whole community.” Quotes attributable to Member for Albert Park Martin Foley “Local families will now be the first to experience this brand new school.” “We’re ensuring our growing community has the education facilities it needs so our kids get the best start in life.” Download the Media Release (530 KB)

New Pakenham School Opens Doors

The Andrews Labor Government has delivered a new, state-of-the-art education facility for Pakenham families, with Pakenham Primary School opening its doors for the first time. Minister for Education James Merlino and Member for Bass Jordan Crugnale joined staff and students to celebrate the opening of the $23.7 million school, which features modern classrooms, performing arts facilities and a gym. Pakenham Primary School was built to meet the growing enrolment demand for primary education in the area and can accommodate 475 students from Prep to Year 6. The school is one of nine new Victorian government schools opening this term and one of the first of 100 new schools to open across the state over the next eight years under the Labor Government’s school building program. The Labor Government has already invested more than $3.8 billion to deliver new schools and more than 1,300 school upgrades, supporting more than 5,000 construction jobs for Victorians. That building boom will continue over the coming years, with builders already appointed to start delivering 11 schools across the state that will open in 2020. The Labor Government is ensuring every child has a great local school and a great start in life. Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “We promised a new primary school for Pakenham and now we’ve delivered that in time for start of the school year.” “Pakenham Primary School will be more than just a great new local school, it will be a hub for the whole community.” Quotes attributable to Member for Bass Jordan Crugnale “Local families in Pakenham will now be the first to experience this brand new school.”  “We’re ensuring our growing community has the education facilities it needs so our kids get the best start in life.” Download the Media Release (529 KB)

New Pakenham School Opens Doors

The Andrews Labor Government has delivered a new, state-of-the-art education facility for Pakenham families, with Pakenham Primary School opening its doors for the first time. Minister for Education James Merlino and Member for Bass Jordan Crugnale joined staff and students to celebrate the opening of the $23.7 million school, which features modern classrooms, performing arts facilities and a gym. Pakenham Primary School was built to meet the growing enrolment demand for primary education in the area and can accommodate 475 students from Prep to Year 6. The school is one of nine new Victorian government schools opening this term and one of the first of 100 new schools to open across the state over the next eight years under the Labor Government’s school building program. The Labor Government has already invested more than $3.8 billion to deliver new schools and more than 1,300 school upgrades, supporting more than 5,000 construction jobs for Victorians. That building boom will continue over the coming years, with builders already appointed to start delivering 11 schools across the state that will open in 2020. The Labor Government is ensuring every child has a great local school and a great start in life. Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “We promised a new primary school for Pakenham and now we’ve delivered that in time for start of the school year.” “Pakenham Primary School will be more than just a great new local school, it will be a hub for the whole community.” Quotes attributable to Member for Bass Jordan Crugnale “Local families in Pakenham will now be the first to experience this brand new school.”  “We’re ensuring our growing community has the education facilities it needs so our kids get the best start in life.” Download the Media Release (529 KB)

Back To School For Almost One Million Victorian Students

Nearly one million students are returning to school this week across Victoria, with nine new schools opening under the Andrews Labor Government’s school building boom. This year, around 992,400 students will attend a Victorian school – 554,200 primary and 420,500 secondary students. More than 634,000 students will attend a Victorian government school – up from 620,400 last year. 81,600 preps will start school, including 57,100 in government schools who will receive prep bags containing children’s books, fun activities and resources for families. More than 76,000 year sevens will start school in 2019. The Andrews Labor Government will open 100 new schools will open over the next eight years, ensuring every Victorian child has a great local school and start in life. The schools opening in 2019 are: Preston High School Prahran High School South Melbourne Park Primary School Dohertys Creek P-9 College (Truganina) Saltwater P-9 College (Point Cook) Pakenham Primary School Aitken Hill Primary School (Craigieburn) Burnside Primary School Ashley Park Primary School (Doreen) There are 1,541 government schools, including 1,127 primary schools, 82 primary-secondary schools, 247 secondary schools, 81 special schools and four English language schools throughout Victoria. The Labor Government is delivering more than 1,300 school upgrades, supporting more than 5,000 construction jobs for Victorians. That building boom will continue over the coming years, with builders already appointed to start delivering 11 schools across the state that will open in 2020. Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “I wish all students and teachers heading to school this year the very best.” “We’re building a world-class education system so that every student can make the most of school and get the best start in life.” Download the Media Release (541 KB)

