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

    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.

  • Four New Schools For Melbourne’s Inner City Families

    More than 5,000 new student places will be created for Melbourne families, with a further three new primary schools and a high school to be built in the inner city. Minister for Education James Merlino and Member for Albert Park Martin Foley today released the Docklands School Provision Review and Stage 2 of the Andrews Labor Government’s Inner City Schools Package in response.

  • Monbulk's own Champion of the Code

    One of Monbulk’s most dedicated grassroots footy volunteers has been declared a Champion of the Code. James Merlino MP, State Member for Monbulk nominated Danny Lamb, Kilsyth Football Club Junior President for an award at a special reception at Government House to pay tribute to the hard-working volunteers who make local footy tick.

  • Valuing our emergency services volunteers

    Emergency services volunteers will be able to get the equipment and facilities they need to keep communities safe, thanks to the Andrews Labor Government’s new volunteer grants program. Minister for Emergency Services James Merlino today visited Wattle Glen CFA to launch the new Emergency Services Volunteer Sustainability Grants Program, with $15 million in grants available to volunteers in 2016-17.

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

    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.

Media Centre

CALLING ALL CREATORS – APPLICATIONS OPEN FOR GROUNDBREAKING PROGRAM TO SUPPORT VICTORIAN CREATIVE CAREERS

Applications are now open for the Creators Fund, a ground-breaking new Andrews Labor Government program that will support Victorian creatives to undertake research, to experiment, and focus on developing their skills and careers. Member for Monbulk, James Merlino MP called for applications to the program, which is open to creative practitioners and artists working in all creative fields and at all career stages. A initiative of the Andrews Labor Government's $115m Creative State strategy, the Creators Fund is a fellowship-style program that will provide grants of between $20,000 - $50,000 to support individuals or creative collectives to work intensively for a period of between three to six months. The program is a response to significant industry feedback which identified that one of the biggest challenges faced by Victorian creative practitioners is the lack of time to devote to their creative practice. Studies by the Australia Council for the Arts have revealed that less than 20 percent of artists across the nation work full time on their creative practice. The program takes inspiration from initiatives in the science and technology sectors, offering support for the intensive research and development that goes into major new projects, products and discoveries. In addition to the funding, Creators Fund recipients will also become part of a lab-style program where they can share information, network and present their concepts and ideas to potential partners, collaborators or investors. Expressions of interest for the Creators Fund are now open and will close on 7 September 2017. For more information, visit creative.vic.gov.au Quotes attributable to Member for Monbulk, James Merlino MP “Victoria is the creative state and the Labor Government is proud to support our local creative talent.” “The Creators Fund will provide our creative practitioners with an unprecedented opportunity to devote time to their practice, develop new ideas and build their skills, networks and careers.” “Our region is home to an extraordinary creative community and I encourage local artists and creative practitioners to find out more about the program, and apply.” Media Contact: John Ronan 0408 542 547 | John.Ronan@minstaff.vic.gov.au

CALLING ALL CREATORS – APPLICATIONS OPEN FOR GROUNDBREAKING PROGRAM TO SUPPORT VICTORIAN CREATIVE CAREERS

Applications are now open for the Creators Fund, a ground-breaking new Andrews Labor Government program that will support Victorian creatives to undertake research, to experiment, and focus on developing their skills and careers. Member for Monbulk, James Merlino MP called for applications to the program, which is open to creative practitioners and artists working in all creative fields and at all career stages. A initiative of the Andrews Labor Government's $115m Creative State strategy, the Creators Fund is a fellowship-style program that will provide grants of between $20,000 - $50,000 to support individuals or creative collectives to work intensively for a period of between three to six months. The program is a response to significant industry feedback which identified that one of the biggest challenges faced by Victorian creative practitioners is the lack of time to devote to their creative practice. Studies by the Australia Council for the Arts have revealed that less than 20 percent of artists across the nation work full time on their creative practice. The program takes inspiration from initiatives in the science and technology sectors, offering support for the intensive research and development that goes into major new projects, products and discoveries. In addition to the funding, Creators Fund recipients will also become part of a lab-style program where they can share information, network and present their concepts and ideas to potential partners, collaborators or investors. Expressions of interest for the Creators Fund are now open and will close on 7 September 2017. For more information, visit creative.vic.gov.au Quotes attributable to Member for Monbulk, James Merlino MP “Victoria is the creative state and the Labor Government is proud to support our local creative talent.” “The Creators Fund will provide our creative practitioners with an unprecedented opportunity to devote time to their practice, develop new ideas and build their skills, networks and careers.” “Our region is home to an extraordinary creative community and I encourage local artists and creative practitioners to find out more about the program, and apply.” Media Contact: John Ronan 0408 542 547 | John.Ronan@minstaff.vic.gov.au

Expanding Kindergarten Places For Dandenong Ranges Families

Families in the Yarra Ranges will have access to bigger and better kindergartens, thanks to the Andrews Labor Government. Deputy Premier and Member for Monbulk James Merlino today visited Kallista Kindergarten to officially open the new expanded centre, cutting a special paper-chain celebratory ribbon created by children at the kinder. The $250,000 upgrade will improve the quality of the service’s facility, fix accessibility issues and expand and improve programs the kinder can offer local families. It includes renovating the centre’s veranda, and building a new accessible entrance, a new larger administration area office suitable for family consultations, and upgrading bathrooms and storage areas. Kallista Kindergarten runs kinder programs for three and four year-old children and can accommodate up to 48 children. The Government is delivering a record $70 million to build, expand and upgrade kinders across Victoria to ensure local families can continue to access great local kindergartens. Yarra Ranges families will also benefit from the Government’s $202 million Education State Early Childhood Reform Plan, announced in this year’s Budget. This ground-breaking reform plan recognises the importance of providing families with strong support in early childhood, so kids are ready for kinder and ready for school. It will mean local parents can access improved parenting support and Maternal and Child Health Services, as well as higher quality and more inclusive kindergartens. Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “Our unprecedented investment in early childhood services is supporting children and families and ensuring that every child gets access to quality early years programs.” “We’re investing in first-rate education facilities for Yarra Ranges families because having great facilities makes a big difference to children’s lives.” Media Contact: John Ronan 0408 542 547 | John.Ronan@minstaff.vic.gov.au

Expanding Kindergarten Places For Dandenong Ranges Families

Families in the Yarra Ranges will have access to bigger and better kindergartens, thanks to the Andrews Labor Government. Deputy Premier and Member for Monbulk James Merlino today visited Kallista Kindergarten to officially open the new expanded centre, cutting a special paper-chain celebratory ribbon created by children at the kinder. The $250,000 upgrade will improve the quality of the service’s facility, fix accessibility issues and expand and improve programs the kinder can offer local families. It includes renovating the centre’s veranda, and building a new accessible entrance, a new larger administration area office suitable for family consultations, and upgrading bathrooms and storage areas. Kallista Kindergarten runs kinder programs for three and four year-old children and can accommodate up to 48 children. The Government is delivering a record $70 million to build, expand and upgrade kinders across Victoria to ensure local families can continue to access great local kindergartens. Yarra Ranges families will also benefit from the Government’s $202 million Education State Early Childhood Reform Plan, announced in this year’s Budget. This ground-breaking reform plan recognises the importance of providing families with strong support in early childhood, so kids are ready for kinder and ready for school. It will mean local parents can access improved parenting support and Maternal and Child Health Services, as well as higher quality and more inclusive kindergartens. Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “Our unprecedented investment in early childhood services is supporting children and families and ensuring that every child gets access to quality early years programs.” “We’re investing in first-rate education facilities for Yarra Ranges families because having great facilities makes a big difference to children’s lives.” Media Contact: John Ronan 0408 542 547 | John.Ronan@minstaff.vic.gov.au

