Tim Pallas State Labor Member for Werribee

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Authorised by T. Pallas, 2/56-58 Watton St Werribee VIC 3030. Funded by Parliamentary Budget.
  • Vic Budget 21/22 Creating Jobs & Caring for Werribee

    The Victorian Budget 2021/22 is creating jobs and caring for the people of Werribee, investing in the care, services and infrastructure our community needs.

  • Another Crossing Down at Cherry Street

    The Cherry Street level crossing in Werribee is gone months ahead of schedule, and an upgrade of eight major roads is complete as part of the Andrews Labor Government’s huge investment in better transport in Melbourne’s west.

  • Werribee Street Level Crossing Gone for Good

    The Andrews Government has removed its 45th dangerous and congested level crossing – with trains now running on the new one-kilometre rail bridge at Werribee Street, safely separated from traffic.

  • Major Works Take Shape at Old Geelong Road

    Major construction has now begun to remove the level crossing at Old Geelong Road. Crews have lifted new bridge beams into place – the next steps in building a new road bridge that will remove the level crossing for good.

  • Duncans Road Interchange Upgrade Completed

    Drivers in Melbourne’s west can now enjoy safer and more reliable access to the Princes Freeway and Werribee tourism precinct, thanks to the completion of the Duncans Road Interchange Upgrade in Werribee.

  • New Riverbend Primary School

    Riverbend Primary School is officially open – catering for 575 students and includes three learning neighbourhoods, outdoor play courts, a performing arts and physical education building, and a sports field.

  • $45 Million Police Complex

    Construction begins for the new $45 million station in Werribee. The new facility delivers a state-of-the-art police station that will be able to house more than 460 staff and officers, including uniformed, crime investigation, transit safety officers and administration staff, amongst others.

  • Vic Budget 21/22 Creating Jobs & Caring for Werribee

    The Victorian Budget 2021/22 is creating jobs and caring for the people of Werribee, investing in the care, services and infrastructure our community needs.

Media Centre

SPRUCING UP MORE SCHOOLS IN WERRIBEE

As the school year draws to a close, the Andrews Labor Government is supporting more Werribee schools to complete small but vital upgrades through the Minor Capital Works Fund. Member for Werribee Tim Pallas today announced 3 schools in Werribee will share in more than $18.6 million to fast-track their highest priority project through this year’s second round of the Labor Government’s $90 million fund. The fund builds on the Labor Government’s extensive investment in government school facilities to improve learning spaces as well as the condition and character of schools – making sure every student and staff member has a safe and comfortable place to teach and learn. Funded projects in Werribee include oval upgrades for Werribee Primary School and Wyndham Vale Primary School, and a playground upgrade for Little River Primary School. More than 300 Victorian government schools have already received $70 million through the first round of the Minor Capital Works Fund to upgrade toilet amenities and roofs, improve playgrounds, refurbish classrooms and upgrade ovals. In the past seven years, the Labor Government has invested more than $10.9 billion in building new schools and more than 1,700 school upgrades, creating more than 13,500 jobs in construction and associated industries. With 62 schools opening between 2019 and 2024, the Government is well ahead in its work to open 100 new schools will open by 2026, ensuring every Victorian child has access to a great local school. Quote attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “Every student should have the best local school facilities, no matter where they live. That’s why we’re investing in hundreds of small, but important projects, that will make a big difference for schools and create local jobs for Victorians.” Quote attributable to Member for Werribee Tim Pallas “Whether it’s upgrading toilets or building a new fence – this is all about making sure our students have the facilities they need to learn in a safe and comfortable environment.”