Back To School For Almost One Million Victorian Students

Nearly one million students are returning to school this week across Victoria, with nine new schools opening under the Andrews Labor Government’s school building boom. This year, around 992,400 students will attend a Victorian school – 554,200 primary and 420,500 secondary students. More than 634,000 students will attend a Victorian government school – up from 620,400 last year. 81,600 preps will start school, including 57,100 in government schools who will receive prep bags containing children’s books, fun activities and resources for families. More than 76,000 year sevens will start school in 2019. The Andrews Labor Government will open 100 new schools will open over the next eight years, ensuring every Victorian child has a great local school and start in life. The schools opening in 2019 are: Preston High School Prahran High School South Melbourne Park Primary School Dohertys Creek P-9 College (Truganina) Saltwater P-9 College (Point Cook) Pakenham Primary School Aitken Hill Primary School (Craigieburn) Burnside Primary School Ashley Park Primary School (Doreen) There are 1,541 government schools, including 1,127 primary schools, 82 primary-secondary schools, 247 secondary schools, 81 special schools and four English language schools throughout Victoria. The Labor Government is delivering more than 1,300 school upgrades, supporting more than 5,000 construction jobs for Victorians. That building boom will continue over the coming years, with builders already appointed to start delivering 11 schools across the state that will open in 2020. Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “I wish all students and teachers heading to school this year the very best.” “We’re building a world-class education system so that every student can make the most of school and get the best start in life.” Download the Media Release (541 KB)

Sky’s The Limit For New Prahran High School

Students began exploring one of Victoria’s first vertical government schools today, with the Andrews Labor Government’s school building boom bringing Prahran High School to life. Minister for Education James Merlino and Member for Southern Metropolitan Nina Taylor today opened the $62 million inner city campus and met with Year 7 students starting their first day. The four-storey school caters for 650 students and features an open atrium at the centre of the building, teaching areas, a main performance space and outdoor terraces on every level. The ground floor includes a learning resource centre and performing arts facilities, while levels one, two and three house the science, visual arts and food technology spaces, and a gym. Level four provides a rooftop garden for students to relax in and play. The school is one of nine Victorian government schools opening this term and one of the first of 100 new schools to open across the state over the next eight years under the Labor Government’s school building program. The Labor Government has already invested more than $3.8 billion to deliver more than 1,300 school upgrades and 70 new school projects across the state, supporting more than 5,000 construction jobs for Victorians. That building boom will continue over the coming years, with builders already appointed to start delivering 11 schools across the state that will open in 2020. The Labor Government is ensuring every child has a great local school and a great start in life. Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “The new Prahran High School is a brilliant example of what a contemporary, urban school looks like.” “We’re ensuring that every student, no matter where they live, gets a great education and the best start to life.” Quote attributable to Member for Southern Metropolitan Nina Taylor  “We’ve delivered this school so that students have the facilities and classrooms they need for a bright future.” Quote attributable to Member for Southern Metropolitan Philip Dalidakis “Local families now have a first-rate high school in the heart of Prahran.” Download the Media Release (533 KB)

Sky’s The Limit For New Prahran High School

Students began exploring one of Victoria’s first vertical government schools today, with the Andrews Labor Government’s school building boom bringing Prahran High School to life. Minister for Education James Merlino and Member for Southern Metropolitan Nina Taylor today opened the $62 million inner city campus and met with Year 7 students starting their first day. The four-storey school caters for 650 students and features an open atrium at the centre of the building, teaching areas, a main performance space and outdoor terraces on every level. The ground floor includes a learning resource centre and performing arts facilities, while levels one, two and three house the science, visual arts and food technology spaces, and a gym. Level four provides a rooftop garden for students to relax in and play. The school is one of nine Victorian government schools opening this term and one of the first of 100 new schools to open across the state over the next eight years under the Labor Government’s school building program. The Labor Government has already invested more than $3.8 billion to deliver more than 1,300 school upgrades and 70 new school projects across the state, supporting more than 5,000 construction jobs for Victorians. That building boom will continue over the coming years, with builders already appointed to start delivering 11 schools across the state that will open in 2020. The Labor Government is ensuring every child has a great local school and a great start in life. Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “The new Prahran High School is a brilliant example of what a contemporary, urban school looks like.” “We’re ensuring that every student, no matter where they live, gets a great education and the best start to life.” Quote attributable to Member for Southern Metropolitan Nina Taylor  “We’ve delivered this school so that students have the facilities and classrooms they need for a bright future.” Quote attributable to Member for Southern Metropolitan Philip Dalidakis “Local families now have a first-rate high school in the heart of Prahran.” Download the Media Release (533 KB)

Prep Bags Spark Learning On First Day Of School

Every prep student in a Victorian Government school will start their education with a new library bag and bundle of books to spark the joy of reading, thanks to the Andrews Labor Government. Minister for Education James Merlino today unveiled new library bags, which are being delivered to approximately 57,100 Preps in more than 1,200 schools. For the first time these bags will include children’s books to help encourage a life-long love of reading, along with fun activities, valuable information and resources for families. Children will receive a number of terrific books, selected by an expert panel of teachers, librarians and literacy experts, including: My Two Blankets by Irena Kobald Where is Galah? by Sally Morgan The Second Sky by Patrick Guest Frog on a log in a bog by Andy Griffiths The books were selected by the panel based on their ability to engage children and families, the quality of the characters and illustrations, and use of language. As part of its Literacy and Numeracy Strategy, the Labor Government is investing $22.1 million in workshops and teaching so every child gets a great education from the very first day of school. Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “We’re putting books in the hands of Prep kids to build their literacy and numeracy skills from day one.” “These Prep bags will encourage a love of reading in children, so they get the most out of their education and the best start in life.” Download the Media Release (545 KB)