FINALISTS ANNOUNCED FOR 2017 LEARN LOCAL AWARDS

Member for Monbulk, James Merlino MP has today congratulated Leanne Fitzgerald who has been named a finalist in the outstanding practitioner category at this year’s Victorian Learn Local Awards. The awards recognise the contribution of the more than 300 Learn Local organisations and the staff who work tirelessly to help others. Leanne is known for linking seemingly unconnected resources and opportunities to create innovation. She is always on the lookout for partnerships and funding sources that will contribute to the development of quality learning environments. One example is the creation of the Coonara Community House garden, in partnership with the local TAFE, where people learn everything from composting to cooking wood-fired pizzas to keeping chickens and bees. She led a team that produced A House Around the Corner– a series for Channel 31 showcasing Learn Local and Neighbourhood Houses across the state. In another initiative led by Leanne – a trial of Pop Up adult learning at Westfield Shopping Centre and other locations in Knox City, to make connections with people who may never have heard of Neighbourhood Houses or Learn Local. Leanne has been providing leadership and mentoring for her peers across the Learn Local sector for over 20 years and is unwavering in her passion and dedication to adult learning. This year, two acknowledgement categories, the Learn Local Legend and Learn Local Volunteer Champion, will be awarded in addition to the five traditional awards categories: Pre-accredited Learners Outstanding Practitioner Outstanding Pathways Program Excellence in Creating Local Solutions AMES Australia Diversity Innovation. In total there is $66,000 to be won across the seven categories, with the winners announced at this year’s Learn Local Awards to be held on Thursday, 31 August. James Merlino MP said the Andrews Labor Government is building a strong training system – ensuring all Victorians – regardless of age, postcode or background have access to high quality training. Learn Locals have also benefited from the Government’s $20 million Reconnect Program, which provides wrap around support to help Victoria’s most disadvantaged learners into training. Quotes attributable to Member for Monbulk, James Merlino MP “We have so many locals giving back to the community and these awards are a chance for us to show them our apperception.” “Learn Locals make a huge difference in their community and it’s all thanks to people like Leanne Fitzgerald.” Quotes attributable to Minister of Training and Skills Gayle Tierney “Every Victorian, no matter their background or circumstances should have access to high quality training and that’s what our 300 plus Learn Local organisations offer.”

FINALISTS ANNOUNCED FOR 2017 LEARN LOCAL AWARDS

Member for Monbulk, James Merlino MP has today congratulated Leanne Fitzgerald who has been named a finalist in the outstanding practitioner category at this year’s Victorian Learn Local Awards. The awards recognise the contribution of the more than 300 Learn Local organisations and the staff who work tirelessly to help others. Leanne is known for linking seemingly unconnected resources and opportunities to create innovation. She is always on the lookout for partnerships and funding sources that will contribute to the development of quality learning environments. One example is the creation of the Coonara Community House garden, in partnership with the local TAFE, where people learn everything from composting to cooking wood-fired pizzas to keeping chickens and bees. She led a team that produced A House Around the Corner– a series for Channel 31 showcasing Learn Local and Neighbourhood Houses across the state. In another initiative led by Leanne – a trial of Pop Up adult learning at Westfield Shopping Centre and other locations in Knox City, to make connections with people who may never have heard of Neighbourhood Houses or Learn Local. Leanne has been providing leadership and mentoring for her peers across the Learn Local sector for over 20 years and is unwavering in her passion and dedication to adult learning. This year, two acknowledgement categories, the Learn Local Legend and Learn Local Volunteer Champion, will be awarded in addition to the five traditional awards categories: Pre-accredited Learners Outstanding Practitioner Outstanding Pathways Program Excellence in Creating Local Solutions AMES Australia Diversity Innovation. In total there is $66,000 to be won across the seven categories, with the winners announced at this year’s Learn Local Awards to be held on Thursday, 31 August. James Merlino MP said the Andrews Labor Government is building a strong training system – ensuring all Victorians – regardless of age, postcode or background have access to high quality training. Learn Locals have also benefited from the Government’s $20 million Reconnect Program, which provides wrap around support to help Victoria’s most disadvantaged learners into training. Quotes attributable to Member for Monbulk, James Merlino MP “We have so many locals giving back to the community and these awards are a chance for us to show them our apperception.” “Learn Locals make a huge difference in their community and it’s all thanks to people like Leanne Fitzgerald.” Quotes attributable to Minister of Training and Skills Gayle Tierney “Every Victorian, no matter their background or circumstances should have access to high quality training and that’s what our 300 plus Learn Local organisations offer.”

Geelong Schools First In Line For Digital Upgrades

Schools across Geelong, the Surf Coast and Bellarine Peninsula will be first in Victoria to receive vital digital upgrades funded by the Andrews Labor Government. The Victorian Budget 2017/18 included $67.9 million for better IT support for schools and students across the state. Minister for Education James Merlino today announced that 63 government schools across the region will be the first in Victoria to have new virtual conferencing systems installed as part of the Labor Government investment. In addition, nine schools will have their internet bandwidth doubled as part of a $16.4 million state-wide investment announced to improve regional connectivity. The investment means all schools across Geelong, the Surf Coast and Bellarine Peninsula will have the same internet speeds as their metropolitan counterparts. It will give students faster and more reliable access to online resources to support learning programs and an extended choice of subjects. The latest Budget also provided more than $21 million to upgrade 15 schools across these communities. The funding includes $2.84 million for Ashby Primary School, $2.41 million for Chilwell Primary School in Newtown, $3.22 million for Leopold Primary School and $653,000 for Ceres Primary School. Over 40 school infrastructure projects have now been funded across the region, thanks to more than $100 million over the past three budgets to build and upgrade schools. The new and upgraded facilities are part of the Government’s $2.5 billion investment in better classrooms, upgraded facilities and new schools across the state. This school building boom has delivered more than 1,000 school upgrades and 56 new school projects across the state, supporting almost 5,000 construction jobs for Victorians. Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “Kids in Geelong and the Surf Coast will be the first in Victoria to benefit from this huge investment, which will give students the skills they will need for the jobs of the future.” “The upgrades will ensure local students get a first-rate digital education.” Quote attributable to Member for Geelong Christine Couzens “We are already upgrading schools right across Geelong and now we are ensuring every school gets the technology upgrade they need.” Download the Media Release (355 KB)