SPRUCING UP MORE SCHOOLS IN WERRIBEE

As the school year draws to a close, the Andrews Labor Government is supporting more Werribee schools to complete small but vital upgrades through the Minor Capital Works Fund. Member for Werribee Tim Pallas today announced 3 schools in Werribee will share in more than $18.6 million to fast-track their highest priority project through this year’s second round of the Labor Government’s $90 million fund. The fund builds on the Labor Government’s extensive investment in government school facilities to improve learning spaces as well as the condition and character of schools – making sure every student and staff member has a safe and comfortable place to teach and learn. Funded projects in Werribee include oval upgrades for Werribee Primary School and Wyndham Vale Primary School, and a playground upgrade for Little River Primary School. More than 300 Victorian government schools have already received $70 million through the first round of the Minor Capital Works Fund to upgrade toilet amenities and roofs, improve playgrounds, refurbish classrooms and upgrade ovals. In the past seven years, the Labor Government has invested more than $10.9 billion in building new schools and more than 1,700 school upgrades, creating more than 13,500 jobs in construction and associated industries. With 62 schools opening between 2019 and 2024, the Government is well ahead in its work to open 100 new schools will open by 2026, ensuring every Victorian child has access to a great local school. Quote attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “Every student should have the best local school facilities, no matter where they live. That’s why we’re investing in hundreds of small, but important projects, that will make a big difference for schools and create local jobs for Victorians.” Quote attributable to Member for Werribee Tim Pallas “Whether it’s upgrading toilets or building a new fence – this is all about making sure our students have the facilities they need to learn in a safe and comfortable environment.”

BREATHING LIFE BACK INTO WERRIBEE WATERWAYS

  The Andrews Labor Government today launched the Waterways of the West Action Plan to better protect and manage the rivers and creeks of Werribee. Member for Werribee Tim Pallas welcomed the new action plan after two years of consultation with Traditional Owners, Werribee community groups and water stakeholders. Rapid population growth and climate change demand new approaches to managing our iconic urban rivers and creeks. The action plan recognises that these waterways are interconnected, living entities and that the Bunurong, Wadawurrung and Wurundjeri Woi wurrung Traditional Owners are their voices. These new approaches to waterways management will embed Traditional Owners voices that have been ignored and marginalised in the centre of decision-making. The Bunurong, Wadawurrung and Wurundjeri Woi wurrung Traditional Owners are better empowered to self-determine their involvement in the planning and decision-making for waterways so that their aspirations for Country and culture are realised. The Waterways of the West includes the Werribee River. Regional planning policies and new planning controls have been developed to protect these waterways from inappropriate development, while further planning controls will extend to other waterways. An independently chaired Waterway Pollution Prevention Taskforce will be established to support the action plan, bringing together representatives from Traditional Owners, Melbourne Water, the Environment Protection Authority, local government to collaboratively address waterway pollution in the west. The Andrews Labor Government is already committing $3.6 million to deliver the Waterways of the West Action Plan and Melbourne Water has over $40 million on investment planned over the next five years for stormwater management, 1,000 hectares of revegetation and ongoing maintenance. To view the Action Plan, visit: https://www.water.vic.gov.au/waterways-and-catchments/wow. Quotes attributable to Minister for Water Lisa Neville “I would like to recognise the work of the Ministerial Advisory Committee, the Traditional Owners, stakeholders and more than 250 community members who contributed.” Quotes attributable to Minister for Planning Richard Wynne “New planning policy and controls – to be delivered across the life of the action plan – will work to safeguard the natural landscape and amenity values of the Waterways of the West from inappropriate development.” Quotes attributable to Member for Werribee Tim Pallas “We’re caring for Werribee rivers, creeks and riparian landscapes as unique, interconnected living systems, protecting them from pollution and overdevelopment.”