Prep Bags Spark Learning On First Day Of School

Every prep student in a Victorian Government school will start their education with a new library bag and bundle of books to spark the joy of reading, thanks to the Andrews Labor Government. Minister for Education James Merlino today unveiled new library bags, which are being delivered to approximately 57,100 Preps in more than 1,200 schools. For the first time these bags will include children’s books to help encourage a life-long love of reading, along with fun activities, valuable information and resources for families. Children will receive a number of terrific books, selected by an expert panel of teachers, librarians and literacy experts, including: My Two Blankets by Irena Kobald Where is Galah? by Sally Morgan The Second Sky by Patrick Guest Frog on a log in a bog by Andy Griffiths The books were selected by the panel based on their ability to engage children and families, the quality of the characters and illustrations, and use of language. As part of its Literacy and Numeracy Strategy, the Labor Government is investing $22.1 million in workshops and teaching so every child gets a great education from the very first day of school. Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “We’re putting books in the hands of Prep kids to build their literacy and numeracy skills from day one.” “These Prep bags will encourage a love of reading in children, so they get the most out of their education and the best start in life.” Download the Media Release (545 KB)

 

Undergraduate Teaching Offers Released

The wait is over for many aspiring teachers who will find out today if they have received a first-round university or college offer. Today 1,367 main round offers have been made to students for undergraduate teaching courses. Those wanting to pursue a career in teaching will need to have a minimum Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR) of 70, thanks to Excellence in Teacher Education reforms introduced by the Andrews Labor Government. The increase in the ATAR rank is aimed at ensuring teaching students in Victoria will be from the top 30 per cent of Year 12 graduates. Prior to starting a teaching course, applicants’ personal attributes are also assessed to ensure they are a good fit for teaching. The Literacy and Numeracy Test for Initial Teacher Education (LANTITE) is a national requirement to ensure the skills and capability of teachers seeking registration to teach in schools. Teachers who meet the standard of LANTITE demonstrate literacy and numeracy skills equivalent to the top 30 per cent of the Australian population. From 1 January, 2019, only those who have completed the LANTITE can be registered as a teacher and work in schools. These landmark reforms are raising the status of the profession and developing excellence in early career teachers. Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “I congratulate every student who has received an offer to study teaching.” “We introduced our teacher education reforms to attract the very best students into teaching and deliver the best outcomes for our kids.” “Everyone knows a great teacher can make all the difference and we’re making sure our teaching courses attract the highest quality students.” Download the Media Release (588 KB)

Undergraduate Teaching Offers Released

The wait is over for many aspiring teachers who will find out today if they have received a first-round university or college offer. Today 1,367 main round offers have been made to students for undergraduate teaching courses. Those wanting to pursue a career in teaching will need to have a minimum Australian Tertiary Admission Rank (ATAR) of 70, thanks to Excellence in Teacher Education reforms introduced by the Andrews Labor Government. The increase in the ATAR rank is aimed at ensuring teaching students in Victoria will be from the top 30 per cent of Year 12 graduates. Prior to starting a teaching course, applicants’ personal attributes are also assessed to ensure they are a good fit for teaching. The Literacy and Numeracy Test for Initial Teacher Education (LANTITE) is a national requirement to ensure the skills and capability of teachers seeking registration to teach in schools. Teachers who meet the standard of LANTITE demonstrate literacy and numeracy skills equivalent to the top 30 per cent of the Australian population. From 1 January, 2019, only those who have completed the LANTITE can be registered as a teacher and work in schools. These landmark reforms are raising the status of the profession and developing excellence in early career teachers. Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “I congratulate every student who has received an offer to study teaching.” “We introduced our teacher education reforms to attract the very best students into teaching and deliver the best outcomes for our kids.” “Everyone knows a great teacher can make all the difference and we’re making sure our teaching courses attract the highest quality students.” Download the Media Release (588 KB)

Students Celebrate Their VCE And VCAL Results

The wait is officially over for the thousands of students who have completed the final chapter of their secondary schooling this year, with results released at 7:00am today. Minister for Education James Merlino congratulated more than 64,000 students across the state who received their Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE) or Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning (VCAL) results this morning via app, email or online. A record 50,944 students will graduate with their VCE this year – an equal all-time high completion rate of 98 per cent. A further 13,091 students will graduate with their VCAL. Students getting results today may go to university, TAFE, start an apprenticeship or traineeship, begin employment, or take some time off for a gap year. Mr Merlino acknowledged Victoria’s excellent schools and the great work they do to helping students overcome barriers that might otherwise affect their outcomes. He also reminded students that their results don’t define them and emphasised the many opportunities and pathways available for school leavers to achieve their goals. Students who may have questions about their results should contact their school or the Post Results and ATAR service on 1800 653 080. Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “I congratulate the more than 64,000 Victorian students who have completed their VCE or VCAL this year – it’s a fantastic achievement and you should be very proud of yourselves.” “Year 12 demands determination, hard work and resilience – not only for students but their teachers, parents, carers and friends. I thank all those who provided guidance and support, and helped students through this year.” “It’s important to recognise that VCE is only one step in your life journey. There have never been more opportunities and pathways available to Year 12 graduates, including university, TAFE, traineeships and work.” Download the Media Release (536 KB)