Geelong Schools First In Line For Digital Upgrades

Schools across Geelong, the Surf Coast and Bellarine Peninsula will be first in Victoria to receive vital digital upgrades funded by the Andrews Labor Government. The Victorian Budget 2017/18 included $67.9 million for better IT support for schools and students across the state. Minister for Education James Merlino today announced that 63 government schools across the region will be the first in Victoria to have new virtual conferencing systems installed as part of the Labor Government investment. In addition, nine schools will have their internet bandwidth doubled as part of a $16.4 million state-wide investment announced to improve regional connectivity. The investment means all schools across Geelong, the Surf Coast and Bellarine Peninsula will have the same internet speeds as their metropolitan counterparts. It will give students faster and more reliable access to online resources to support learning programs and an extended choice of subjects. The latest Budget also provided more than $21 million to upgrade 15 schools across these communities. The funding includes $2.84 million for Ashby Primary School, $2.41 million for Chilwell Primary School in Newtown, $3.22 million for Leopold Primary School and $653,000 for Ceres Primary School. Over 40 school infrastructure projects have now been funded across the region, thanks to more than $100 million over the past three budgets to build and upgrade schools. The new and upgraded facilities are part of the Government’s $2.5 billion investment in better classrooms, upgraded facilities and new schools across the state. This school building boom has delivered more than 1,000 school upgrades and 56 new school projects across the state, supporting almost 5,000 construction jobs for Victorians. Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “Kids in Geelong and the Surf Coast will be the first in Victoria to benefit from this huge investment, which will give students the skills they will need for the jobs of the future.” “The upgrades will ensure local students get a first-rate digital education.” Quote attributable to Member for Geelong Christine Couzens “We are already upgrading schools right across Geelong and now we are ensuring every school gets the technology upgrade they need.” Download the Media Release (355 KB)

FINALISTS ANNOUNCED FOR 2017 LEARN LOCAL AWARDS 

Member for Monbulk, James Merlino MP has today congratulated Leanne Fitzgerald who has been named a finalist in the outstanding practitioner category at this year’s Victorian Learn Local Awards. The awards recognise the contribution of the more than 300 Learn Local organisations and the staff who work tirelessly to help others. Leanne is known for linking seemingly unconnected resources and opportunities to create innovation. She is always on the lookout for partnerships and funding sources that will contribute to the development of quality learning environments. One example is the creation of the Coonara Community House garden, in partnership with the local TAFE, where people learn everything from composting to cooking wood-fired pizzas to keeping chickens and bees. She led a team that produced A House Around the Corner– a series for Channel 31 showcasing Learn Local and Neighbourhood Houses across the state. In another initiative led by Leanne – a trial of Pop Up adult learning at Westfield Shopping Centre and other locations in Knox City, to make connections with people who may never have heard of Neighbourhood Houses or Learn Local. Leanne has been providing leadership and mentoring for her peers across the Learn Local sector for over 20 years and is unwavering in her passion and dedication to adult learning. This year, two acknowledgement categories, the Learn Local Legend and Learn Local Volunteer Champion, will be awarded in addition to the five traditional awards categories: Pre-accredited Learners Outstanding Practitioner Outstanding Pathways Program Excellence in Creating Local Solutions AMES Australia Diversity Innovation. In total there is $66,000 to be won across the seven categories, with the winners announced at this year’s Learn Local Awards to be held on Thursday, 31 August. James Merlino MP said the Andrews Labor Government is building a strong training system – ensuring all Victorians – regardless of age, postcode or background have access to high quality training. Learn Locals have also benefited from the Government’s $20 million Reconnect Program, which provides wrap around support to help Victoria’s most disadvantaged learners into training. Quotes attributable to Member for Monbulk, James Merlino MP “We have so many locals giving back to the community and these awards are a chance for us to show them our apperception.” “Learn Locals make a huge difference in their community and it’s all thanks to people like Leanne Fitzgerald.” Quotes attributable to Minister of Training and Skills Gayle Tierney “Every Victorian, no matter their background or circumstances should have access to high quality training and that’s what our 300 plus Learn Local organisations offer.”   Media Contact: John Ronan 0408 542 547 | John.Ronan@minstaff.vic.gov.au

FINALISTS ANNOUNCED FOR 2017 LEARN LOCAL AWARDS 

Member for Monbulk, James Merlino MP has today congratulated Leanne Fitzgerald who has been named a finalist in the outstanding practitioner category at this year’s Victorian Learn Local Awards. The awards recognise the contribution of the more than 300 Learn Local organisations and the staff who work tirelessly to help others. Leanne is known for linking seemingly unconnected resources and opportunities to create innovation. She is always on the lookout for partnerships and funding sources that will contribute to the development of quality learning environments. One example is the creation of the Coonara Community House garden, in partnership with the local TAFE, where people learn everything from composting to cooking wood-fired pizzas to keeping chickens and bees. She led a team that produced A House Around the Corner– a series for Channel 31 showcasing Learn Local and Neighbourhood Houses across the state. In another initiative led by Leanne – a trial of Pop Up adult learning at Westfield Shopping Centre and other locations in Knox City, to make connections with people who may never have heard of Neighbourhood Houses or Learn Local. Leanne has been providing leadership and mentoring for her peers across the Learn Local sector for over 20 years and is unwavering in her passion and dedication to adult learning. This year, two acknowledgement categories, the Learn Local Legend and Learn Local Volunteer Champion, will be awarded in addition to the five traditional awards categories: Pre-accredited Learners Outstanding Practitioner Outstanding Pathways Program Excellence in Creating Local Solutions AMES Australia Diversity Innovation. In total there is $66,000 to be won across the seven categories, with the winners announced at this year’s Learn Local Awards to be held on Thursday, 31 August. James Merlino MP said the Andrews Labor Government is building a strong training system – ensuring all Victorians – regardless of age, postcode or background have access to high quality training. Learn Locals have also benefited from the Government’s $20 million Reconnect Program, which provides wrap around support to help Victoria’s most disadvantaged learners into training. Quotes attributable to Member for Monbulk, James Merlino MP “We have so many locals giving back to the community and these awards are a chance for us to show them our apperception.” “Learn Locals make a huge difference in their community and it’s all thanks to people like Leanne Fitzgerald.” Quotes attributable to Minister of Training and Skills Gayle Tierney “Every Victorian, no matter their background or circumstances should have access to high quality training and that’s what our 300 plus Learn Local organisations offer.”   Media Contact: John Ronan 0408 542 547 | John.Ronan@minstaff.vic.gov.au

Next Step In Fire Services Reform

The Andrews Labor Government will closely consider recommendations made by the inquiry into the Firefighters’ Presumptive Rights Compensation and Fire Services Legislation Amendment (Reform) Bill 2017. The Inquiry has today released its final report and the Labor Government will respond to its recommendations before returning the Bill to parliament. We thank the Committee for its work and acknowledge the huge number of firefighters and community members who have had their say throughout this process. The Committee heard from firefighters, emergency services leaders, experts and the wider community during hearings right across the state. The clear message from firefighters and senior leaders of the fire services at the hearings was that change is needed to keep Victorians safe. Nearly three quarters of written submissions to the Inquiry support reform and the need to modernise Victoria’s fire services system – which dates back to the 1950s – was raised repeatedly throughout the hearings. The committee process is a normal part of scrutinising legislation and has occurred with numerous bills in this term of government – including for the lease of the Port of Melbourne and taxi industry reform. Just like on other important pieces of legislation, the Labor Government has shown it is willing to work with all parties to see their concerns addressed and ensure the legislation is passed. Quotes attributable to Minister for Emergency Services James Merlino “The committee makes a number of recommendations that we will closely consider in coming days.” “These reforms will modernise our fire services, provide more support for volunteers and – most importantly – keep Victorian safe.” “I want to thank everyone who has contributed to the inquiry, particularly our firefighters and other emergency services personnel who work every single day to help keep Victorians safe.” Download the Media Release (352 KB