BREATHING LIFE BACK INTO WERRIBEE WATERWAYS

  The Andrews Labor Government today launched the Waterways of the West Action Plan to better protect and manage the rivers and creeks of Werribee. Member for Werribee Tim Pallas welcomed the new action plan after two years of consultation with Traditional Owners, Werribee community groups and water stakeholders. Rapid population growth and climate change demand new approaches to managing our iconic urban rivers and creeks. The action plan recognises that these waterways are interconnected, living entities and that the Bunurong, Wadawurrung and Wurundjeri Woi wurrung Traditional Owners are their voices. These new approaches to waterways management will embed Traditional Owners voices that have been ignored and marginalised in the centre of decision-making. The Bunurong, Wadawurrung and Wurundjeri Woi wurrung Traditional Owners are better empowered to self-determine their involvement in the planning and decision-making for waterways so that their aspirations for Country and culture are realised. The Waterways of the West includes the Werribee River. Regional planning policies and new planning controls have been developed to protect these waterways from inappropriate development, while further planning controls will extend to other waterways. An independently chaired Waterway Pollution Prevention Taskforce will be established to support the action plan, bringing together representatives from Traditional Owners, Melbourne Water, the Environment Protection Authority, local government to collaboratively address waterway pollution in the west. The Andrews Labor Government is already committing $3.6 million to deliver the Waterways of the West Action Plan and Melbourne Water has over $40 million on investment planned over the next five years for stormwater management, 1,000 hectares of revegetation and ongoing maintenance. To view the Action Plan, visit: https://www.water.vic.gov.au/waterways-and-catchments/wow. Quotes attributable to Minister for Water Lisa Neville “I would like to recognise the work of the Ministerial Advisory Committee, the Traditional Owners, stakeholders and more than 250 community members who contributed.” Quotes attributable to Minister for Planning Richard Wynne “New planning policy and controls – to be delivered across the life of the action plan – will work to safeguard the natural landscape and amenity values of the Waterways of the West from inappropriate development.” Quotes attributable to Member for Werribee Tim Pallas “We’re caring for Werribee rivers, creeks and riparian landscapes as unique, interconnected living systems, protecting them from pollution and overdevelopment.”

HELPING WYNDHAM KIDS SEE CLEARLY WITH GLASSES MILESTONE

Thursday 9 December 2021 HELPING WYNDHAM KIDS SEE CLEARLY WITH GLASSES MILESTONE One thousand more Victorian students can now see more clearly and concentrate better at school, thanks to the Andrews Labor Government’s free Glasses for Kids program. Member for Werribee Tim Pallas and Member for Tarneit Sarah Connolly today announced that 129 students in Wyndham are some of 1000 Victorian students to receive a free pair of glasses after having their vision tested at school. Children with undiagnosed vision problems often find it hard to concentrate at school, which presents challenges when it comes to actively engaging in their learning – but too many Victorian families avoid eye testing due to the prohibitive cost of glasses. The Victorian-first program, which is managed and delivered by State Schools’ Relief, has helped more than 22,000 Prep to Year 3 students at 395 schools across Victoria have their eyes screened and, if needed, receive free glasses. The Victorian Budget 2019/20 invested $1.6 million to deliver the second round of the Glasses for Kids program – supporting students with undiagnosed vision impairments, regardless of their background, to achieve their best at school and beyond. This builds on the $800,000 the Labor Government has already provided to this initiative since coming to government, ensuring a child’s education isn’t disadvantaged by easily treated issues like vision impairment. The second phase of the program, means the program will visit an extra 340 schools – testing around 40,000 more Prep to Grade 3 students. Quote attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “Giving every Victorian child the opportunity to thrive at school goes beyond providing great education programs – it’s about making sure nobody is left behind because of easily treatable issues like vision impairment.” Quote attributable to Member for Werribee Tim Pallas “It’s fantastic to see students in Wyndham seeing more clearly and concentrating better thanks to Glasses for Kids – and that’s exactly why we’ll continue to invest in this vital program, and in our kids’ health.” Quote attributable to Member for Tarneit Sarah Connolly “This is about investing in the health and wellbeing of our kids – because no student should suffer in the classroom because of an undiagnosed vision impairment.”  

HELPING WYNDHAM KIDS SEE CLEARLY WITH GLASSES MILESTONE

Thursday 9 December 2021 HELPING WYNDHAM KIDS SEE CLEARLY WITH GLASSES MILESTONE One thousand more Victorian students can now see more clearly and concentrate better at school, thanks to the Andrews Labor Government’s free Glasses for Kids program. Member for Werribee Tim Pallas and Member for Tarneit Sarah Connolly today announced that 129 students in Wyndham are some of 1000 Victorian students to receive a free pair of glasses after having their vision tested at school. Children with undiagnosed vision problems often find it hard to concentrate at school, which presents challenges when it comes to actively engaging in their learning – but too many Victorian families avoid eye testing due to the prohibitive cost of glasses. The Victorian-first program, which is managed and delivered by State Schools’ Relief, has helped more than 22,000 Prep to Year 3 students at 395 schools across Victoria have their eyes screened and, if needed, receive free glasses. The Victorian Budget 2019/20 invested $1.6 million to deliver the second round of the Glasses for Kids program – supporting students with undiagnosed vision impairments, regardless of their background, to achieve their best at school and beyond. This builds on the $800,000 the Labor Government has already provided to this initiative since coming to government, ensuring a child’s education isn’t disadvantaged by easily treated issues like vision impairment. The second phase of the program, means the program will visit an extra 340 schools – testing around 40,000 more Prep to Grade 3 students. Quote attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “Giving every Victorian child the opportunity to thrive at school goes beyond providing great education programs – it’s about making sure nobody is left behind because of easily treatable issues like vision impairment.” Quote attributable to Member for Werribee Tim Pallas “It’s fantastic to see students in Wyndham seeing more clearly and concentrating better thanks to Glasses for Kids – and that’s exactly why we’ll continue to invest in this vital program, and in our kids’ health.” Quote attributable to Member for Tarneit Sarah Connolly “This is about investing in the health and wellbeing of our kids – because no student should suffer in the classroom because of an undiagnosed vision impairment.”  