Students Celebrate Their VCE And VCAL Results

The wait is officially over for the thousands of students who have completed the final chapter of their secondary schooling this year, with results released at 7:00am today. Minister for Education James Merlino congratulated more than 64,000 students across the state who received their Victorian Certificate of Education (VCE) or Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning (VCAL) results this morning via app, email or online. A record 50,944 students will graduate with their VCE this year – an equal all-time high completion rate of 98 per cent. A further 13,091 students will graduate with their VCAL. Students getting results today may go to university, TAFE, start an apprenticeship or traineeship, begin employment, or take some time off for a gap year. Mr Merlino acknowledged Victoria’s excellent schools and the great work they do to helping students overcome barriers that might otherwise affect their outcomes. He also reminded students that their results don’t define them and emphasised the many opportunities and pathways available for school leavers to achieve their goals. Students who may have questions about their results should contact their school or the Post Results and ATAR service on 1800 653 080. Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “I congratulate the more than 64,000 Victorian students who have completed their VCE or VCAL this year – it’s a fantastic achievement and you should be very proud of yourselves.” “Year 12 demands determination, hard work and resilience – not only for students but their teachers, parents, carers and friends. I thank all those who provided guidance and support, and helped students through this year.” “It’s important to recognise that VCE is only one step in your life journey. There have never been more opportunities and pathways available to Year 12 graduates, including university, TAFE, traineeships and work.” Download the Media Release (536 KB)

New Cutting-Edge Classrooms For Footscray Kids

Students in Melbourne’s west will now learn in brand new classrooms thanks to the Andrews Labor Government’s innovative school building program. Minister for Education James Merlino and Member for Footscray Katie Hall today visited Footscray West Primary School to officially open the impressive new architect-designed modular building. The $1.9 million building contains new classrooms and an art and craft room to support student learning and meet the school’s enrolment needs in one of Melbourne’s fastest-growing areas. The new modular building was delivered as part of the Labor Government’s Asbestos Removal Program. Using modular buildings is a fast and efficient way to help schools replace older buildings containing asbestos with brand new facilities. They are built off-site and delivered to schools so teaching is not interrupted. The Victorian School Building Authority works with schools on building details such as colour and location. The Labor Government has invested more than $3.8 billion to improve classrooms, upgrade facilities and build new schools across the state. Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “We’re delivering on the promise to build better schools for families in Melbourne’s west.” “Using modular buildings increases flexibility for schools, and reduces the interruptions to students, staff and teaching programs.” Quote attributable to Member for Footscray Katie Hall “Footscray West Primary School is an excellent local school and it’s great to see students and their teachers getting the state-of-the-art facilities they deserve.” Download the Media Release (525 KB)

New Cutting-Edge Classrooms For Footscray Kids

Students in Melbourne’s west will now learn in brand new classrooms thanks to the Andrews Labor Government’s innovative school building program. Minister for Education James Merlino and Member for Footscray Katie Hall today visited Footscray West Primary School to officially open the impressive new architect-designed modular building. The $1.9 million building contains new classrooms and an art and craft room to support student learning and meet the school’s enrolment needs in one of Melbourne’s fastest-growing areas. The new modular building was delivered as part of the Labor Government’s Asbestos Removal Program. Using modular buildings is a fast and efficient way to help schools replace older buildings containing asbestos with brand new facilities. They are built off-site and delivered to schools so teaching is not interrupted. The Victorian School Building Authority works with schools on building details such as colour and location. The Labor Government has invested more than $3.8 billion to improve classrooms, upgrade facilities and build new schools across the state. Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “We’re delivering on the promise to build better schools for families in Melbourne’s west.” “Using modular buildings increases flexibility for schools, and reduces the interruptions to students, staff and teaching programs.” Quote attributable to Member for Footscray Katie Hall “Footscray West Primary School is an excellent local school and it’s great to see students and their teachers getting the state-of-the-art facilities they deserve.” Download the Media Release (525 KB)