Next Step In Fire Services Reform

The Andrews Labor Government will closely consider recommendations made by the inquiry into the Firefighters’ Presumptive Rights Compensation and Fire Services Legislation Amendment (Reform) Bill 2017. The Inquiry has today released its final report and the Labor Government will respond to its recommendations before returning the Bill to parliament. We thank the Committee for its work and acknowledge the huge number of firefighters and community members who have had their say throughout this process. The Committee heard from firefighters, emergency services leaders, experts and the wider community during hearings right across the state. The clear message from firefighters and senior leaders of the fire services at the hearings was that change is needed to keep Victorians safe. Nearly three quarters of written submissions to the Inquiry support reform and the need to modernise Victoria’s fire services system – which dates back to the 1950s – was raised repeatedly throughout the hearings. The committee process is a normal part of scrutinising legislation and has occurred with numerous bills in this term of government – including for the lease of the Port of Melbourne and taxi industry reform. Just like on other important pieces of legislation, the Labor Government has shown it is willing to work with all parties to see their concerns addressed and ensure the legislation is passed. Quotes attributable to Minister for Emergency Services James Merlino “The committee makes a number of recommendations that we will closely consider in coming days.” “These reforms will modernise our fire services, provide more support for volunteers and – most importantly – keep Victorian safe.” “I want to thank everyone who has contributed to the inquiry, particularly our firefighters and other emergency services personnel who work every single day to help keep Victorians safe.” Download the Media Release (352 KB

Work Begins On New Banyule-Nillumbik Tech School

Construction has begun on the new Tech School in Melbourne’s outer North East, fully funded by the Andrews Labor Government. Minister for Education James Merlino, Member for Eltham Vicki Ward and Member for Ivanhoe Anthony Carbines  today turned the first sod on the new Banyule-Nillumbik Tech School. The Tech School will give nearly 14,000 students from 18 government and non-government schools access to high-tech, specialised learning in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) skills. It will be a shared hub available free of charge for students from partner schools as part of their regular schooling. Hosted at the Melbourne Polytechnic at its Greensborough campus, the Tech School will focus on growth industries including scientific and technical services, healthcare and social assistance, and entrepreneurial skills. The building will include digital and physical creation spaces, an area dedicated to industry partners, and a space for students to present their ideas and creations. The Tech School is one of 10 being delivered as part of the Labor Government’s $128 million Tech School initiative, and is expected to open in mid-2018. These state-of-the-art facilities will use high-tech equipment, such as 3D printers, audio visual platforms, robotics and virtual reality, to deliver advanced education in STEM. It is part of the Labor Government’s plan to boost performance in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) subjects, including a 25 per cent increase in the number of year nine students reaching the highest level of achievement in maths and 33 per cent more 15-year-olds reaching the highest levels in science by 2025. For more information about Tech Schools visit: techschools.education.vic.gov.au. Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “The Banyule-Nillumbik Tech School will provide students from 18 surrounding schools the opportunity to develop the skills they need for the jobs of the future.” “Tech Schools bring together schools, industry, local government, TAFE and universities to allow students to find real-life solutions to real-life problems using the latest technologies.” Quote attributable to Member for Eltham Vicki Ward “Students will have access to leading edge technology and the specialist expertise of staff from Melbourne Polytechnic. They will be given the opportunity to thrive in an exciting and innovative environment.” Quote attributable to Member for Ivanhoe Anthony Carbines “From mid-2018, local students will have a high-tech learning centre on their doorstep that will help them be ready for the jobs of the 21st century.” Download the Media Release (359 KB)

Work Begins On New Banyule-Nillumbik Tech School

Construction has begun on the new Tech School in Melbourne’s outer North East, fully funded by the Andrews Labor Government. Minister for Education James Merlino, Member for Eltham Vicki Ward and Member for Ivanhoe Anthony Carbines  today turned the first sod on the new Banyule-Nillumbik Tech School. The Tech School will give nearly 14,000 students from 18 government and non-government schools access to high-tech, specialised learning in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) skills. It will be a shared hub available free of charge for students from partner schools as part of their regular schooling. Hosted at the Melbourne Polytechnic at its Greensborough campus, the Tech School will focus on growth industries including scientific and technical services, healthcare and social assistance, and entrepreneurial skills. The building will include digital and physical creation spaces, an area dedicated to industry partners, and a space for students to present their ideas and creations. The Tech School is one of 10 being delivered as part of the Labor Government’s $128 million Tech School initiative, and is expected to open in mid-2018. These state-of-the-art facilities will use high-tech equipment, such as 3D printers, audio visual platforms, robotics and virtual reality, to deliver advanced education in STEM. It is part of the Labor Government’s plan to boost performance in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) subjects, including a 25 per cent increase in the number of year nine students reaching the highest level of achievement in maths and 33 per cent more 15-year-olds reaching the highest levels in science by 2025. For more information about Tech Schools visit: techschools.education.vic.gov.au. Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “The Banyule-Nillumbik Tech School will provide students from 18 surrounding schools the opportunity to develop the skills they need for the jobs of the future.” “Tech Schools bring together schools, industry, local government, TAFE and universities to allow students to find real-life solutions to real-life problems using the latest technologies.” Quote attributable to Member for Eltham Vicki Ward “Students will have access to leading edge technology and the specialist expertise of staff from Melbourne Polytechnic. They will be given the opportunity to thrive in an exciting and innovative environment.” Quote attributable to Member for Ivanhoe Anthony Carbines “From mid-2018, local students will have a high-tech learning centre on their doorstep that will help them be ready for the jobs of the 21st century.” Download the Media Release (359 KB)

NEW DEFIB BREATHES LIFE INTO LOCAL CLUBS

Monbulk Rangers Soccer Club and Upwey South Tennis Club are set to take their games up a notch when it comes to dealing with an emergency on and off the park with a new defibrillator and training package from the Andrews Labor Government. State Member for Monbulk, James Merlino MP, today announced that Monbulk Rangers Soccer Club and Upwey South Tennis Club were some of 301 successful applicants across the state to receive the package from the third round of the new Defibrillators for Sporting Clubs and Facilities Program. The Andrews Labor Government is getting on with the roll out of 1,000 life-saving defibrillators to clubs and facilities Victoria. Our roll out has been a huge success – delivering almost 900 defibrillators to clubs. That means there are still over 100 defibrillators and training packages still up for grabs. Defibrillators at local sports clubs like Monbulk Rangers Soccer Club and Upwey South Tennis Club keep players safe, spectators protected, and are a vital tool for the community. In a life threatening sudden cardiac arrest – every second counts, and bystanders play a critical role. Without a defibrillator close by, the survival rate for sudden cardiac arrest is somewhere between two and five per cent. When a defibrillator is used within the first few minutes, the rate of survival can rise to 70 per cent. The great news is that more bystanders than ever are stepping in to save lives. The use of public defibrillators for cardiac arrests has soared four-fold from 2.8 per cent in 2006/07 to 11 per cent in 2015/16. The new devices will appear on Ambulance Victoria’s database, so that triple zero operators will be able to direct callers to the new devices available when emergency strikes. For more information about the Defibrillators for Sporting Clubs and Facilities Program or how to apply online for future rounds, visit www.sport.vic.gov.au. Quotes attributable to State Member for Monbulk James Merlino MP  “We here in Monbulk are proud of our local sports clubs like Monbulk Ranges Soccer Club and Upwey South Tennis Club and their efforts to make their environment more safe and enjoyable for all.” “This funding will help more clubs to have the right equipment and training in case an emergency strikes.” Quote attributable to Minister for Sport John Eren “My cardiac arrest changed my life. I know only too well just how important it is to have a defibrillator nearby.”  Media Contact: John Ronan 0408 542 547 | John.Ronan@minstaff.vic.gov.au