BETTER FACILITIES FOR WERRIBEE SCHOOLS

Thursday 9 December 2021 BETTER FACILITIES FOR WERRIBEE SCHOOLS Students in Werribee will have better school environments to learn and succeed in, with the Andrews Labor Government funding key maintenance projects at schools right across the state. Member for Werribee Tim Pallas today announced that a school in Werribee is among 94 schools sharing in $7.26 million of Planned Maintenance Program funding for vital improvements to classrooms and school grounds. Westgrove Primary School has been allocated a total of $50,000 to address high priority maintenance tasks, including various repairs. The Planned Maintenance Program works address priority maintenance issues identified by the Labor Government’s ongoing evaluation of all school facilities – with work including fixing roofs and windows, repainting walls, resurfacing floors and replacing windows, pathways and stairs. Almost $1 million of the funding will go towards maintenance to Shelter-in-Place buildings at 10 schools, which provide temporary accommodation to staff and students during a bushfire until emergency services arrive, or as a shelter of last resort. The announcement brings the amount of Planned Maintenance funding the Labor Government has provided to schools in the 2021 school year to more than $47 million. This fund makes sure all existing buildings at Victoria’s 1,500 government schools are safe, modern and properly maintained to ensure students and staff are comfortable and safe at school. In the past seven years, the Labor Government has invested more than $10.9 billion in building new schools and more than 1,700 school upgrades, creating more than 13,500 jobs in construction and associated industries. With 62 schools opening between 2019 and 2024, the Government is well ahead in its work to open 100 new schools will open by 2026, ensuring every Victorian child has access to a great local school. Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “This program is about ensuring that every Victorian school is well maintained and safe to provide the best possible environment for students to learn in.” “Our record investment in school infrastructure is delivering high quality classrooms for our hard-working principals, teachers and staff, as well as students and families.” Quote attributable to Member for Werribee Tim Pallas “We’re making sure schools in Werribee are safe and comfortable – giving our students the best possible settings to learn and thrive in.”

BETTER FACILITIES FOR WERRIBEE SCHOOLS

Thursday 9 December 2021 BETTER FACILITIES FOR WERRIBEE SCHOOLS Students in Werribee will have better school environments to learn and succeed in, with the Andrews Labor Government funding key maintenance projects at schools right across the state. Member for Werribee Tim Pallas today announced that a school in Werribee is among 94 schools sharing in $7.26 million of Planned Maintenance Program funding for vital improvements to classrooms and school grounds. Westgrove Primary School has been allocated a total of $50,000 to address high priority maintenance tasks, including various repairs. The Planned Maintenance Program works address priority maintenance issues identified by the Labor Government’s ongoing evaluation of all school facilities – with work including fixing roofs and windows, repainting walls, resurfacing floors and replacing windows, pathways and stairs. Almost $1 million of the funding will go towards maintenance to Shelter-in-Place buildings at 10 schools, which provide temporary accommodation to staff and students during a bushfire until emergency services arrive, or as a shelter of last resort. The announcement brings the amount of Planned Maintenance funding the Labor Government has provided to schools in the 2021 school year to more than $47 million. This fund makes sure all existing buildings at Victoria’s 1,500 government schools are safe, modern and properly maintained to ensure students and staff are comfortable and safe at school. In the past seven years, the Labor Government has invested more than $10.9 billion in building new schools and more than 1,700 school upgrades, creating more than 13,500 jobs in construction and associated industries. With 62 schools opening between 2019 and 2024, the Government is well ahead in its work to open 100 new schools will open by 2026, ensuring every Victorian child has access to a great local school. Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “This program is about ensuring that every Victorian school is well maintained and safe to provide the best possible environment for students to learn in.” “Our record investment in school infrastructure is delivering high quality classrooms for our hard-working principals, teachers and staff, as well as students and families.” Quote attributable to Member for Werribee Tim Pallas “We’re making sure schools in Werribee are safe and comfortable – giving our students the best possible settings to learn and thrive in.”