AN EMERGENCY DEPARTMENT MAROONDAH KIDS AND THEIR FAMILIES CAN COUNT ON

A re-elected Andrews Labor Government will build a new emergency department devoted to children and their families at Maroondah Hospital - giving parents peace of mind that their kids will get calm, compassionate and dedicated care when they need it most. There’s nothing quite as scary as when your child is sick or injured – and there’s nothing more reassuring than knowing they’re in the best hands. Victoria is home to the world’s very best doctors and paediatric specialists – and they deserve first class facilities to match. But with more than 200,000 Victorian kids presenting at emergency departments last year, there’s more to do. That’s why Labor will build a dedicated flagship kids’ emergency department at Maroondah Hospital as well as at Frankston, Casey, Barwon Health and Northern hospitals. The $62.4 million investment will reconfigure or expand existing emergency departments, so that kids and their parents have their own dedicated space and staff when they need it most. It’s all about providing the very best tailored care that kids and their parents can count on. Kids' emergency departments are all about making sure than when children go to hospital, they can be treated in a more welcoming, kid friendly and less clinical environment, making the experience that little bit easier to manage. To give our kids the best care, we’ve made the flu shot free for kids under five – going it alone because the Morrison Liberal Government refuses to fund it. More children than ever are now protected, with rates of flu plummeting this winter thanks to our investments. We’ve also made landmark investments in genomic testing for rare conditions, so that parents and clinicians desperate for answers can diagnose our sickest kids, faster. The Liberals went to war with our paramedics and left our sickest patients waiting for an ambulance. Given the chance, they’ll do it again, taking an axe to health, and cutting, closing and privatising, because that’s what they do. Only Labor will build the health system and hospitals families can trust when they need it most. Quote attributable to Premier Daniel Andrews “As a parent, I know there’s nothing more terrifying than when your child gets sick. Our hospitals do a great job, but tailored emergency departments will make sure kids get the best care – and only Labor will build them.” Quote attributable to Member for Eastern Metropolitan Shaun Leane “The Liberals cut a billion dollars from health when they were last in office, putting the lives of our loved ones at risk. Only Labor will provide world-class healthcare that families in Melbourne’s east can count on.” Quote attributable to Member for Monbulk James Merlino “We’ll make sure kids get the quick, dedicated care they need so that they, and their parents, feel better, sooner.” Quote attributable to Labor Candidate for Ringwood Dustin Halse “This is Labor getting it done for families in Melbourne’s east. While the Liberals cut, we’re giving patients the healthcare system that they deserve.”

AN EMERGENCY DEPARTMENT MAROONDAH KIDS AND THEIR FAMILIES CAN COUNT ON

A re-elected Andrews Labor Government will build a new emergency department devoted to children and their families at Maroondah Hospital - giving parents peace of mind that their kids will get calm, compassionate and dedicated care when they need it most. There’s nothing quite as scary as when your child is sick or injured – and there’s nothing more reassuring than knowing they’re in the best hands. Victoria is home to the world’s very best doctors and paediatric specialists – and they deserve first class facilities to match. But with more than 200,000 Victorian kids presenting at emergency departments last year, there’s more to do. That’s why Labor will build a dedicated flagship kids’ emergency department at Maroondah Hospital as well as at Frankston, Casey, Barwon Health and Northern hospitals. The $62.4 million investment will reconfigure or expand existing emergency departments, so that kids and their parents have their own dedicated space and staff when they need it most. It’s all about providing the very best tailored care that kids and their parents can count on. Kids' emergency departments are all about making sure than when children go to hospital, they can be treated in a more welcoming, kid friendly and less clinical environment, making the experience that little bit easier to manage. To give our kids the best care, we’ve made the flu shot free for kids under five – going it alone because the Morrison Liberal Government refuses to fund it. More children than ever are now protected, with rates of flu plummeting this winter thanks to our investments. We’ve also made landmark investments in genomic testing for rare conditions, so that parents and clinicians desperate for answers can diagnose our sickest kids, faster. The Liberals went to war with our paramedics and left our sickest patients waiting for an ambulance. Given the chance, they’ll do it again, taking an axe to health, and cutting, closing and privatising, because that’s what they do. Only Labor will build the health system and hospitals families can trust when they need it most. Quote attributable to Premier Daniel Andrews “As a parent, I know there’s nothing more terrifying than when your child gets sick. Our hospitals do a great job, but tailored emergency departments will make sure kids get the best care – and only Labor will build them.” Quote attributable to Member for Eastern Metropolitan Shaun Leane “The Liberals cut a billion dollars from health when they were last in office, putting the lives of our loved ones at risk. Only Labor will provide world-class healthcare that families in Melbourne’s east can count on.” Quote attributable to Member for Monbulk James Merlino “We’ll make sure kids get the quick, dedicated care they need so that they, and their parents, feel better, sooner.” Quote attributable to Labor Candidate for Ringwood Dustin Halse “This is Labor getting it done for families in Melbourne’s east. While the Liberals cut, we’re giving patients the healthcare system that they deserve.”

