• 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

MAKING BILLANOOK PRIMARY SCHOOL BETTER PREPARED FOR BUSHFIRES

Students at Billanook Primary School will be safer this summer with the Andrews Labor Government making sure schools in the state’s highest fire danger areas are better prepared for bushfires. James Merlino MP today inspected Billanook Primary School in MONBULK, which will have its bushfire shelter area audited and upgraded under the $10 million program. Fire shelter areas at 200 government schools in high-risk areas around the state will be upgraded under the program, including vegetation removal, gutter cleaning, and the installation of gutter guards, door and window fire shutters, water tanks and sprinklers. Bushfire preparation audits have already been completed at 51 high-priority schools and work is underway to make sure they are bushfire ready for the first day of term one, 2017. Forty more schools will have their shelter areas audited next month, with the final 109 school audits completed by June. School shelters are being audited and upgraded based on risk, with work being completed first at higher-risk schools. These bushfire safety upgrades – combined with the newly funded school emergency SMS service and existing school emergency plans like closing on Code Red days and off-site evacuation protocols – mean students at Victoria’s high bushfire risk schools are safer than ever. The Labor Government is building the Education State so every Victorian student gets the opportunity for a great education and every community has access to a great school. There are now 42 new government schools in the construction pipeline and more than 1000 school building projects going on across Victoria following the Labor Government’s record $1.8 billion investment in school infrastructure. To find out more visit http://www.schoolbuildings.vic.gov.au/Pages/Bushfire-Risk-and-Readiness.aspx Quotes attributable to Jam “Students at Billanook Primary School will be safer this summer thanks to this vital bushfire safety upgrade, which will make a real difference for families in MONBULK.” Quotes attributable Acting Premier and Minister for Education James Merlino “Every Victorian government school has a place to shelter from bushfires as a last resort, and this program will make sure the shelters at 200 schools in the highest fire risk areas are even safer.” Quotes attributable to Emergency Management Commissioner Craig Lapsley "Children are in school at a critical time of the year when it comes to fire risk in Victoria, and these very practical measures have the potential to protect children when they need it most."

MAKING BILLANOOK PRIMARY SCHOOL BETTER PREPARED FOR BUSHFIRES

Students at Billanook Primary School will be safer this summer with the Andrews Labor Government making sure schools in the state’s highest fire danger areas are better prepared for bushfires. James Merlino MP today inspected Billanook Primary School in MONBULK, which will have its bushfire shelter area audited and upgraded under the $10 million program. Fire shelter areas at 200 government schools in high-risk areas around the state will be upgraded under the program, including vegetation removal, gutter cleaning, and the installation of gutter guards, door and window fire shutters, water tanks and sprinklers. Bushfire preparation audits have already been completed at 51 high-priority schools and work is underway to make sure they are bushfire ready for the first day of term one, 2017. Forty more schools will have their shelter areas audited next month, with the final 109 school audits completed by June. School shelters are being audited and upgraded based on risk, with work being completed first at higher-risk schools. These bushfire safety upgrades – combined with the newly funded school emergency SMS service and existing school emergency plans like closing on Code Red days and off-site evacuation protocols – mean students at Victoria’s high bushfire risk schools are safer than ever. The Labor Government is building the Education State so every Victorian student gets the opportunity for a great education and every community has access to a great school. There are now 42 new government schools in the construction pipeline and more than 1000 school building projects going on across Victoria following the Labor Government’s record $1.8 billion investment in school infrastructure. To find out more visit http://www.schoolbuildings.vic.gov.au/Pages/Bushfire-Risk-and-Readiness.aspx Quotes attributable to Jam “Students at Billanook Primary School will be safer this summer thanks to this vital bushfire safety upgrade, which will make a real difference for families in MONBULK.” Quotes attributable Acting Premier and Minister for Education James Merlino “Every Victorian government school has a place to shelter from bushfires as a last resort, and this program will make sure the shelters at 200 schools in the highest fire risk areas are even safer.” Quotes attributable to Emergency Management Commissioner Craig Lapsley "Children are in school at a critical time of the year when it comes to fire risk in Victoria, and these very practical measures have the potential to protect children when they need it most."

SUPPORTING STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES AND SPECIAL NEEDS

Schools across Victoria will be better equipped to support more students with disabilities and special needs thanks to the Andrews Labor Government’s $20 million Inclusive School Fund. Round two of the Fund will see 24 schools sharing in $3.6 million, which helps schools build new facilities to better support the social and educational needs of students with disabilities and special needs. Schools are encouraged to be creative with their ideas to make interesting and stimulating learning and play spaces that will benefit all students, including those with special needs. Minister for Education James Merlino today announced the successful grant recipients during a visit to Gladesville Primary School, which won a grant of $117,300 to create a calm room and attached outdoor space. Gladesville Primary has a high proportion of students who have come from a background of abuse and neglect. The school has a strong focus on removing barriers for students with disabilities, trauma history and special needs. Facilities will provide a welcome sensory environment for students with disabilities, including children with trauma history. The project will also feature gardening and outdoor play, weighted blankets which help students relax and “therapy swings”. The Inclusive Schools Fund grants are on top of the $155.8 million announced in the Victorian Budget 2016/17  to improve the facilities available to students with special needs, including $58.5 million to upgrade 20 special schools across Victoria. The Fund is one of nine initiatives in the Special Needs Plan for Victorian Schools to ensure that students with disabilities get the same chances as other students. More information about these projects is available at: www.schoolbuildings.vic.gov.au Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “Building the Education State means making sure everyone can access a great education – no matter their circumstances.” “Many schools across Victoria have creative ideas about how to improve their facilities to make them more inclusive and the Andrews Labor Government is helping those schools bring these ideas to life.” Quotes attributable to Member for Mordialloc and Ambassador for the Special Needs Plans Tim Richardson “The Inclusive Schools Fund assists students with injuries or disabilities access mainstream schools.” “It makes a real difference because the right facilities can not only increase participation but help students improve their learning outcomes.”

SUPPORTING STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES AND SPECIAL NEEDS

Schools across Victoria will be better equipped to support more students with disabilities and special needs thanks to the Andrews Labor Government’s $20 million Inclusive School Fund. Round two of the Fund will see 24 schools sharing in $3.6 million, which helps schools build new facilities to better support the social and educational needs of students with disabilities and special needs. Schools are encouraged to be creative with their ideas to make interesting and stimulating learning and play spaces that will benefit all students, including those with special needs. Minister for Education James Merlino today announced the successful grant recipients during a visit to Gladesville Primary School, which won a grant of $117,300 to create a calm room and attached outdoor space. Gladesville Primary has a high proportion of students who have come from a background of abuse and neglect. The school has a strong focus on removing barriers for students with disabilities, trauma history and special needs. Facilities will provide a welcome sensory environment for students with disabilities, including children with trauma history. The project will also feature gardening and outdoor play, weighted blankets which help students relax and “therapy swings”. The Inclusive Schools Fund grants are on top of the $155.8 million announced in the Victorian Budget 2016/17  to improve the facilities available to students with special needs, including $58.5 million to upgrade 20 special schools across Victoria. The Fund is one of nine initiatives in the Special Needs Plan for Victorian Schools to ensure that students with disabilities get the same chances as other students. More information about these projects is available at: www.schoolbuildings.vic.gov.au Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “Building the Education State means making sure everyone can access a great education – no matter their circumstances.” “Many schools across Victoria have creative ideas about how to improve their facilities to make them more inclusive and the Andrews Labor Government is helping those schools bring these ideas to life.” Quotes attributable to Member for Mordialloc and Ambassador for the Special Needs Plans Tim Richardson “The Inclusive Schools Fund assists students with injuries or disabilities access mainstream schools.” “It makes a real difference because the right facilities can not only increase participation but help students improve their learning outcomes.”