VICTORIA’S ZERO EMISSION VEHICLE CHARGING BLITZ

Thursday 9 December 2021 VICTORIA’S ZERO EMISSION VEHICLE CHARGING BLITZ The Andrews Labor Government is supercharging the state’s zero emissions vehicle journey with $5 million for a fast-charging network and $3 million in new charging grants for local council and business fleets. Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio announced the funding along with easier access to the state’s $3,000 zero emission vehicle subsidy – which is now available at the point of sale. The initiatives − part of Victoria’s $100 million Zero Emissions Vehicle Roadmap − will significantly ramp up the state’s charging infrastructure and make it easier for Victorians to purchase an electric vehicle. The investment will also create jobs for workers installing charging stations, including electricians and technicians. Member for Werribee Tim Pallas welcomed plans to ensure that from any town in Victoria, EV drivers are always within 1 hour of a fast-charger, with the Destination Charging Across Victoria (DCAV) Program awarding $5 million in grants to install 141 electric vehicle fast-charging stations in 116 tourist and high-use areas across Victoria. Destinations include shopping complexes, public parks, community centres, libraries, and tourist hot spots such as the Great Ocean Road, Melbourne Zoo, the MCG, and Queen Victoria Market. The EV Charging for Council Fleets and EV Charging for Business Fleets programs will also provide up to $1.5 million in grant funding for fleet infrastructure for local councils and businesses. Victoria’s ZEV Roadmap is the most comprehensive plan of its kind in Australia and will help Victoria hit its ZEV target of 50 per cent of all new light vehicle sales by 2030, a key part of halving our emissions by 2030 as we work towards our target of net-zero emissions by 2050. There has been a 200 per cent increase in average monthly ZEV sales in the six months since the program started. More than 1,500 Victorians have already taken advantage of the subsidy, particularly in the western suburbs, with Point Cook and Truganina among the leading suburbs. Local councils and businesses are encouraged to apply for fleet charging grants before applications close on Friday 21 January 2022. To apply visit energy.vic.gov.au/renewable-energy/zero-emissions-vehicles, and find out more on the ZEV Subsidy at solar.vic.gov.au/zero-emissions-vehicle-subsidy Quotes attributable to Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio “By expanding critical charging infrastructure for the public, local councils, and businesses, we are laying the groundwork for our target of 50 per cent of all new light vehicle sales to be zero emissions by 2030.” “By investing in charging infrastructure and our ZEV Subsidy, we are accelerating the take-up of this low-emissions technology and creating a ZEV revolution, which is helping us achieve our ambitious plan to halve emissions by 2030.” Quote attributable to Member for Werribee Tim Pallas “An electric vehicle fast-charging station in Werribee is a great win for the region and will ensure Wyndham remains a tourist destination of choice throughout Victoria’s net-zero transformation.”