NEW DEFIB BREATHES LIFE INTO LOCAL CLUBS

Monbulk Rangers Soccer Club and Upwey South Tennis Club are set to take their games up a notch when it comes to dealing with an emergency on and off the park with a new defibrillator and training package from the Andrews Labor Government. State Member for Monbulk, James Merlino MP, today announced that Monbulk Rangers Soccer Club and Upwey South Tennis Club were some of 301 successful applicants across the state to receive the package from the third round of the new Defibrillators for Sporting Clubs and Facilities Program. The Andrews Labor Government is getting on with the roll out of 1,000 life-saving defibrillators to clubs and facilities Victoria. Our roll out has been a huge success – delivering almost 900 defibrillators to clubs. That means there are still over 100 defibrillators and training packages still up for grabs. Defibrillators at local sports clubs like Monbulk Rangers Soccer Club and Upwey South Tennis Club keep players safe, spectators protected, and are a vital tool for the community. In a life threatening sudden cardiac arrest – every second counts, and bystanders play a critical role. Without a defibrillator close by, the survival rate for sudden cardiac arrest is somewhere between two and five per cent. When a defibrillator is used within the first few minutes, the rate of survival can rise to 70 per cent. The great news is that more bystanders than ever are stepping in to save lives. The use of public defibrillators for cardiac arrests has soared four-fold from 2.8 per cent in 2006/07 to 11 per cent in 2015/16. The new devices will appear on Ambulance Victoria’s database, so that triple zero operators will be able to direct callers to the new devices available when emergency strikes. For more information about the Defibrillators for Sporting Clubs and Facilities Program or how to apply online for future rounds, visit www.sport.vic.gov.au. Quotes attributable to State Member for Monbulk James Merlino MP  “We here in Monbulk are proud of our local sports clubs like Monbulk Ranges Soccer Club and Upwey South Tennis Club and their efforts to make their environment more safe and enjoyable for all.” “This funding will help more clubs to have the right equipment and training in case an emergency strikes.” Quote attributable to Minister for Sport John Eren “My cardiac arrest changed my life. I know only too well just how important it is to have a defibrillator nearby.”  Media Contact: John Ronan 0408 542 547 | John.Ronan@minstaff.vic.gov.au

 

Government Announces Review Into Coolaroo Fire

The Andrews Labor Government will conduct a review of last month’s fire at the SKM Recycling Plant in Coolaroo. Minister for Emergency Services James Merlino announced the review today, which will be conducted by the Inspector-General for Emergency Management (IGEM, Tony Pearce). The Coolaroo fire broke out on 13 July and burned for 11 days, sending clouds of smoke across Melbourne. At the height of the blaze, hundreds of nearby residents were urged to evacuate due to concerns about air quality. Since the Coolaroo incident, the Labor Government has worked diligently to introduce a series of improvements to keep Victorian families safe in the event of harmful fires. An independent inquiry was established following the former Liberal Government’s neglectful handling of the 2014 Hazelwood Mine Fire, which burned for 45 days and sent smoke and ash over Morwell and surrounding areas. Lessons learnt during the Hazelwood Mine Fire played a key role in handling the Coolaroo fire. Emergency workers used health monitoring data to make decisions about how harmful smoke and ash would be for locals, and people in the area had online access to air quality readings via the Environmental Protection Agency website. This latest review is an important opportunity to confirm that the Government is working hard to do everything it can to respond to similar events. IGEM will work closely with relevant agencies and examine key aspects of the fire including the effectiveness of the State Smoke Framework, air quality monitoring, firefighter occupational health and safety, and the Environmental Protection Authority’s processes. The IGEM will also work closely with Emergency Management Victoria, which is undertaking a separate but complementary operational review into the incident. A joint Government taskforce is also auditing recycling facilities to prioritise sites that require action to better protect the community. The IGEM will deliver the report to Government by the end of November 2017. Quotes attributable to Minister for Emergency Services James Merlino “The Coolaroo fire had a significant impact on the local community and the review will ensure we know exactly what worked, what didn’t and what can be improved.” “This review is an important opportunity to confirm the lessons identified from the Hazelwood mine fire aren’t being ignored.” “The IGEM review will provide a valuable check to ensure that all the relevant actions items from the inquiry have been implemented and are working effectively.”   Download the Media Release (295 KB)

Government Announces Review Into Coolaroo Fire

The Andrews Labor Government will conduct a review of last month’s fire at the SKM Recycling Plant in Coolaroo. Minister for Emergency Services James Merlino announced the review today, which will be conducted by the Inspector-General for Emergency Management (IGEM, Tony Pearce). The Coolaroo fire broke out on 13 July and burned for 11 days, sending clouds of smoke across Melbourne. At the height of the blaze, hundreds of nearby residents were urged to evacuate due to concerns about air quality. Since the Coolaroo incident, the Labor Government has worked diligently to introduce a series of improvements to keep Victorian families safe in the event of harmful fires. An independent inquiry was established following the former Liberal Government’s neglectful handling of the 2014 Hazelwood Mine Fire, which burned for 45 days and sent smoke and ash over Morwell and surrounding areas. Lessons learnt during the Hazelwood Mine Fire played a key role in handling the Coolaroo fire. Emergency workers used health monitoring data to make decisions about how harmful smoke and ash would be for locals, and people in the area had online access to air quality readings via the Environmental Protection Agency website. This latest review is an important opportunity to confirm that the Government is working hard to do everything it can to respond to similar events. IGEM will work closely with relevant agencies and examine key aspects of the fire including the effectiveness of the State Smoke Framework, air quality monitoring, firefighter occupational health and safety, and the Environmental Protection Authority’s processes. The IGEM will also work closely with Emergency Management Victoria, which is undertaking a separate but complementary operational review into the incident. A joint Government taskforce is also auditing recycling facilities to prioritise sites that require action to better protect the community. The IGEM will deliver the report to Government by the end of November 2017. Quotes attributable to Minister for Emergency Services James Merlino “The Coolaroo fire had a significant impact on the local community and the review will ensure we know exactly what worked, what didn’t and what can be improved.” “This review is an important opportunity to confirm the lessons identified from the Hazelwood mine fire aren’t being ignored.” “The IGEM review will provide a valuable check to ensure that all the relevant actions items from the inquiry have been implemented and are working effectively.”   Download the Media Release (295 KB)