AWARD WINNING GARDEN TO BE RE-CREATED IN OLINDA

Families across Victoria will be able to enjoy upgraded botanic gardens with a re-elected Andrews Labor Government to deliver a $5 million boost to ensure they have the facilities they need. The funding will mean gardens, picnic facilities, trails and nature play areas can be upgraded to ensure the gardens can cater to both visitors and local communities. The centrepiece of the upgrade package will be $1 million towards a re-creation of the ‘the Australian Garden’ exhibit, which was the first and only Australian garden exhibit to win the Best in Show Gold Medal at the prestigious Royal Horticultural Society Chelsea Flower Show in London in 2013. Incredibly, this victory is the only time in the show’s more than 100-year history that the judges reached a unanimous decision for the Best in Show Gold Medal The construction of the garden at the event took a team of 18 volunteers 17 days to build and featured a stone gorge, running waterfalls and a billabong. Fittingly, the garden will be located at Victoria’s newest botanic gardens, the Dandenong Ranges Botanic Garden, to honour the work of designer Phillip Johnson and horticulturist Wes Fleming, who are local residents. Philanthropic support will also be provided to make the project a reality. The rest of the botanic gardens funding package will be allocated to various botanic gardens across the state via matched $300,000 grants. Funding will only be provided to organisations that have not-for-profit objectives. Quotes attributable to Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio “Upgrading botanic gardens right across the state means Victorians of all ages will be able to enjoy these wonderful community assets.” “These gardens are the living heart of Victoria and we’re making sure they thrive for future generations.” Quotes attributable to Member for Monbulk James Merlino “Winning this best in show gold medal was an extraordinary achievement on the world stage. This will give everyone the opportunity to see the work of these highly talented and skilled individuals.” “Now, we will have a permanent display so both local residents and visitors to the Dandenong Ranges can enjoy this wonderful garden.” DOWNLOAD THE MEDIA RELEASE

AWARD WINNING GARDEN TO BE RE-CREATED IN OLINDA

Families across Victoria will be able to enjoy upgraded botanic gardens with a re-elected Andrews Labor Government to deliver a $5 million boost to ensure they have the facilities they need. The funding will mean gardens, picnic facilities, trails and nature play areas can be upgraded to ensure the gardens can cater to both visitors and local communities. The centrepiece of the upgrade package will be $1 million towards a re-creation of the ‘the Australian Garden’ exhibit, which was the first and only Australian garden exhibit to win the Best in Show Gold Medal at the prestigious Royal Horticultural Society Chelsea Flower Show in London in 2013. Incredibly, this victory is the only time in the show’s more than 100-year history that the judges reached a unanimous decision for the Best in Show Gold Medal The construction of the garden at the event took a team of 18 volunteers 17 days to build and featured a stone gorge, running waterfalls and a billabong. Fittingly, the garden will be located at Victoria’s newest botanic gardens, the Dandenong Ranges Botanic Garden, to honour the work of designer Phillip Johnson and horticulturist Wes Fleming, who are local residents. Philanthropic support will also be provided to make the project a reality. The rest of the botanic gardens funding package will be allocated to various botanic gardens across the state via matched $300,000 grants. Funding will only be provided to organisations that have not-for-profit objectives. Quotes attributable to Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio “Upgrading botanic gardens right across the state means Victorians of all ages will be able to enjoy these wonderful community assets.” “These gardens are the living heart of Victoria and we’re making sure they thrive for future generations.” Quotes attributable to Member for Monbulk James Merlino “Winning this best in show gold medal was an extraordinary achievement on the world stage. This will give everyone the opportunity to see the work of these highly talented and skilled individuals.” “Now, we will have a permanent display so both local residents and visitors to the Dandenong Ranges can enjoy this wonderful garden.” DOWNLOAD THE MEDIA RELEASE

Giving South Morang Students More Options For School

South Morang students will be able to complete their entire secondary education at the same school, with the Andrews Labor Government to expand The Lakes South Morang P-9 School. Minister for Education James Merlino today announced the school would be expanded into a P-12 college. Students at the school currently transfer to one of the surrounding secondary schools at the end of Year 9. The provision of Years 10 to 12 will give local students more options at an important time in their schooling. The Lakes South Morang P-9 has room for senior students to stay on, however the Department of Education and Training and the Victorian School Building Authority will work with the school to see what facilities it needs to deliver a first-rate education for Year 10-12 students. The expansion will be rolled out progressively, with the school to start providing Year 10 in 2020. The Labor Government has invested more than $3.8 billion in new schools and upgrades to existing schools around the state to cater for the estimated 90,000 students expected to enter Victoria’s school system over the next five years. This school building boom has delivered more than 1,300 school upgrades and 70 new school projects across the state, supporting almost 5,000 construction jobs for Victorians. The Labor Government is building the Education State so that every student can access a great local school and get a great education. Quote attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino  “We are making Victoria the Education State so that every young person has the opportunity to get a good education and reach their full potential.”  Quotes attributable to Member for Mill Park Lily D’Ambrosio “Expanding The Lakes South Morang P-9 to include Years 10, 11 and 12 gives senior students the extra option of staying on to complete their schooling.”  “Local families have been wanting this change so their kids can start and finish their secondary education at the same school, and the Labor Government is delivering it.”       Download the Media Release (591 KB)