SUPPORTING STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES AND SPECIAL NEEDS

Schools across Victoria will be better equipped to support more students with disabilities and special needs thanks to the Andrews Labor Government’s $20 million Inclusive School Fund. Round two of the Fund will see 24 schools sharing in $3.6 million, which helps schools build new facilities to better support the social and educational needs of students with disabilities and special needs. Schools are encouraged to be creative with their ideas to make interesting and stimulating learning and play spaces that will benefit all students, including those with special needs. Minister for Education James Merlino today announced the successful grant recipients during a visit to Gladesville Primary School, which won a grant of $117,300 to create a calm room and attached outdoor space. Gladesville Primary has a high proportion of students who have come from a background of abuse and neglect. The school has a strong focus on removing barriers for students with disabilities, trauma history and special needs. Facilities will provide a welcome sensory environment for students with disabilities, including children with trauma history. The project will also feature gardening and outdoor play, weighted blankets which help students relax and “therapy swings”. The Inclusive Schools Fund grants are on top of the $155.8 million announced in the Victorian Budget 2016/17  to improve the facilities available to students with special needs, including $58.5 million to upgrade 20 special schools across Victoria. The Fund is one of nine initiatives in the Special Needs Plan for Victorian Schools to ensure that students with disabilities get the same chances as other students. More information about these projects is available at: www.schoolbuildings.vic.gov.au Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “Building the Education State means making sure everyone can access a great education – no matter their circumstances.” “Many schools across Victoria have creative ideas about how to improve their facilities to make them more inclusive and the Andrews Labor Government is helping those schools bring these ideas to life.” Quotes attributable to Member for Mordialloc and Ambassador for the Special Needs Plans Tim Richardson “The Inclusive Schools Fund assists students with injuries or disabilities access mainstream schools.” “It makes a real difference because the right facilities can not only increase participation but help students improve their learning outcomes.”  

SUPPORTING STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES AND SPECIAL NEEDS

Schools across Victoria will be better equipped to support more students with disabilities and special needs thanks to the Andrews Labor Government’s $20 million Inclusive School Fund. Round two of the Fund will see 24 schools sharing in $3.6 million, which helps schools build new facilities to better support the social and educational needs of students with disabilities and special needs. Schools are encouraged to be creative with their ideas to make interesting and stimulating learning and play spaces that will benefit all students, including those with special needs. Minister for Education James Merlino today announced the successful grant recipients during a visit to Gladesville Primary School, which won a grant of $117,300 to create a calm room and attached outdoor space. Gladesville Primary has a high proportion of students who have come from a background of abuse and neglect. The school has a strong focus on removing barriers for students with disabilities, trauma history and special needs. Facilities will provide a welcome sensory environment for students with disabilities, including children with trauma history. The project will also feature gardening and outdoor play, weighted blankets which help students relax and “therapy swings”. The Inclusive Schools Fund grants are on top of the $155.8 million announced in the Victorian Budget 2016/17  to improve the facilities available to students with special needs, including $58.5 million to upgrade 20 special schools across Victoria. The Fund is one of nine initiatives in the Special Needs Plan for Victorian Schools to ensure that students with disabilities get the same chances as other students. More information about these projects is available at: www.schoolbuildings.vic.gov.au Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “Building the Education State means making sure everyone can access a great education – no matter their circumstances.” “Many schools across Victoria have creative ideas about how to improve their facilities to make them more inclusive and the Andrews Labor Government is helping those schools bring these ideas to life.” Quotes attributable to Member for Mordialloc and Ambassador for the Special Needs Plans Tim Richardson “The Inclusive Schools Fund assists students with injuries or disabilities access mainstream schools.” “It makes a real difference because the right facilities can not only increase participation but help students improve their learning outcomes.”  

Putting People First By Building School Pride

The Andrews Labor Government has released a world-first target to raise pride and confidence in government schools. Minister for Education James Merlino announced the target while visiting Northern Bay College’s Wexford Court campus this morning, where he turned the first sod to mark the start of construction of the $6 million regeneration project. The project consists of a $1 million upgrade to the school’s Wexford Court campus and a $4.9 million upgrade to the Tallis Street P-8 Campus. The Wexford Court campus upgrade will include an extension to its administration and Prep-Year 2 building, comprising new classrooms and student amenities. Tallis Street campus works are still in design and will include the construction of a new Year 6-8 learning area including classrooms and facilities for art, multi-media, design and culinary arts. The new school confidence target will aim for a 20 per cent increase in parents and carers reporting high levels of confidence by 2025. The target will measured through a representative, cross-sectional survey of parents and carers with progress reported publicly. The Labor Government is putting people first by building the Education State, and this means making sure every student has access to a great school. There are now 42 new government schools and hundreds of school upgrades in the construction pipeline following the Government’s record $1.8 billion investment in school infrastructure – a building boom which will create 4000 construction jobs and ensure all families have access to a great school no matter where they live. Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “We are upgrading Northern Bay P-12 College so local families can access a great local school with world-class facilities they have confidence in.” “We have provided more than $1.8 billion in the past two budgets to build, upgrade and maintain hundreds of schools so every Victorian student gets the first-rate learning facilities they deserve.” Quotes attributable to Member for Lara John Eren “Northern Bay College is a wonderful school and these upgrades will make a real difference to students and staff.” “The $6 million building project will improve engagement by giving students a great place to learn as well as demonstrating the importance of education to the local community.” Download the Media Release (355 kB)

Putting People First By Building School Pride

The Andrews Labor Government has released a world-first target to raise pride and confidence in government schools. Minister for Education James Merlino announced the target while visiting Northern Bay College’s Wexford Court campus this morning, where he turned the first sod to mark the start of construction of the $6 million regeneration project. The project consists of a $1 million upgrade to the school’s Wexford Court campus and a $4.9 million upgrade to the Tallis Street P-8 Campus. The Wexford Court campus upgrade will include an extension to its administration and Prep-Year 2 building, comprising new classrooms and student amenities. Tallis Street campus works are still in design and will include the construction of a new Year 6-8 learning area including classrooms and facilities for art, multi-media, design and culinary arts. The new school confidence target will aim for a 20 per cent increase in parents and carers reporting high levels of confidence by 2025. The target will measured through a representative, cross-sectional survey of parents and carers with progress reported publicly. The Labor Government is putting people first by building the Education State, and this means making sure every student has access to a great school. There are now 42 new government schools and hundreds of school upgrades in the construction pipeline following the Government’s record $1.8 billion investment in school infrastructure – a building boom which will create 4000 construction jobs and ensure all families have access to a great school no matter where they live. Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “We are upgrading Northern Bay P-12 College so local families can access a great local school with world-class facilities they have confidence in.” “We have provided more than $1.8 billion in the past two budgets to build, upgrade and maintain hundreds of schools so every Victorian student gets the first-rate learning facilities they deserve.” Quotes attributable to Member for Lara John Eren “Northern Bay College is a wonderful school and these upgrades will make a real difference to students and staff.” “The $6 million building project will improve engagement by giving students a great place to learn as well as demonstrating the importance of education to the local community.” Download the Media Release (355 kB)

Supporting Students With Disabilities And Special Needs

Schools across Victoria will be better equipped to support more students with disabilities and special needs thanks to the Andrews Labor Government’s $20 million Inclusive School Fund. Round two of the Fund will see 24 schools sharing in $3.6 million, which helps schools build new facilities to better support the social and educational needs of students with disabilities and special needs. Schools are encouraged to be creative with their ideas to make interesting and stimulating learning and play spaces that will benefit all students, including those with special needs. Minister for Education James Merlino today announced the successful grant recipients during a visit to Gladesville Primary School, which won a grant of $117,300 to create a calm room and attached outdoor space. Gladesville Primary has a high proportion of students who have come from a background of abuse and neglect. The school has a strong focus on removing barriers for students with disabilities, trauma history and special needs. Facilities will provide a welcome sensory environment for students with disabilities, including children with trauma history. The project will also feature gardening and outdoor play, weighted blankets which help students relax and “therapy swings”. The Inclusive Schools Fund grants are on top of the $155.8 million announced in the Victorian Budget 2016/17  to improve the facilities available to students with special needs, including $58.5 million to upgrade 20 special schools across Victoria. The Fund is one of nine initiatives in the Special Needs Plan for Victorian Schools to ensure that students with disabilities get the same chances as other students. More information about these projects is available at: www.schoolbuildings.vic.gov.au Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “Building the Education State means making sure everyone can access a great education – no matter their circumstances.” “Many schools across Victoria have creative ideas about how to improve their facilities to make them more inclusive and the Andrews Labor Government is helping those schools bring these ideas to life.” Quotes attributable to Member for Mordialloc and Ambassador for the Special Needs Plans Tim Richardson “The Inclusive Schools Fund assists students with injuries or disabilities access mainstream schools.” “It makes a real difference because the right facilities can not only increase participation but help students improve their learning outcomes.” Download the Media Release (357 kB)