Start Of Construction On Victoria’s Next Tech School

Construction has begun on a new Tech School in Melbourne’s south east, fully funded by the Andrews Labor Government. Minister for Education James Merlino, Parliamentary Secretary for Education Judith Graley, Member for Narre Warren Luke Donnellan, Member for Cranbourne Jude Perera and Member for Dandenong Gabrielle Williams today turned the first sod on the new Casey Tech School, and announced Ben Jenkinson as its inaugural Director. Mr Jenkinson is an experienced teacher and leader in the education system, who has held senior curriculum and leadership roles in some of Australia’s highest performing schools. The Casey Tech School will give 21,000 secondary school students from 21 schools in the area access to high-tech, specialised learning in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) skills. It will be a shared hub available free of charge for students from partner schools as part of their regular schooling. The Casey Tech School will be located at the Berwick campus of the Chisholm Institute and will focus on growth  industries including biomedical technology, health and medical tech, and high-tech manufacturing, production and processing technologies. The new two-storey building will include workshop areas, a biomed lab, a virtual reality lab, video production studio and a digital media studio. The Tech School is one of 10 being delivered as part of Labor Government’s $128 million Tech School initiative, and is expected to open in mid-2018. It is part of the Government’s plan to boost performance in STEM subjects, including a 25 per cent increase in the number of year nine students reaching the highest level of achievement in maths and 33 per cent more 15-year-olds reaching the highest levels in science by 2025. For more information, visit techschools.education.vic.gov.au. Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “Casey Tech School will provide students from 21 surrounding secondary schools the opportunity to develop the skills they need in science, technology, engineering and maths for the high tech jobs of the future.” “It will mean students won’t have to travel far and wide to get a Tech School education – opening up new opportunities for young people in the south east.” Quotes attributable to Parliamentary Secretary for Education Judith Graley “This Tech School will teach young people in the local area the skills they need for the jobs of the 21st century.” “The appointment of Ben Jenkinson is an important step forward as we work towards opening Casey Tech School next year.” Download the Media Release (355 KB)

Start Of Construction On Victoria’s Next Tech School

Construction has begun on a new Tech School in Melbourne’s south east, fully funded by the Andrews Labor Government. Minister for Education James Merlino, Parliamentary Secretary for Education Judith Graley, Member for Narre Warren Luke Donnellan, Member for Cranbourne Jude Perera and Member for Dandenong Gabrielle Williams today turned the first sod on the new Casey Tech School, and announced Ben Jenkinson as its inaugural Director. Mr Jenkinson is an experienced teacher and leader in the education system, who has held senior curriculum and leadership roles in some of Australia’s highest performing schools. The Casey Tech School will give 21,000 secondary school students from 21 schools in the area access to high-tech, specialised learning in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) skills. It will be a shared hub available free of charge for students from partner schools as part of their regular schooling. The Casey Tech School will be located at the Berwick campus of the Chisholm Institute and will focus on growth  industries including biomedical technology, health and medical tech, and high-tech manufacturing, production and processing technologies. The new two-storey building will include workshop areas, a biomed lab, a virtual reality lab, video production studio and a digital media studio. The Tech School is one of 10 being delivered as part of Labor Government’s $128 million Tech School initiative, and is expected to open in mid-2018. It is part of the Government’s plan to boost performance in STEM subjects, including a 25 per cent increase in the number of year nine students reaching the highest level of achievement in maths and 33 per cent more 15-year-olds reaching the highest levels in science by 2025. For more information, visit techschools.education.vic.gov.au. Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “Casey Tech School will provide students from 21 surrounding secondary schools the opportunity to develop the skills they need in science, technology, engineering and maths for the high tech jobs of the future.” “It will mean students won’t have to travel far and wide to get a Tech School education – opening up new opportunities for young people in the south east.” Quotes attributable to Parliamentary Secretary for Education Judith Graley “This Tech School will teach young people in the local area the skills they need for the jobs of the 21st century.” “The appointment of Ben Jenkinson is an important step forward as we work towards opening Casey Tech School next year.” Download the Media Release (355 KB)

New STEAM And Sports Facilities For Bentleigh Students

Construction is underway on the Andrews Labor Government’s massive upgrade of Bentleigh Secondary College. Minister for Education James Merlino joined Member for Bentleigh Nick Staikos today to turn the first sod on the  $13.4 million upgrade, which includes a new science, technology, engineering, arts and maths (STEAM) hub known as the da Vinci Centre. The centre will have facilities for middle and senior students, including purpose-designed visual art studios, specialist food and materials technology, classrooms, courtyards and a gallery. A further $3.8 million from the School Pride and Sports Fund will extend the basketball stadium, the home of the McKinnon Basketball Association, to include two new competition grade courts. The school will also receive a new carpark, landscaping and the current relocatable facilities will be repositioned. The new and upgraded facilities are part of the Government’s $2.5 billion investment in better classrooms, upgraded facilities and new schools across the state. This school building boom has delivered more than 1,000 school upgrades and 56 new school projects across the state, supporting almost 5000 construction jobs for Victorians. Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “The da Vinci Centre will provide students with first-rate facilities to learn science, technology, arts and maths and the extension to the basketball stadium will help keep the kids fit and active.” “We’re giving students in Bentleigh and across Victoria a great education and the skills they need for the jobs of the 21st century.” Quote attributable to Member for Bentleigh Nick Staikos “Bentleigh Secondary College is a wonderful school and these new facilities will be something the entire community can be proud of.” Quote attributable to Principal Helene Hiotis “It is going to be a place of amazing experiences for our students and teachers, where they can build their curiosity and knowledge and where lifelong interests will begin.” Download the Media Release (355 KB)

New STEAM And Sports Facilities For Bentleigh Students

Construction is underway on the Andrews Labor Government’s massive upgrade of Bentleigh Secondary College. Minister for Education James Merlino joined Member for Bentleigh Nick Staikos today to turn the first sod on the  $13.4 million upgrade, which includes a new science, technology, engineering, arts and maths (STEAM) hub known as the da Vinci Centre. The centre will have facilities for middle and senior students, including purpose-designed visual art studios, specialist food and materials technology, classrooms, courtyards and a gallery. A further $3.8 million from the School Pride and Sports Fund will extend the basketball stadium, the home of the McKinnon Basketball Association, to include two new competition grade courts. The school will also receive a new carpark, landscaping and the current relocatable facilities will be repositioned. The new and upgraded facilities are part of the Government’s $2.5 billion investment in better classrooms, upgraded facilities and new schools across the state. This school building boom has delivered more than 1,000 school upgrades and 56 new school projects across the state, supporting almost 5000 construction jobs for Victorians. Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “The da Vinci Centre will provide students with first-rate facilities to learn science, technology, arts and maths and the extension to the basketball stadium will help keep the kids fit and active.” “We’re giving students in Bentleigh and across Victoria a great education and the skills they need for the jobs of the 21st century.” Quote attributable to Member for Bentleigh Nick Staikos “Bentleigh Secondary College is a wonderful school and these new facilities will be something the entire community can be proud of.” Quote attributable to Principal Helene Hiotis “It is going to be a place of amazing experiences for our students and teachers, where they can build their curiosity and knowledge and where lifelong interests will begin.” Download the Media Release (355 KB)