Giving South Morang Students More Options For School

South Morang students will be able to complete their entire secondary education at the same school, with the Andrews Labor Government to expand The Lakes South Morang P-9 School. Minister for Education James Merlino today announced the school would be expanded into a P-12 college. Students at the school currently transfer to one of the surrounding secondary schools at the end of Year 9. The provision of Years 10 to 12 will give local students more options at an important time in their schooling. The Lakes South Morang P-9 has room for senior students to stay on, however the Department of Education and Training and the Victorian School Building Authority will work with the school to see what facilities it needs to deliver a first-rate education for Year 10-12 students. The expansion will be rolled out progressively, with the school to start providing Year 10 in 2020. The Labor Government has invested more than $3.8 billion in new schools and upgrades to existing schools around the state to cater for the estimated 90,000 students expected to enter Victoria’s school system over the next five years. This school building boom has delivered more than 1,300 school upgrades and 70 new school projects across the state, supporting almost 5,000 construction jobs for Victorians. The Labor Government is building the Education State so that every student can access a great local school and get a great education. Quote attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino  “We are making Victoria the Education State so that every young person has the opportunity to get a good education and reach their full potential.”  Quotes attributable to Member for Mill Park Lily D’Ambrosio “Expanding The Lakes South Morang P-9 to include Years 10, 11 and 12 gives senior students the extra option of staying on to complete their schooling.”  “Local families have been wanting this change so their kids can start and finish their secondary education at the same school, and the Labor Government is delivering it.”       Download the Media Release (591 KB)

MORE TRAIN STATION CAR PARKING FOR MOOROOLBARK COMMUTERS

It will be easier for local commuters to find a car park with a re-elected Andrews Labor Government to build more car parking at Mooroolbark Station. Whether it’s building more car parking or removing dangerous and congested level crossings, only Labor will make it safer and easier for locals in Melbourne’s east to get where they need to go. We promised to remove the level crossings at Mountain Highway and Scoresby Road in Bayswater to allow more trains to run and stop drivers from getting stuck at the boom gates, and that’s exactly what we’ve done. There’s more to do and only Labor will build up to 450 new and upgraded car parks at Mooroolbark as part of Labor’s $150 million Car parks for Commuters Fund. Mooroolbark station’s existing car park is often full by the morning peak, forcing commuters to park elsewhere – clogging up nearby local streets. This investment will aim to double the spaces at Mooroolbark with a deck to be built on the existing car park with works to be incorporated into the Manchester Road, Mooroolbark level crossing removal. Delivering these new car parks will free up parking in neighbouring streets and make it easier for more locals to catch the train. The projects will also include new lighting and CCTV to make the stations safer. Labor’s Car Parks for Commuters Fund will see 11,000 new and upgraded car parks being built at some of our busiest metropolitan and regional train stations. With around 55,000 station spaces currently across the state, the investment will see a 20 per cent bump in available parking. The additional 11,000 spaces are on top of the close to 10,000 new and upgraded spaces built by the Andrews Labor Government over the past four years, and expected to create and support over 400 jobs. While the former Liberal Government failed to invest in our state’s growing suburbs cutting funding for schools, hospitals, road and rail – only Labor can be trusted to deliver the big projects local communities really need. Quote attributable to Minister for Public Transport Jacinta Allan “Whether it’s removing level crossings, delivering better bus routes or building new car parks, only Labor will get Victorians home safer and sooner.” Quotes attributable to Member for Monbulk James Merlino “I have been campaigning strongly to upgrade car parking at Mooroolbark Station and only Labor will deliver more spaces and upgrade lighting and CCTV to make the station safer.” “Demand for parking in Monbulk is growing each week – that’s why a re-elected Andrews Labor Government will deliver up to 450 car parks, freeing up local streets and making it easier to commute.” DOWNLOAD THE MEDIA RELEASE