Supporting Students With Disabilities And Special Needs

Schools across Victoria will be better equipped to support more students with disabilities and special needs thanks to the Andrews Labor Government’s $20 million Inclusive School Fund. Round two of the Fund will see 24 schools sharing in $3.6 million, which helps schools build new facilities to better support the social and educational needs of students with disabilities and special needs. Schools are encouraged to be creative with their ideas to make interesting and stimulating learning and play spaces that will benefit all students, including those with special needs. Minister for Education James Merlino today announced the successful grant recipients during a visit to Gladesville Primary School, which won a grant of $117,300 to create a calm room and attached outdoor space. Gladesville Primary has a high proportion of students who have come from a background of abuse and neglect. The school has a strong focus on removing barriers for students with disabilities, trauma history and special needs. Facilities will provide a welcome sensory environment for students with disabilities, including children with trauma history. The project will also feature gardening and outdoor play, weighted blankets which help students relax and “therapy swings”. The Inclusive Schools Fund grants are on top of the $155.8 million announced in the Victorian Budget 2016/17  to improve the facilities available to students with special needs, including $58.5 million to upgrade 20 special schools across Victoria. The Fund is one of nine initiatives in the Special Needs Plan for Victorian Schools to ensure that students with disabilities get the same chances as other students. More information about these projects is available at: www.schoolbuildings.vic.gov.au Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “Building the Education State means making sure everyone can access a great education – no matter their circumstances.” “Many schools across Victoria have creative ideas about how to improve their facilities to make them more inclusive and the Andrews Labor Government is helping those schools bring these ideas to life.” Quotes attributable to Member for Mordialloc and Ambassador for the Special Needs Plans Tim Richardson “The Inclusive Schools Fund assists students with injuries or disabilities access mainstream schools.” “It makes a real difference because the right facilities can not only increase participation but help students improve their learning outcomes.” Download the Media Release (357 kB)

Record Number Of Victorian Students Pass Their VCE

A record number of Victorian students have completed their Victorian Certificate of Education this year, with results officially released at 7am. Minister for Education James Merlino met students at Maribyrnong College to congratulate them on completing their VCE and discuss their plans for the future. A total of 49,765 students have now completed the final chapter in their school lives and obtained their VCE, which represents a record completion rate of 97.9 per cent of students. Of these students, 3804 will be awarded the VCE (Baccalaureate) and a further 13,050 students will receive their Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning (VCAL). 14,649 high achieving students received a study score of 40 or more in a subject. Mr Merlino urged all students to make the most of their hard work, and to strive for excellence in whatever it is they choose to do next. While many students will seek a place at a university, others will be seeking to advance their careers through TAFE, apprenticeships, traineeships  or employment. Students who may be disappointed with their results should contact their school or the Post Results and ATAR Service on how to change their higher education preferences. Students have until 12pm on 20 December to change their university and TAFE preferences. Students can contact the Post Results enquiry service on 1800 653 080. Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “Completing VCE is a significant achievement and I congratulate all of our Year 12 students – you should be very proud of what you have achieved.” “Parents and teachers play a big part in supporting Year 12 students through their VCE and I thank the families and schools for the encouragement they’ve given students throughout this year.” “If you didn’t get the results you wanted, seek advice from your school and remember there are many pathways to success in life.” Download the Media Release (350 kB)

Record Number Of Victorian Students Pass Their VCE

A record number of Victorian students have completed their Victorian Certificate of Education this year, with results officially released at 7am. Minister for Education James Merlino met students at Maribyrnong College to congratulate them on completing their VCE and discuss their plans for the future. A total of 49,765 students have now completed the final chapter in their school lives and obtained their VCE, which represents a record completion rate of 97.9 per cent of students. Of these students, 3804 will be awarded the VCE (Baccalaureate) and a further 13,050 students will receive their Victorian Certificate of Applied Learning (VCAL). 14,649 high achieving students received a study score of 40 or more in a subject. Mr Merlino urged all students to make the most of their hard work, and to strive for excellence in whatever it is they choose to do next. While many students will seek a place at a university, others will be seeking to advance their careers through TAFE, apprenticeships, traineeships  or employment. Students who may be disappointed with their results should contact their school or the Post Results and ATAR Service on how to change their higher education preferences. Students have until 12pm on 20 December to change their university and TAFE preferences. Students can contact the Post Results enquiry service on 1800 653 080. Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “Completing VCE is a significant achievement and I congratulate all of our Year 12 students – you should be very proud of what you have achieved.” “Parents and teachers play a big part in supporting Year 12 students through their VCE and I thank the families and schools for the encouragement they’ve given students throughout this year.” “If you didn’t get the results you wanted, seek advice from your school and remember there are many pathways to success in life.” Download the Media Release (350 kB)

MONBULK ELECTORATE SPORTS CLUBS ENCOURAGED TO APPLY FOR NEW GRANTS

Monbulk electorate sports clubs will be able open their doors to more members with funding from the Andrews Labor Government to buy new equipment and help coaches and officials learn new skills. Member for Monbulk Mr James Merlino MP, today encouraged applications from local clubs for the third round of the $4.6 million Sporting Club Grants Program. The Sporting Club Grants Program is part of the government’s commitment to make sport more accessible and inclusive, increase local participation, stimulate local economies, and build sustainable sport and recreation and volunteer opportunities. The Sporting Club Grants Program provides grants of up to $1000 to clubs across Victoria to buy new team uniforms or equipment. Grants of up to $2000 are also available to expand the skills of coaches and officials, and clubs can receive up to $5000 for initiatives that strengthen their operations and sustainability. Victoria is the sporting State, and the Labor Government wants it to stay that way. The Sporting Club Grants Program is just one of the Government’s initiatives that keep kids happy and healthy, communities active and local clubs strong. Applications for the next funding round open on 07 December 2016 and close on 15 February 2017. For more information or to apply online, visit www.sport.vic.gov.au Quotes attributable to Member for Monbulk “I encourage Monbulk clubs to make the most of this support, and apply online for the second round of Sporting Club Grants Program.” “Giving club administrators and volunteers opportunities to improve their skills will also give our clubs the edge over our rivals, and make sure that they’re sustainable.” “Programs like these give communities like [insert name] the chance to come together and play their favourite sport, learn new skills, and reach their potential.”    

MONBULK ELECTORATE SPORTS CLUBS ENCOURAGED TO APPLY FOR NEW GRANTS

Monbulk electorate sports clubs will be able open their doors to more members with funding from the Andrews Labor Government to buy new equipment and help coaches and officials learn new skills. Member for Monbulk Mr James Merlino MP, today encouraged applications from local clubs for the third round of the $4.6 million Sporting Club Grants Program. The Sporting Club Grants Program is part of the government’s commitment to make sport more accessible and inclusive, increase local participation, stimulate local economies, and build sustainable sport and recreation and volunteer opportunities. The Sporting Club Grants Program provides grants of up to $1000 to clubs across Victoria to buy new team uniforms or equipment. Grants of up to $2000 are also available to expand the skills of coaches and officials, and clubs can receive up to $5000 for initiatives that strengthen their operations and sustainability. Victoria is the sporting State, and the Labor Government wants it to stay that way. The Sporting Club Grants Program is just one of the Government’s initiatives that keep kids happy and healthy, communities active and local clubs strong. Applications for the next funding round open on 07 December 2016 and close on 15 February 2017. For more information or to apply online, visit www.sport.vic.gov.au Quotes attributable to Member for Monbulk “I encourage Monbulk clubs to make the most of this support, and apply online for the second round of Sporting Club Grants Program.” “Giving club administrators and volunteers opportunities to improve their skills will also give our clubs the edge over our rivals, and make sure that they’re sustainable.” “Programs like these give communities like [insert name] the chance to come together and play their favourite sport, learn new skills, and reach their potential.”    