$5.9 Million Program To Keep Kids In School

The Andrews Labor Government is supporting all of the recommendations of the Victorian Ombudsman’s report on government school expulsions to help Victorian principals and teachers keep more kids in school and out of trouble. Minister for Education James Merlino today announced a new $5.9 million program that will assist schools develop and implement strategies to help students with serious behavioural issues avoid expulsion and stay engaged. The Ombudsman’s report exposes the neglect of the former Liberal Government, who made it far too easy for students to be expelled. As a result, many young people were not given the opportunity to turn their lives around and have disengaged from the education system. The Labor Government will implement the recommendations in the Ombudsman’s report  through: higher level departmental approval of all prep, year one and year two expulsions more support and oversight of expulsions through Regional Engagement Officers, who will work with principals and teachers to intervene early for those at risk of expulsion an overhaul of the Department of Education Training data collection, analysis, record keeping and reporting, to make sure that expulsions are monitored appropriately a review of the appeals process to ensure it is fair and transparent extra assistance for schools to support students with behavioural challenges, including 17 area-based positive behavioural support coaches and access expert advice from behavioural analysts across the state. This investment is part of the Labor Government’s huge investment in supporting principals and teachers, and keeping young people in school – particularly those showing challenging behaviours and at risk of disengaging. The Government’s $13.2 million Lookout program is helping 6,000 students in out-of-home care to stay in education and the $8.6 million Navigator program is helping 10-18 year olds who are at risk of leaving school. In 2015, the Labor Government provided an $82.2 million funding boost to hire 157 new staff to work with principals and schools and help them improve student outcomes and deal with complex issues such as expulsion. Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “The former Liberal Government abandoned students in trouble, leaving them to disengage and drop out of school – we won’t do that because you can’t just give up on kids.” “We’re acting decisively to implement the Ombudsman’s recommendations, and support principals, teachers and students.” “We have invested more than $100 million to help at risk students stay in school and stay out of trouble.” Download the Media Release (368 KB)

$5.9 Million Program To Keep Kids In School

The Andrews Labor Government is supporting all of the recommendations of the Victorian Ombudsman’s report on government school expulsions to help Victorian principals and teachers keep more kids in school and out of trouble. Minister for Education James Merlino today announced a new $5.9 million program that will assist schools develop and implement strategies to help students with serious behavioural issues avoid expulsion and stay engaged. The Ombudsman’s report exposes the neglect of the former Liberal Government, who made it far too easy for students to be expelled. As a result, many young people were not given the opportunity to turn their lives around and have disengaged from the education system. The Labor Government will implement the recommendations in the Ombudsman’s report  through: higher level departmental approval of all prep, year one and year two expulsions more support and oversight of expulsions through Regional Engagement Officers, who will work with principals and teachers to intervene early for those at risk of expulsion an overhaul of the Department of Education Training data collection, analysis, record keeping and reporting, to make sure that expulsions are monitored appropriately a review of the appeals process to ensure it is fair and transparent extra assistance for schools to support students with behavioural challenges, including 17 area-based positive behavioural support coaches and access expert advice from behavioural analysts across the state. This investment is part of the Labor Government’s huge investment in supporting principals and teachers, and keeping young people in school – particularly those showing challenging behaviours and at risk of disengaging. The Government’s $13.2 million Lookout program is helping 6,000 students in out-of-home care to stay in education and the $8.6 million Navigator program is helping 10-18 year olds who are at risk of leaving school. In 2015, the Labor Government provided an $82.2 million funding boost to hire 157 new staff to work with principals and schools and help them improve student outcomes and deal with complex issues such as expulsion. Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “The former Liberal Government abandoned students in trouble, leaving them to disengage and drop out of school – we won’t do that because you can’t just give up on kids.” “We’re acting decisively to implement the Ombudsman’s recommendations, and support principals, teachers and students.” “We have invested more than $100 million to help at risk students stay in school and stay out of trouble.” Download the Media Release (368 KB)

Improving Health And Wellbeing Support For Principals

Better mental health support will be the first priority in a plan to improve the health and wellbeing of Victoria’s more than 1,500 government school principals. Minister for Education James Merlino today released a discussion paper to engage Victorian principals on a strategy to boost their health and wellbeing, which will support them to be greater school leaders. The strategy will include support mechanisms designed to suit the realities and unique circumstances of their role, and is backed by $4 million from the Andrews Labor Government. The funding will go towards early intervention strategies, specialist advice services for principals, professional learning to develop mental health awareness and literacy, and coaching panels of retired principals trained in psychological health. It will be accompanied by a new dedicated service providing Victorian school principals with confidential health checks that will be rolled out next year. Healthy principals are central to ensuring a positive environment for teachers and students – and boosting student outcomes. More than 100 principals and experts have been consulted as part of the strategy’s development so far, giving feedback on the pressures of their profession and how they could be supported better. Further consultation with Victorian principals will be held over terms three and four for the strategy, including workshops and online engagement on the discussion paper. The strategy aligns to the Labor Government’s Mental Health and Wellbeing Charter, which launched in March. Making Victoria the Education State means properly supporting our principals so they can get on with doing what matters most – giving our students a great education. Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “We’re putting a new focus on better supporting the health and wellbeing of our hardworking principals, with our first priority to better support their mental health.” “Our principals are at the forefront of the Education State, and making sure they are healthy and happy is central to creating great local schools that give our kids a great education.” Download the Media Release (351 KB)

Improving Health And Wellbeing Support For Principals

Better mental health support will be the first priority in a plan to improve the health and wellbeing of Victoria’s more than 1,500 government school principals. Minister for Education James Merlino today released a discussion paper to engage Victorian principals on a strategy to boost their health and wellbeing, which will support them to be greater school leaders. The strategy will include support mechanisms designed to suit the realities and unique circumstances of their role, and is backed by $4 million from the Andrews Labor Government. The funding will go towards early intervention strategies, specialist advice services for principals, professional learning to develop mental health awareness and literacy, and coaching panels of retired principals trained in psychological health. It will be accompanied by a new dedicated service providing Victorian school principals with confidential health checks that will be rolled out next year. Healthy principals are central to ensuring a positive environment for teachers and students – and boosting student outcomes. More than 100 principals and experts have been consulted as part of the strategy’s development so far, giving feedback on the pressures of their profession and how they could be supported better. Further consultation with Victorian principals will be held over terms three and four for the strategy, including workshops and online engagement on the discussion paper. The strategy aligns to the Labor Government’s Mental Health and Wellbeing Charter, which launched in March. Making Victoria the Education State means properly supporting our principals so they can get on with doing what matters most – giving our students a great education. Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “We’re putting a new focus on better supporting the health and wellbeing of our hardworking principals, with our first priority to better support their mental health.” “Our principals are at the forefront of the Education State, and making sure they are healthy and happy is central to creating great local schools that give our kids a great education.” Download the Media Release (351 KB)

LIGHTS ON AT NEW MT EVELYN PEDESTRIAN CROSSING

The Andrews Labor Government has made crossing York Road in Mt Evelyn safer for school children, parents and local nursery workers. Member for Monbulk James Merlino today joined VicRoads, teachers and students from Mount Evelyn Christian School and staff from the Yarra View Nursery to switch on the new pedestrian crossing on York Road. The Labor Government has invested $490,000 to replace the old flagged crossing with new pedestrian operated traffic lights. The flagged crossing was unmanned outside of the school zone hours, meaning pedestrians would need to pick a safe gap in the traffic to cross the road. As part of the crossing upgrade, the bus shelter on the northern side of York Road, near the nursery, has been relocated and upgraded to improve access to bus services. The footpath, road surface and drainage at the crossing have also been improved. Although the crossing is now at a higher safety standard, it will continue to be manned by a school crossing supervisor during the morning and afternoon school drop off and pick up times. Quotes attributable to Member for Monbulk James Merlino “We’ve built a safer, easier crossing on York Street so that school students, nursery workers and the wider community can now feel safer crossing this busy road.”  “There have been near misses between cars and pedestrians at this crossing in the past – so we listened to what locals had to say and got on with the job of delivering a safer crossing for the community.”