MORE TRAIN STATION CAR PARKING FOR MOOROOLBARK COMMUTERS

It will be easier for local commuters to find a car park with a re-elected Andrews Labor Government to build more car parking at Mooroolbark Station. Whether it’s building more car parking or removing dangerous and congested level crossings, only Labor will make it safer and easier for locals in Melbourne’s east to get where they need to go. We promised to remove the level crossings at Mountain Highway and Scoresby Road in Bayswater to allow more trains to run and stop drivers from getting stuck at the boom gates, and that’s exactly what we’ve done. There’s more to do and only Labor will build up to 450 new and upgraded car parks at Mooroolbark as part of Labor’s $150 million Car parks for Commuters Fund. Mooroolbark station’s existing car park is often full by the morning peak, forcing commuters to park elsewhere – clogging up nearby local streets. This investment will aim to double the spaces at Mooroolbark with a deck to be built on the existing car park with works to be incorporated into the Manchester Road, Mooroolbark level crossing removal. Delivering these new car parks will free up parking in neighbouring streets and make it easier for more locals to catch the train. The projects will also include new lighting and CCTV to make the stations safer. Labor’s Car Parks for Commuters Fund will see 11,000 new and upgraded car parks being built at some of our busiest metropolitan and regional train stations. With around 55,000 station spaces currently across the state, the investment will see a 20 per cent bump in available parking. The additional 11,000 spaces are on top of the close to 10,000 new and upgraded spaces built by the Andrews Labor Government over the past four years, and expected to create and support over 400 jobs. While the former Liberal Government failed to invest in our state’s growing suburbs cutting funding for schools, hospitals, road and rail – only Labor can be trusted to deliver the big projects local communities really need. Quote attributable to Minister for Public Transport Jacinta Allan “Whether it’s removing level crossings, delivering better bus routes or building new car parks, only Labor will get Victorians home safer and sooner.” Quotes attributable to Member for Monbulk James Merlino “I have been campaigning strongly to upgrade car parking at Mooroolbark Station and only Labor will deliver more spaces and upgrade lighting and CCTV to make the station safer.” “Demand for parking in Monbulk is growing each week – that’s why a re-elected Andrews Labor Government will deliver up to 450 car parks, freeing up local streets and making it easier to commute.” DOWNLOAD THE MEDIA RELEASE

Giving Regional Students More Options In Their VCE

The Andrews Labor Government will ensure every VCE subject is available to rural and regional students as part of a major expansion of virtual learning and a new collaboration fund to support schools working together. Minister for Education James Merlino today announced a $22.6 million investment to provide students in rural and regional areas a greater choice of subjects, through new online and face-to-face learning options. This includes partnering with Distance Education Centre Victoria, the Victorian Virtual Learning Network and the Victorian School of Languages to expand and improve virtual learning Along with grants to support and enable collaboration between schools, this initiative will mean every student will be able to access every VCE subject – regardless of where they live or go to school. Teachers will be able to deliver classes to students in multiple schools at the same time using technologies such as video conferencing, instant messaging, chat rooms and virtual whiteboards. Through this innovative way of learning, students can interact and connect in real-time with teachers and other students outside of their school in these virtual classrooms. The delivery of new VCE virtual subjects will start from the first semester next year, with all new subjects to be progressively rolled out by the end of 2021. Distance Education Centre Victoria will be renamed Virtual School Victoria, reflecting its future focus. The funding will be used for the design and delivery of new subjects, resources to support student learning and to explore whether VET VCE studies could also be expanded virtually. A learning course will also be designed to help prepare regional and rural students for virtual learning before they enrol in VCE online study. A new VCE Collaboration Fund will also create interschool partnerships between regional schools so they can offer more for students. The fund will support more than 100 schools to create shared teaching arrangements and resources to increase the number of VCE subjects available in partner schools. These will be delivered collaboratively, either face-to-face or virtually. The Labor Government is building the Education State, which is about providing all students access to a world-class education system no matter where they live. Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “For the first time, country students will have the access to the same range of VCE subjects as city students.” “Selecting VCE subjects is a big decision and all students should be able to choose what’s right for them, regardless of where they live.” Download the Media Release (564 KB)

Giving Regional Students More Options In Their VCE

The Andrews Labor Government will ensure every VCE subject is available to rural and regional students as part of a major expansion of virtual learning and a new collaboration fund to support schools working together. Minister for Education James Merlino today announced a $22.6 million investment to provide students in rural and regional areas a greater choice of subjects, through new online and face-to-face learning options. This includes partnering with Distance Education Centre Victoria, the Victorian Virtual Learning Network and the Victorian School of Languages to expand and improve virtual learning Along with grants to support and enable collaboration between schools, this initiative will mean every student will be able to access every VCE subject – regardless of where they live or go to school. Teachers will be able to deliver classes to students in multiple schools at the same time using technologies such as video conferencing, instant messaging, chat rooms and virtual whiteboards. Through this innovative way of learning, students can interact and connect in real-time with teachers and other students outside of their school in these virtual classrooms. The delivery of new VCE virtual subjects will start from the first semester next year, with all new subjects to be progressively rolled out by the end of 2021. Distance Education Centre Victoria will be renamed Virtual School Victoria, reflecting its future focus. The funding will be used for the design and delivery of new subjects, resources to support student learning and to explore whether VET VCE studies could also be expanded virtually. A learning course will also be designed to help prepare regional and rural students for virtual learning before they enrol in VCE online study. A new VCE Collaboration Fund will also create interschool partnerships between regional schools so they can offer more for students. The fund will support more than 100 schools to create shared teaching arrangements and resources to increase the number of VCE subjects available in partner schools. These will be delivered collaboratively, either face-to-face or virtually. The Labor Government is building the Education State, which is about providing all students access to a world-class education system no matter where they live. Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “For the first time, country students will have the access to the same range of VCE subjects as city students.” “Selecting VCE subjects is a big decision and all students should be able to choose what’s right for them, regardless of where they live.” Download the Media Release (564 KB)