MONTROSE FOOTBALL CLUB INC CLUBS WIN GRANTS FOR WOMEN AND SOCIAL SPORTS

Montrose Football Club Inc has won a $3,000 grant to help more women and girls play the sport they love. Member for Monbulk, James Merlino MP today announced the Monbulk electorate recipient of VicHealth’s Active Club Grants program. The program is all about boosting access to grassroots sport and recreation so even more people can enjoy the benefits of a healthier and happier lifestyle. These grants will help clubs establish new activities, competitions and programs that encourage more women and girls to get out on the pitch, and assist clubs that are starting up a social or modified sport program. Some 145 clubs across the state have shared in $400,000 to buy vital sports equipment, uniforms and safety gear that will encourage more people to participate in sport and recreation. The Andrews Labor Government is working hard to grow women’s participation in sport, so female athletes have the same opportunities and the same facilities as everyone else. We’re the sporting state, and it doesn’t happen by chance. Our $100 million Community Sports Infrastructure Fund is helping communities all over Victoria to upgrade tired facilities and build the great grassroots venues they deserve. The fund includes $10 million for Female Friendly Facilities to build or upgrade women’s change rooms, meaning female players will never again have to use make-shift areas to prepare for competition and training. This is the biggest ever investment in women’s participation in sport by an Australian state government. Last month we unveiled our new Change Our Game campaign to help more women and girls earn leadership roles in sport such as coaches, officials, board members and senior executives. Labor’s Victorian Public Health and Wellbeing Plan 2015-2019 outlines key priorities over four years to improve the health and wellbeing of all Victorians, particularly the most disadvantaged. Quotes attributable to Member for Monbulk, James Merlino MP “We want everyone in the Monbulk electorate to get active and embrace a healthy lifestyle, no matter what age or ability.” “Congratulations to Montrose Football Club Inc who have won this grant to get more people moving and involved in new and fun social ways of playing sport.” “For too long female sport participation rates have been lower than males. We’re fixing that, creating more opportunities for women and girls to play sport and building the world-class facilities they deserve.”

MONTROSE FOOTBALL CLUB INC CLUBS WIN GRANTS FOR WOMEN AND SOCIAL SPORTS

Montrose Football Club Inc has won a $3,000 grant to help more women and girls play the sport they love. Member for Monbulk, James Merlino MP today announced the Monbulk electorate recipient of VicHealth’s Active Club Grants program. The program is all about boosting access to grassroots sport and recreation so even more people can enjoy the benefits of a healthier and happier lifestyle. These grants will help clubs establish new activities, competitions and programs that encourage more women and girls to get out on the pitch, and assist clubs that are starting up a social or modified sport program. Some 145 clubs across the state have shared in $400,000 to buy vital sports equipment, uniforms and safety gear that will encourage more people to participate in sport and recreation. The Andrews Labor Government is working hard to grow women’s participation in sport, so female athletes have the same opportunities and the same facilities as everyone else. We’re the sporting state, and it doesn’t happen by chance. Our $100 million Community Sports Infrastructure Fund is helping communities all over Victoria to upgrade tired facilities and build the great grassroots venues they deserve. The fund includes $10 million for Female Friendly Facilities to build or upgrade women’s change rooms, meaning female players will never again have to use make-shift areas to prepare for competition and training. This is the biggest ever investment in women’s participation in sport by an Australian state government. Last month we unveiled our new Change Our Game campaign to help more women and girls earn leadership roles in sport such as coaches, officials, board members and senior executives. Labor’s Victorian Public Health and Wellbeing Plan 2015-2019 outlines key priorities over four years to improve the health and wellbeing of all Victorians, particularly the most disadvantaged. Quotes attributable to Member for Monbulk, James Merlino MP “We want everyone in the Monbulk electorate to get active and embrace a healthy lifestyle, no matter what age or ability.” “Congratulations to Montrose Football Club Inc who have won this grant to get more people moving and involved in new and fun social ways of playing sport.” “For too long female sport participation rates have been lower than males. We’re fixing that, creating more opportunities for women and girls to play sport and building the world-class facilities they deserve.”

 

Funding Boost For Victorian Independent Schools

Catholic and Independent school students will enjoy new and upgraded facilities thanks to a $32.8 million funding boost from the Andrews Labor Government. Minister for Education James Merlino today visited St Louis De Montfort’s School to announce the funding, which includes $1.7 million for 12 new classrooms and a new performing arts centre at the Aspendale Primary School. It’s all part of the Labor Government’s $120 million plan to upgrade Catholic and Independent schools, matching the sector’s contribution dollar-for dollar. The latest round of funding will provide new and refurbished classrooms to meet increasing enrolment demand at Independent and Catholic Schools across Victoria. It will also go towards building two new Catholic Schools – $1.8 million for a new primary school in Bass Coast and $3 million for a new primary and secondary school in Greater Shepparton. The Labor Government is building the Education State so that every community has access to a great school and every Victorian student can get a great education. On top of the $120 million in funding to improve facilities at Catholic and Independent schools, the Labor Government has invested a record $1.8 billion in government school infrastructure in the past two years. Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “One in three Victorian students attend Catholic and Independent schools and today’s funding boost will provide new and improved facilities for schools like St Louis De Montfort’s.” “We are matching the sector dollar-for-dollar and building modern and fit-for-purpose classrooms and other facilities to meet increasing enrolment demand.” Quote attributable to Ambassador for Non-Government Schools Capital Funding Nick Staikos “I’m proud to be part of a Government that is securing the best possible education for students from every school in Victoria, including our many Catholic and Independent schools.” Quote attributable to Member for Mordialloc Tim Richardson “The staff and students at St Louise De Montfort’s are very proud of their school. Its high quality outdoor learning environment should be matched with high quality infrastructure and buildings and that is exactly what this funding will achieve.” Schools to receive funding: $3 million to start construction for a new Catholic primary and secondary school in Shepparton $2.8 million to build new classrooms, arts rooms and offices at Beaconhills College in Pakenham $2 million for 16 new classrooms at Padua College in Mornington $1.9 million for six new classrooms and tutorial rooms at the St Paul’s Anglican Grammar School in Warragul $1.8 million to start construction for a new Catholic primary school in Cowes $1.7 million to build 12 new classrooms and a performing arts facility at St Louis de Monfort’s School in Aspendale $1.5 million to refurbish seven classrooms and staff offices at St Thomas the Apostle in Cranbourne East $1.4 million for new visual arts facility, classrooms and landscaping at Notre Dame College in Shepparton $1.4 million for a new two-storey VCE and science building at Mt Hira College in Keysborough $1.2 million to build 12 new classrooms and remove relocatable classrooms at Sacred Heart Primary School in Croydon $1.2 million to upgrade facilities and classrooms at St Joseph’s Primary School in Boronia $1 million for nine new classrooms at St Monica’s College in Epping $1 million to refurbish 26 classrooms at Mercy College in Coburg $1 million to replace seven relocatable buildings with specialist classrooms at Nagle College in Bairnsdale $1 million for a new learning centre at Marist College in Maiden Gully, Bendigo $950,000 for new classrooms at St Mel’s School in Shepparton South $840,000 to extend the library and build new classrooms at Chairo Christian School in Pakenham $780,000 for new classrooms, offices and a sports storeroom at Darul Ulum College in Fawkner $730,000 to build four new classrooms at St Anthony’s School in Melton South $700,000 to refurbish six classrooms and other facilities at Holy Child School in Dallas $700,000 for a new performing arts centre and extended tech wing at Cobram Anglican Grammar School $500,000 to refurbish science classrooms and staff offices at Catholic College Wodonga $500,000 for a new performing arts facility at Catholic Regional College Caroline Springs $500,000 to refurbish and extend the theatre at Kilbreda College in Mentone $500,000 to refurbish the library and eleven classrooms at Salesian College in Sunbury $500,000 to refurbish the theatre at Our Lady of the Sacred Heart College in Bentleigh $500,000 to upgrade the library and refurbish 13 classrooms at Ave Maria College in Aberfeldie $500,000 to upgrade classrooms at Mount St Joseph Girls’ College in Altona $300,000 to upgrade classrooms at St Dominic’s School in Broadmeadows $150,000 for three new classrooms at St Michael’s School in Traralgon   Download the Media Release (173 kB)  