LIGHTS ON AT NEW MT EVELYN PEDESTRIAN CROSSING

The Andrews Labor Government has made crossing York Road in Mt Evelyn safer for school children, parents and local nursery workers. Member for Monbulk James Merlino today joined VicRoads, teachers and students from Mount Evelyn Christian School and staff from the Yarra View Nursery to switch on the new pedestrian crossing on York Road. The Labor Government has invested $490,000 to replace the old flagged crossing with new pedestrian operated traffic lights. The flagged crossing was unmanned outside of the school zone hours, meaning pedestrians would need to pick a safe gap in the traffic to cross the road. As part of the crossing upgrade, the bus shelter on the northern side of York Road, near the nursery, has been relocated and upgraded to improve access to bus services. The footpath, road surface and drainage at the crossing have also been improved. Although the crossing is now at a higher safety standard, it will continue to be manned by a school crossing supervisor during the morning and afternoon school drop off and pick up times. Quotes attributable to Member for Monbulk James Merlino “We’ve built a safer, easier crossing on York Street so that school students, nursery workers and the wider community can now feel safer crossing this busy road.”  “There have been near misses between cars and pedestrians at this crossing in the past – so we listened to what locals had to say and got on with the job of delivering a safer crossing for the community.”

Fairer Model For Cleaning Our Schools

The Andrews Labor Government will establish a fairer schools cleaning contract model that will ensure schools get consistent, high quality services and cleaners are paid properly. It comes after multiple investigations within the past 12 months have found vulnerable staff were being underpaid and mistreated. Minister for Education James Merlino today announced an overhaul of government school cleaner procurement, with a new model to be rolled out across Melbourne next year, prior to its roll out across regional Victoria. Under a new model, eight zones will be created across metropolitan Melbourne and a single cleaning contract will be awarded for all schools in each. In regional Victoria, the new model will strengthen the focus on contractor compliance, with the move to a zoned model to be informed by the roll out in Melbourne. This new model will create consistent, high quality standards for cleaning in government schools and ensure all cleaning staff in our schools receive their legal wages and entitlements. The model will also reduce the workload of Principals by freeing up the time spent managing cleaning contracts. The Department of Education and Training will work with existing cleaning contractors to ensure a smooth transition to the new arrangements, with support available for small businesses. An open and competitive tender process will be run to appoint cleaning companies to the eight zones. Successful companies will be required to recruit from the current Victorian government school cleaning workforce. Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “Cleaning staff are valued members of our school communities, and this new model will strengthen their working conditions and make sure they get a fair deal.” “This new model will ensure schools get high quality cleaning services, principals are better supported to look after their schools and cleaners are treated fairly.” Download the Media Release (346 KB)

Fairer Model For Cleaning Our Schools

The Andrews Labor Government will establish a fairer schools cleaning contract model that will ensure schools get consistent, high quality services and cleaners are paid properly. It comes after multiple investigations within the past 12 months have found vulnerable staff were being underpaid and mistreated. Minister for Education James Merlino today announced an overhaul of government school cleaner procurement, with a new model to be rolled out across Melbourne next year, prior to its roll out across regional Victoria. Under a new model, eight zones will be created across metropolitan Melbourne and a single cleaning contract will be awarded for all schools in each. In regional Victoria, the new model will strengthen the focus on contractor compliance, with the move to a zoned model to be informed by the roll out in Melbourne. This new model will create consistent, high quality standards for cleaning in government schools and ensure all cleaning staff in our schools receive their legal wages and entitlements. The model will also reduce the workload of Principals by freeing up the time spent managing cleaning contracts. The Department of Education and Training will work with existing cleaning contractors to ensure a smooth transition to the new arrangements, with support available for small businesses. An open and competitive tender process will be run to appoint cleaning companies to the eight zones. Successful companies will be required to recruit from the current Victorian government school cleaning workforce. Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “Cleaning staff are valued members of our school communities, and this new model will strengthen their working conditions and make sure they get a fair deal.” “This new model will ensure schools get high quality cleaning services, principals are better supported to look after their schools and cleaners are treated fairly.” Download the Media Release (346 KB)

Funding Boost To Natural Disaster Resilience Across Victoria

Minster for Justice Michael Keenan and Victorian Minister for Emergency Services James Merlino today announced $10 million in funding to enhance Victoria’s preparedness for natural disasters. Minister Keenan said the funding is part of the joint Commonwealth-State $52 million National Partnership Agreement (NPA) on Natural Disaster Resilience, which is targeted at supporting local communities to build more sustainable and resilient communities “Although many natural disasters are unpredictable, we can all be better prepared, and we cannot act alone. We are working with state and local governments to reduce the potentially destructive impacts of future disasters such as bushfires and floods,” Mr Keenan said. “That is why under the NPA funding is cost-shared, with $3.4 million contributed by the Commonwealth, $2.4 million from the Victorian State Government, and $4.2 million from funding recipients. “I congratulate all successful applicants from across Victorian State Government agencies, local government authorities, and not-for-profit organisations.” Minister Merlino said 36 projects had been selected for funding under the Natural Disaster Resilience Grants Scheme to strengthen the state’s resilience to natural disasters. “Through the scheme, projects are jointly funded by the Commonwealth and State governments on a cost share basis with the applicants,” Minister Merlino said. “These are important programs led by state agencies, local councils, non-government organisations, volunteer organisations and researchers that help communities prepare for and respond to natural disasters.” The projects include: Funding for floodplain management Pre-hospital emergency simulation training for ambulance officers Support for Victorian teachers to deliver education on risk awareness and resilience related to natural hazards Strengthening of emergency planning for vulnerable people in rural communities The construction of a levee system to protect the Warracknabeal Township Reconstruction of the levee for the Robinvale Township For more information on the full list of projects and the grants scheme see Emergency Management Victoria website. Download the Media Release (209 KB)

Funding Boost To Natural Disaster Resilience Across Victoria

Minster for Justice Michael Keenan and Victorian Minister for Emergency Services James Merlino today announced $10 million in funding to enhance Victoria’s preparedness for natural disasters. Minister Keenan said the funding is part of the joint Commonwealth-State $52 million National Partnership Agreement (NPA) on Natural Disaster Resilience, which is targeted at supporting local communities to build more sustainable and resilient communities “Although many natural disasters are unpredictable, we can all be better prepared, and we cannot act alone. We are working with state and local governments to reduce the potentially destructive impacts of future disasters such as bushfires and floods,” Mr Keenan said. “That is why under the NPA funding is cost-shared, with $3.4 million contributed by the Commonwealth, $2.4 million from the Victorian State Government, and $4.2 million from funding recipients. “I congratulate all successful applicants from across Victorian State Government agencies, local government authorities, and not-for-profit organisations.” Minister Merlino said 36 projects had been selected for funding under the Natural Disaster Resilience Grants Scheme to strengthen the state’s resilience to natural disasters. “Through the scheme, projects are jointly funded by the Commonwealth and State governments on a cost share basis with the applicants,” Minister Merlino said. “These are important programs led by state agencies, local councils, non-government organisations, volunteer organisations and researchers that help communities prepare for and respond to natural disasters.” The projects include: Funding for floodplain management Pre-hospital emergency simulation training for ambulance officers Support for Victorian teachers to deliver education on risk awareness and resilience related to natural hazards Strengthening of emergency planning for vulnerable people in rural communities The construction of a levee system to protect the Warracknabeal Township Reconstruction of the levee for the Robinvale Township For more information on the full list of projects and the grants scheme see Emergency Management Victoria website. Download the Media Release (209 KB)