Funding Boost For Victorian Independent Schools

Catholic and Independent school students will enjoy new and upgraded facilities thanks to a $32.8 million funding boost from the Andrews Labor Government. Minister for Education James Merlino today visited St Louis De Montfort’s School to announce the funding, which includes $1.7 million for 12 new classrooms and a new performing arts centre at the Aspendale Primary School. It’s all part of the Labor Government’s $120 million plan to upgrade Catholic and Independent schools, matching the sector’s contribution dollar-for dollar. The latest round of funding will provide new and refurbished classrooms to meet increasing enrolment demand at Independent and Catholic Schools across Victoria. It will also go towards building two new Catholic Schools – $1.8 million for a new primary school in Bass Coast and $3 million for a new primary and secondary school in Greater Shepparton. The Labor Government is building the Education State so that every community has access to a great school and every Victorian student can get a great education. On top of the $120 million in funding to improve facilities at Catholic and Independent schools, the Labor Government has invested a record $1.8 billion in government school infrastructure in the past two years. Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “One in three Victorian students attend Catholic and Independent schools and today’s funding boost will provide new and improved facilities for schools like St Louis De Montfort’s.” “We are matching the sector dollar-for-dollar and building modern and fit-for-purpose classrooms and other facilities to meet increasing enrolment demand.” Quote attributable to Ambassador for Non-Government Schools Capital Funding Nick Staikos “I’m proud to be part of a Government that is securing the best possible education for students from every school in Victoria, including our many Catholic and Independent schools.” Quote attributable to Member for Mordialloc Tim Richardson “The staff and students at St Louise De Montfort’s are very proud of their school. Its high quality outdoor learning environment should be matched with high quality infrastructure and buildings and that is exactly what this funding will achieve.” Schools to receive funding: $3 million to start construction for a new Catholic primary and secondary school in Shepparton $2.8 million to build new classrooms, arts rooms and offices at Beaconhills College in Pakenham $2 million for 16 new classrooms at Padua College in Mornington $1.9 million for six new classrooms and tutorial rooms at the St Paul’s Anglican Grammar School in Warragul $1.8 million to start construction for a new Catholic primary school in Cowes $1.7 million to build 12 new classrooms and a performing arts facility at St Louis de Monfort’s School in Aspendale $1.5 million to refurbish seven classrooms and staff offices at St Thomas the Apostle in Cranbourne East $1.4 million for new visual arts facility, classrooms and landscaping at Notre Dame College in Shepparton $1.4 million for a new two-storey VCE and science building at Mt Hira College in Keysborough $1.2 million to build 12 new classrooms and remove relocatable classrooms at Sacred Heart Primary School in Croydon $1.2 million to upgrade facilities and classrooms at St Joseph’s Primary School in Boronia $1 million for nine new classrooms at St Monica’s College in Epping $1 million to refurbish 26 classrooms at Mercy College in Coburg $1 million to replace seven relocatable buildings with specialist classrooms at Nagle College in Bairnsdale $1 million for a new learning centre at Marist College in Maiden Gully, Bendigo $950,000 for new classrooms at St Mel’s School in Shepparton South $840,000 to extend the library and build new classrooms at Chairo Christian School in Pakenham $780,000 for new classrooms, offices and a sports storeroom at Darul Ulum College in Fawkner $730,000 to build four new classrooms at St Anthony’s School in Melton South $700,000 to refurbish six classrooms and other facilities at Holy Child School in Dallas $700,000 for a new performing arts centre and extended tech wing at Cobram Anglican Grammar School $500,000 to refurbish science classrooms and staff offices at Catholic College Wodonga $500,000 for a new performing arts facility at Catholic Regional College Caroline Springs $500,000 to refurbish and extend the theatre at Kilbreda College in Mentone $500,000 to refurbish the library and eleven classrooms at Salesian College in Sunbury $500,000 to refurbish the theatre at Our Lady of the Sacred Heart College in Bentleigh $500,000 to upgrade the library and refurbish 13 classrooms at Ave Maria College in Aberfeldie $500,000 to upgrade classrooms at Mount St Joseph Girls’ College in Altona $300,000 to upgrade classrooms at St Dominic’s School in Broadmeadows $150,000 for three new classrooms at St Michael’s School in Traralgon   Download the Media Release (173 kB)  

Victorian Students Move Up In The Education Ranks

Victorian students are performing above the international average in science, reading and maths, according to a new OECD report. Released every three years, the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) compares the scientific, reading and mathematical literacy of 15-year-old students in OECD countries. The latest report shows scores for Victorian students in scientific, reading and mathematical literacy are above the OECD average and have also improved nationally since the last assessment in 2012. Compared to the other states, Victoria has improved from fifth place in maths and science to third place, after the ACT and Western Australia. Victoria is ranked equal second with Western Australia in reading, after the ACT. Improving the performance of Victorian students in maths, science and reading are key parts of the Andrews Labor Government’s Education State reforms. The Labor Government has set targets to increase the number of Year 9 students excelling in scientific literacy by 33 per cent by 2025, and 25 per cent in maths and reading. This includes changing the way science, technology, engineering and maths subjects (STEM) are taught so they are exciting and relevant to all students, and investing in our teachers and schools so they have the skills and resources they need, including: Investing $128 million to build ten new Tech Schools specialising in teaching STEM subjects and employment skills to secondary school students, opening in 2017 and 2018 Training 60 teachers at 30 schools to mentor other teachers in STEM education for Years 7-8 students Training 200 teachers to drive significant improvements in maths and science participation and outcomes. Quotes attributable to Education Minister James Merlino “The latest PISA results show Victorian students are improving in maths, science and reading compared to students in other Australian states.” “We know that 75 per cent of future jobs will require STEM subjects, that’s why we’re giving our teachers and schools the skills and resources they need to make science and maths more interesting and relevant for students.” “This assessment was carried out just five months after our record $566 million investment in needs-based funding started to flow to Victorian schools, so we’re only just starting to see the difference it is making and will continue to make in years to come.” Download the Media Release (369 kB)

Victorian Students Move Up In The Education Ranks

Victorian students are performing above the international average in science, reading and maths, according to a new OECD report. Released every three years, the Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) compares the scientific, reading and mathematical literacy of 15-year-old students in OECD countries. The latest report shows scores for Victorian students in scientific, reading and mathematical literacy are above the OECD average and have also improved nationally since the last assessment in 2012. Compared to the other states, Victoria has improved from fifth place in maths and science to third place, after the ACT and Western Australia. Victoria is ranked equal second with Western Australia in reading, after the ACT. Improving the performance of Victorian students in maths, science and reading are key parts of the Andrews Labor Government’s Education State reforms. The Labor Government has set targets to increase the number of Year 9 students excelling in scientific literacy by 33 per cent by 2025, and 25 per cent in maths and reading. This includes changing the way science, technology, engineering and maths subjects (STEM) are taught so they are exciting and relevant to all students, and investing in our teachers and schools so they have the skills and resources they need, including: Investing $128 million to build ten new Tech Schools specialising in teaching STEM subjects and employment skills to secondary school students, opening in 2017 and 2018 Training 60 teachers at 30 schools to mentor other teachers in STEM education for Years 7-8 students Training 200 teachers to drive significant improvements in maths and science participation and outcomes. Quotes attributable to Education Minister James Merlino “The latest PISA results show Victorian students are improving in maths, science and reading compared to students in other Australian states.” “We know that 75 per cent of future jobs will require STEM subjects, that’s why we’re giving our teachers and schools the skills and resources they need to make science and maths more interesting and relevant for students.” “This assessment was carried out just five months after our record $566 million investment in needs-based funding started to flow to Victorian schools, so we’re only just starting to see the difference it is making and will continue to make in years to come.” Download the Media Release (369 kB)

Celebrating Mentors Who Help Victorian Students Thrive

A mentoring program linking regional students with Melbourne-based university mentors helped fuel an interest in science and maths for dozens of students in its first year. The In2Science eMentoring program, run in 2016 with funding from the Andrews Labor Government’s $1.6 million Mentoring Grants Program, linked 64 students from five regional schools with 19 university student mentors. Mentors like biomedical science student Mitchell Griggs got the opportunity to share their passion for science with students at Cobram Secondary College. Minister for Education James Merlino today recognised the success of the In2Science program and nine other mentoring programs at a morning tea at Parliament House. The event recognised the first-year successes of the mentoring programs, which targeted students including Koorie girls, refugees, those living regionally or in out-of-home care, and teenage girls from disadvantaged areas. The Labor Government is building the Education State so that all Victorians are supported to be their best. The Student Mentoring Program grants helped more students excel in reading, maths, sciences and the arts, develop strong critical and creative thinking, build resilience, and stay in education longer – all key Education State targets. Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “We’re so proud to see the success these mentoring programs have had empowering students from across Victoria.” “Sometimes it takes a mentor to help show us what we are capable of and these  programs have connected great mentors with hundreds of students.” Quotes attributable to Parliamentary Secretary for Education Judith Graley “Research shows young people supported by a mentor are less likely to leave school early and more likely to have improved academic performance.” “Our Student Mentoring Program is a great example of how a simple initiative can support so many Victorians, helping them reach their full potential no matter their background or location.” Quote attributable to La Trobe University student mentor Mitchell Griggs “The in2Science mentoring program has given me a great opportunity to share my enthusiasm and encourage more regional students to take on a rewarding career in science.” Download the Media Release (513 kB)

Celebrating Mentors Who Help Victorian Students Thrive

A mentoring program linking regional students with Melbourne-based university mentors helped fuel an interest in science and maths for dozens of students in its first year. The In2Science eMentoring program, run in 2016 with funding from the Andrews Labor Government’s $1.6 million Mentoring Grants Program, linked 64 students from five regional schools with 19 university student mentors. Mentors like biomedical science student Mitchell Griggs got the opportunity to share their passion for science with students at Cobram Secondary College. Minister for Education James Merlino today recognised the success of the In2Science program and nine other mentoring programs at a morning tea at Parliament House. The event recognised the first-year successes of the mentoring programs, which targeted students including Koorie girls, refugees, those living regionally or in out-of-home care, and teenage girls from disadvantaged areas. The Labor Government is building the Education State so that all Victorians are supported to be their best. The Student Mentoring Program grants helped more students excel in reading, maths, sciences and the arts, develop strong critical and creative thinking, build resilience, and stay in education longer – all key Education State targets. Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “We’re so proud to see the success these mentoring programs have had empowering students from across Victoria.” “Sometimes it takes a mentor to help show us what we are capable of and these  programs have connected great mentors with hundreds of students.” Quotes attributable to Parliamentary Secretary for Education Judith Graley “Research shows young people supported by a mentor are less likely to leave school early and more likely to have improved academic performance.” “Our Student Mentoring Program is a great example of how a simple initiative can support so many Victorians, helping them reach their full potential no matter their background or location.” Quote attributable to La Trobe University student mentor Mitchell Griggs “The in2Science mentoring program has given me a great opportunity to share my enthusiasm and encourage more regional students to take on a rewarding career in science.” Download the Media Release (513 kB)

DELIVERING A CENTRE FOR SPORT EXCELLENCE IN KILSYTH

Member for Monbulk James Merlino has announced $900,000 to help upgrade the home of the AFL’s TAC Cup Eastern Ranges Football Club in Kilsyth. The $2.1 million Kilsyth Centre of Sport Excellence at the Kilsyth Recreation reserve is being delivered in partnership with the Yarra Ranges Shire, AFL Victoria, the Bendigo Bank and Federal Government. The centre will benefit all levels of Australian Rules and specialise in delivering education programs, coach and player development programs, an AFL Youth Girls Academy, basketball, gymnasium facilities and an administrative base for the AFL Yarra Ranges Region Commission. The funding is part of the $50-million Growing Suburbs Fund (GSF), designed to provide crucial facilities to Melbourne’s outer suburbs. This is in stark contrast to the Victorian Liberals’ thought bubble population plan to move Melburnians to the regions. We are putting our growing outer suburbs first providing them with the projects and facilities they need. Thirty-four community projects were funded across our outer suburbs as part of last year’s GSF, which included family and community centres, town centres, parks and reserves and playgrounds based on the needs identified by Councils. Last week, Mr Merlino announced three other projects funded for the Yarra Ranges from the GSF including $1 million for the Upwey Tecoma Community Recreational and Sporting Hub, $500,000 for the Belgrave South Community Sports Pavilion and $125,000 for the Changing Places toilet facility project in Yarra Glen. In 2015 the Yarra Ranges Shire received $3,032,000 from the GSF toward the delivery of four projects; the Lilydale Lake playground upgrade, the Montrose Town Centre facility, the Belgrave Community Hub and the Kimberley Reserve Active Living Hub. Quotes attributable to Minister for Local Government Natalie Hutchins “The Growing Suburbs Fund is all about making Melbourne’s outer suburban communities more liveable places with the facilities they need.” “These projects are a great example of the partnership between the Victorian and local governments working to deliver for our communities.” Quotes attributable to Member for Monbulk James Merlino “This is another example of the Andrews Labor Government putting people first and delivering critical playground, community centres and sporting facilities for our local communities.” “This exciting project will deliver the best facilities for young people in the outer east as they pursue their elite AFL dreams.”

DELIVERING A CENTRE FOR SPORT EXCELLENCE IN KILSYTH

Member for Monbulk James Merlino has announced $900,000 to help upgrade the home of the AFL’s TAC Cup Eastern Ranges Football Club in Kilsyth. The $2.1 million Kilsyth Centre of Sport Excellence at the Kilsyth Recreation reserve is being delivered in partnership with the Yarra Ranges Shire, AFL Victoria, the Bendigo Bank and Federal Government. The centre will benefit all levels of Australian Rules and specialise in delivering education programs, coach and player development programs, an AFL Youth Girls Academy, basketball, gymnasium facilities and an administrative base for the AFL Yarra Ranges Region Commission. The funding is part of the $50-million Growing Suburbs Fund (GSF), designed to provide crucial facilities to Melbourne’s outer suburbs. This is in stark contrast to the Victorian Liberals’ thought bubble population plan to move Melburnians to the regions. We are putting our growing outer suburbs first providing them with the projects and facilities they need. Thirty-four community projects were funded across our outer suburbs as part of last year’s GSF, which included family and community centres, town centres, parks and reserves and playgrounds based on the needs identified by Councils. Last week, Mr Merlino announced three other projects funded for the Yarra Ranges from the GSF including $1 million for the Upwey Tecoma Community Recreational and Sporting Hub, $500,000 for the Belgrave South Community Sports Pavilion and $125,000 for the Changing Places toilet facility project in Yarra Glen. In 2015 the Yarra Ranges Shire received $3,032,000 from the GSF toward the delivery of four projects; the Lilydale Lake playground upgrade, the Montrose Town Centre facility, the Belgrave Community Hub and the Kimberley Reserve Active Living Hub. Quotes attributable to Minister for Local Government Natalie Hutchins “The Growing Suburbs Fund is all about making Melbourne’s outer suburban communities more liveable places with the facilities they need.” “These projects are a great example of the partnership between the Victorian and local governments working to deliver for our communities.” Quotes attributable to Member for Monbulk James Merlino “This is another example of the Andrews Labor Government putting people first and delivering critical playground, community centres and sporting facilities for our local communities.” “This exciting project will deliver the best facilities for young people in the outer east as they pursue their elite AFL dreams.”

RECORD AMBULANCE INVESTMENT TO PUT LILYDALE PATIENTS FIRST

The Andrews Labor Government will boost ambulance resources in Lilydale, giving paramedics the facilities and support they need to quickly respond to local emergencies. Lilydale will receive a new 24-hour team with 14 full-time equivalent paramedics and a new ambulance vehicle. The announcement is part of a record $500 million investment over five years to employ 450 more paramedics, buy new vehicles and build new branches across the state. This is the largest ever funding boost for Victoria’s ambulance services in a bold new plan to improve ambulance response times. Earlier this year, we announced $3.5 million to build a new ambulance station in Lilydale, giving paramedics modern and safer facilities they deserve and room to grow. A purpose-built ambulance station will be constructed on a new, larger site still to be identified, as the current land is too small to build a facility that meets today’s standards. The new station will feature a five-bay garage, six bedrooms, training rooms, an office area, state of the art amenities and a fully equipped kitchen. Lilydale also benefit from the establishment of a new ‘super response centre’ to meet growing demand in Melbourne’s outer east. This centre will enable the flexible deployment of additional paramedics who can support local paramedics to respond during periods of peak demand. In addition to our investment in ambulance services, we are investing over $1 million to increase staffing and open more beds at Box Hill Hospital to treat more emergency department patients, sooner and free up ambulances to get back on the road. This will make a huge difference to ambulance response times in the Yarra Ranges. Ambulance performance in Yarra Ranges continues to improve, with the average Code 1 response time of 14:30 minutes in the September quarter, an improvement on the 15:13 minute response time a year earlier. But we still need to do more. Since coming to Government, the Labor Government has been working hard every day to rebuild our ambulance system after four years of crisis and neglect under the Liberals. Now, after two years of investing in and reforming our ambulance system, more ambulances are arriving at emergencies sooner with Code 1 average response times the quickest they have been in five years. Ambulances are now arriving at 76.6 per cent of Code 1 incidents within 15 minutes, compared to a record low of 73 per cent at the height of the Liberal’s ambulance crisis. In order to continue to improve ambulance response times, our new $500 million package includes: • Employing 450 new paramedics over the next three years • Establishment of six new ‘super response centres’ supported by more than 200 paramedics to meet growing demand in Melbourne’s suburbs including the west, the outer north-west, the north, the north-east, outer east and south-east • Building new or upgrading 15 more branches across the state, on top of the 20 upgrade projects already underway • Deploying 225 new paramedics in 22 branches across the state, assessed as highest priority and in need of further resources to meet local demand • Purchasing new ambulance vehicles and equipment to support the additional paramedic teams • Creating 12 new resources in rural and remote towns with a local paramedic and vehicle, based on a successful model trialled at Wedderburn and Warracknabeal • Treating more patients in emergency departments sooner with a $50 million boost to hire more clinicians and open more beds This funding is in on top of the $144 million provided in the Victorian Budget 2016/17, which included the $60 million Response Time Rescue Fund to improve ambulance response times. Quotes attributable to Member for Monbulk James Merlino "The new ambulance station in Lilydale will make a huge difference to this community’s hardworking and dedicated paramedics and makes room for more paramedics on the road." "We are putting patients in Lilydale first and giving paramedics in the Yarra Ranges the support they deserve and need to do what they do best, which is saving lives." Quotes attributable to Minister for Ambulance Services Jill Hennessy "We’re putting people first, with the biggest ever investment in Victoria’s history to cut ambulance response times even further and save more lives." "Response times are the best they have been in five years, but there’s still more work to do. Now we have the system working better, it’s time to invest in new branches and paramedics on the road." "In a medical emergency every second saves lives. That’s why we’re ensuring people in Lilydale get the right emergency care, quickly, when they need it."

RECORD AMBULANCE INVESTMENT TO PUT LILYDALE PATIENTS FIRST

The Andrews Labor Government will boost ambulance resources in Lilydale, giving paramedics the facilities and support they need to quickly respond to local emergencies. Lilydale will receive a new 24-hour team with 14 full-time equivalent paramedics and a new ambulance vehicle. The announcement is part of a record $500 million investment over five years to employ 450 more paramedics, buy new vehicles and build new branches across the state. This is the largest ever funding boost for Victoria’s ambulance services in a bold new plan to improve ambulance response times. Earlier this year, we announced $3.5 million to build a new ambulance station in Lilydale, giving paramedics modern and safer facilities they deserve and room to grow. A purpose-built ambulance station will be constructed on a new, larger site still to be identified, as the current land is too small to build a facility that meets today’s standards. The new station will feature a five-bay garage, six bedrooms, training rooms, an office area, state of the art amenities and a fully equipped kitchen. Lilydale also benefit from the establishment of a new ‘super response centre’ to meet growing demand in Melbourne’s outer east. This centre will enable the flexible deployment of additional paramedics who can support local paramedics to respond during periods of peak demand. In addition to our investment in ambulance services, we are investing over $1 million to increase staffing and open more beds at Box Hill Hospital to treat more emergency department patients, sooner and free up ambulances to get back on the road. This will make a huge difference to ambulance response times in the Yarra Ranges. Ambulance performance in Yarra Ranges continues to improve, with the average Code 1 response time of 14:30 minutes in the September quarter, an improvement on the 15:13 minute response time a year earlier. But we still need to do more. Since coming to Government, the Labor Government has been working hard every day to rebuild our ambulance system after four years of crisis and neglect under the Liberals. Now, after two years of investing in and reforming our ambulance system, more ambulances are arriving at emergencies sooner with Code 1 average response times the quickest they have been in five years. Ambulances are now arriving at 76.6 per cent of Code 1 incidents within 15 minutes, compared to a record low of 73 per cent at the height of the Liberal’s ambulance crisis. In order to continue to improve ambulance response times, our new $500 million package includes: • Employing 450 new paramedics over the next three years • Establishment of six new ‘super response centres’ supported by more than 200 paramedics to meet growing demand in Melbourne’s suburbs including the west, the outer north-west, the north, the north-east, outer east and south-east • Building new or upgrading 15 more branches across the state, on top of the 20 upgrade projects already underway • Deploying 225 new paramedics in 22 branches across the state, assessed as highest priority and in need of further resources to meet local demand • Purchasing new ambulance vehicles and equipment to support the additional paramedic teams • Creating 12 new resources in rural and remote towns with a local paramedic and vehicle, based on a successful model trialled at Wedderburn and Warracknabeal • Treating more patients in emergency departments sooner with a $50 million boost to hire more clinicians and open more beds This funding is in on top of the $144 million provided in the Victorian Budget 2016/17, which included the $60 million Response Time Rescue Fund to improve ambulance response times. Quotes attributable to Member for Monbulk James Merlino "The new ambulance station in Lilydale will make a huge difference to this community’s hardworking and dedicated paramedics and makes room for more paramedics on the road." "We are putting patients in Lilydale first and giving paramedics in the Yarra Ranges the support they deserve and need to do what they do best, which is saving lives." Quotes attributable to Minister for Ambulance Services Jill Hennessy "We’re putting people first, with the biggest ever investment in Victoria’s history to cut ambulance response times even further and save more lives." "Response times are the best they have been in five years, but there’s still more work to do. Now we have the system working better, it’s time to invest in new branches and paramedics on the road." "In a medical emergency every second saves lives. That’s why we’re ensuring people in Lilydale get the right emergency care, quickly, when they need it."

STUDENTS RISE TO PREMIER’S READING CHALLENGE

Hundreds of thousands of Victorian children have embraced Premier Daniel Andrews’ challenge to read more books. Education Minister James Merlino today visited Tecoma Primary School to celebrate the school’s participation in the 2016 Premier’s Reading Challenge. More than 230,090 participants from 3,206 schools, early childhood settings and homes participated in the Challenge in 2016, reading nearly four million books. Since the program began in 2005, more than 2.2 million students have read nearly 42 million books. The Challenge asks students in Years three to ten to read 15 books or more between March 16 and September 9. For students in Prep to Year two, the challenge is to read or “experience” 30 books. Children who have not yet started school are challenged to read or experience 40 books with the help of their families. A key Education State target is to increase the number of Year five and Year nine students reaching the highest levels of achievement in reading by 25 per cent – and the Challenge is helping meet that goal. Students who complete the Challenge will receive a signed certificate from Mr Andrews and former Premiers. For more information, visit www.education.vic.gov.au/prc Quotes Attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “The Premier’s Reading Challenge encourages students to discover the joys of reading and explore new concepts and ideas.” “It’s great to see that so many keen readers at Tecoma Primary took up the Premier’s Reading Challenge in 2016.”

STUDENTS RISE TO PREMIER’S READING CHALLENGE

Hundreds of thousands of Victorian children have embraced Premier Daniel Andrews’ challenge to read more books. Education Minister James Merlino today visited Tecoma Primary School to celebrate the school’s participation in the 2016 Premier’s Reading Challenge. More than 230,090 participants from 3,206 schools, early childhood settings and homes participated in the Challenge in 2016, reading nearly four million books. Since the program began in 2005, more than 2.2 million students have read nearly 42 million books. The Challenge asks students in Years three to ten to read 15 books or more between March 16 and September 9. For students in Prep to Year two, the challenge is to read or “experience” 30 books. Children who have not yet started school are challenged to read or experience 40 books with the help of their families. A key Education State target is to increase the number of Year five and Year nine students reaching the highest levels of achievement in reading by 25 per cent – and the Challenge is helping meet that goal. Students who complete the Challenge will receive a signed certificate from Mr Andrews and former Premiers. For more information, visit www.education.vic.gov.au/prc Quotes Attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “The Premier’s Reading Challenge encourages students to discover the joys of reading and explore new concepts and ideas.” “It’s great to see that so many keen readers at Tecoma Primary took up the Premier’s Reading Challenge in 2016.”

Building The Education State In Portarlington

Students at Portarlington Primary School are a step closer to enjoying the first-rate facilities they deserve. Minister for Education James Merlino and Member for Bellarine Lisa Neville today turned the first sod to start construction on the new $5.7 million project. The new school, which features modern classrooms and an art and crafts centre, has been inspired by its seaside location. It will have a boardwalk main entrance modelled on the local pier as well as beach and nautical themes employed in the building design. A refurbished heritage building is expected to be used as a student wellbeing centre. The Labor Government was elected to put people first, and we’ve spent every day of the last two years achieving that by building a stronger and fairer Education State. There are now 42 new government schools and hundreds of school upgrades in the construction pipeline following our record $1.8 billion investment in school infrastructure. This school building boom will create 4000 construction jobs and ensure all Victorian families have access to a great school no matter where they live. You can find information on more than 1000 building projects going on across Victoria on the Victorian School Building Authority’s website: http://www.schoolbuildings.vic.gov.au/pages/home.aspx Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “We’re delivering on an election commitment to fix a school suffering from rotting woodwork, peeling paintwork and asbestos.” “It is all part of transforming Victoria into the Education State so that every child can access a great school – no matter where they live.” “A high-quality education system must be matched by learning environments where students are engaged, stimulated and encouraged to be creative thinkers – and that is exactly what these new facilities provide.” Quotes attributable to Member for Bellarine Lisa Neville “This is an exciting day for Portarlington. This is a long-awaited project and I have been proud to work so closely with the Portarlington community and school to secure the funding for this project.” “We said we would build the Education State at Portarlington, and now the community will soon have the modern facilities they deserve to better meet the needs of students and teachers.” Download the Media Release (143 kB)

Building The Education State In Portarlington

Students at Portarlington Primary School are a step closer to enjoying the first-rate facilities they deserve. Minister for Education James Merlino and Member for Bellarine Lisa Neville today turned the first sod to start construction on the new $5.7 million project. The new school, which features modern classrooms and an art and crafts centre, has been inspired by its seaside location. It will have a boardwalk main entrance modelled on the local pier as well as beach and nautical themes employed in the building design. A refurbished heritage building is expected to be used as a student wellbeing centre. The Labor Government was elected to put people first, and we’ve spent every day of the last two years achieving that by building a stronger and fairer Education State. There are now 42 new government schools and hundreds of school upgrades in the construction pipeline following our record $1.8 billion investment in school infrastructure. This school building boom will create 4000 construction jobs and ensure all Victorian families have access to a great school no matter where they live. You can find information on more than 1000 building projects going on across Victoria on the Victorian School Building Authority’s website: http://www.schoolbuildings.vic.gov.au/pages/home.aspx Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “We’re delivering on an election commitment to fix a school suffering from rotting woodwork, peeling paintwork and asbestos.” “It is all part of transforming Victoria into the Education State so that every child can access a great school – no matter where they live.” “A high-quality education system must be matched by learning environments where students are engaged, stimulated and encouraged to be creative thinkers – and that is exactly what these new facilities provide.” Quotes attributable to Member for Bellarine Lisa Neville “This is an exciting day for Portarlington. This is a long-awaited project and I have been proud to work so closely with the Portarlington community and school to secure the funding for this project.” “We said we would build the Education State at Portarlington, and now the community will soon have the modern facilities they deserve to better meet the needs of students and teachers.” Download the Media Release (143 kB)

SLAM DUNK FOR MONBULK COLLEGE STUDENTS

Monbulk College students have scored a slam dunk with a swish new adjustable basketball hoop thanks to the Andrews Labor Government. It will be installed thanks to an $8,700 assist from the $16 million School Pride and Sports Fund, which helps strengthen community pride in schools by building the best new sporting facilities for students. The new hoop follows the Labor Government’s $3 million investment in the 2015-16 Budget to build a new two-storey administration building as well as new classrooms, a library and toilets. Vincent Crisp Architects have been working on the plans for these exciting new facilities with the works expected to be complete in early 2018. The Labor Government was elected to put people first, and we’ve spent every day of the last two years achieving that by building a stronger and fairer Education State. There are now 42 new government schools and hundreds of school upgrades in the construction pipeline following the Labor Government’s record $1.8 billion investment in school infrastructure. This school building boom will create 4000 construction jobs and ensure all Victorian families have access to a great school no matter where they live. For more on this and the hundreds of other building projects going on across regional Victoria visit the Victorian School Building Authority’s website: http://www.schoolbuildings.vic.gov.au/pages/home.aspx The Government has set a number of ambitious Education State targets, including increasing the number of students taking part in physical activities five times a week by 20 per cent over the next ten years. Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “We’re transforming Victoria into the Education State so that every child can access a great school – no matter where they live.” “We want our kids to be active more often and a big part of this is making sure they have the right sporting facilities in place.” “I look forward to checking in on Monbulk College again soon, I’m sure students will make the most of their new adjustable hoop.”

SLAM DUNK FOR MONBULK COLLEGE STUDENTS

Monbulk College students have scored a slam dunk with a swish new adjustable basketball hoop thanks to the Andrews Labor Government. It will be installed thanks to an $8,700 assist from the $16 million School Pride and Sports Fund, which helps strengthen community pride in schools by building the best new sporting facilities for students. The new hoop follows the Labor Government’s $3 million investment in the 2015-16 Budget to build a new two-storey administration building as well as new classrooms, a library and toilets. Vincent Crisp Architects have been working on the plans for these exciting new facilities with the works expected to be complete in early 2018. The Labor Government was elected to put people first, and we’ve spent every day of the last two years achieving that by building a stronger and fairer Education State. There are now 42 new government schools and hundreds of school upgrades in the construction pipeline following the Labor Government’s record $1.8 billion investment in school infrastructure. This school building boom will create 4000 construction jobs and ensure all Victorian families have access to a great school no matter where they live. For more on this and the hundreds of other building projects going on across regional Victoria visit the Victorian School Building Authority’s website: http://www.schoolbuildings.vic.gov.au/pages/home.aspx The Government has set a number of ambitious Education State targets, including increasing the number of students taking part in physical activities five times a week by 20 per cent over the next ten years. Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “We’re transforming Victoria into the Education State so that every child can access a great school – no matter where they live.” “We want our kids to be active more often and a big part of this is making sure they have the right sporting facilities in place.” “I look forward to checking in on Monbulk College again soon, I’m sure students will make the most of their new adjustable hoop.”