VICTORIA’S ZERO EMISSION VEHICLE CHARGING BLITZ

Thursday 9 December 2021 VICTORIA’S ZERO EMISSION VEHICLE CHARGING BLITZ The Andrews Labor Government is supercharging the state’s zero emissions vehicle journey with $5 million for a fast-charging network and $3 million in new charging grants for local council and business fleets. Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio announced the funding along with easier access to the state’s $3,000 zero emission vehicle subsidy – which is now available at the point of sale. The initiatives − part of Victoria’s $100 million Zero Emissions Vehicle Roadmap − will significantly ramp up the state’s charging infrastructure and make it easier for Victorians to purchase an electric vehicle. The investment will also create jobs for workers installing charging stations, including electricians and technicians. Member for Werribee Tim Pallas welcomed plans to ensure that from any town in Victoria, EV drivers are always within 1 hour of a fast-charger, with the Destination Charging Across Victoria (DCAV) Program awarding $5 million in grants to install 141 electric vehicle fast-charging stations in 116 tourist and high-use areas across Victoria. Destinations include shopping complexes, public parks, community centres, libraries, and tourist hot spots such as the Great Ocean Road, Melbourne Zoo, the MCG, and Queen Victoria Market. The EV Charging for Council Fleets and EV Charging for Business Fleets programs will also provide up to $1.5 million in grant funding for fleet infrastructure for local councils and businesses. Victoria’s ZEV Roadmap is the most comprehensive plan of its kind in Australia and will help Victoria hit its ZEV target of 50 per cent of all new light vehicle sales by 2030, a key part of halving our emissions by 2030 as we work towards our target of net-zero emissions by 2050. There has been a 200 per cent increase in average monthly ZEV sales in the six months since the program started. More than 1,500 Victorians have already taken advantage of the subsidy, particularly in the western suburbs, with Point Cook and Truganina among the leading suburbs. Local councils and businesses are encouraged to apply for fleet charging grants before applications close on Friday 21 January 2022. To apply visit energy.vic.gov.au/renewable-energy/zero-emissions-vehicles, and find out more on the ZEV Subsidy at solar.vic.gov.au/zero-emissions-vehicle-subsidy Quotes attributable to Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio “By expanding critical charging infrastructure for the public, local councils, and businesses, we are laying the groundwork for our target of 50 per cent of all new light vehicle sales to be zero emissions by 2030.” “By investing in charging infrastructure and our ZEV Subsidy, we are accelerating the take-up of this low-emissions technology and creating a ZEV revolution, which is helping us achieve our ambitious plan to halve emissions by 2030.” Quote attributable to Member for Werribee Tim Pallas “An electric vehicle fast-charging station in Werribee is a great win for the region and will ensure Wyndham remains a tourist destination of choice throughout Victoria’s net-zero transformation.”

WERRIBEE CUP SET TO BE A GREAT FAMILY DAY OUT

Saturday 4 December 2021 WERRIBEE CUP SET TO BE A GREAT FAMILY DAY OUT This year’s Werribee Cup will be fun for the whole family, backed by a funding package from the Andrews Labor Government. Member for Werribee Tim Pallas today announced the Labor Government is allocating $22,500 from the Victorian Racing Industry Fund – Raceday Attraction Program for the event on Sunday, 5 December. Werribee Racing Club is investing more than $33,000 for the day and Country Racing Victoria is pitching in $14,000. The club is putting on a great day’s racing and entertainment, with multiple DJs and children’s activities such as face painting and jumping castle. The meeting will be held in COVIDSafe settings consistent with Victoria’s roadmap, with a double vaccinated requirement for all spectators and staff on course unless a medical exemption applies. Since December 2014 the Labor Government has approved more than $1.1 million to support thoroughbred meetings and racing infrastructure projects at Werribee. The Victorian thoroughbred racing industry generates $3.2 billion for the economy annually and helps sustain 25,000 full-time-equivalent jobs. Quotes attributable to Member for Werribee Tim Pallas “Christmas is coming early to Werribee – this meeting promises something for all the family.” “It’s great that racing fans can get back on course and we’re providing support to make sure it can be done in a COVIDSafe way.” Quote attributable to Werribee Racing Club Chair Robert Jarvis “We’re looking forward to a great day of racing and entertainment on Saturday, and we thank the Victorian Government for its support.”    

WERRIBEE CUP SET TO BE A GREAT FAMILY DAY OUT

Saturday 4 December 2021 WERRIBEE CUP SET TO BE A GREAT FAMILY DAY OUT This year’s Werribee Cup will be fun for the whole family, backed by a funding package from the Andrews Labor Government. Member for Werribee Tim Pallas today announced the Labor Government is allocating $22,500 from the Victorian Racing Industry Fund – Raceday Attraction Program for the event on Sunday, 5 December. Werribee Racing Club is investing more than $33,000 for the day and Country Racing Victoria is pitching in $14,000. The club is putting on a great day’s racing and entertainment, with multiple DJs and children’s activities such as face painting and jumping castle. The meeting will be held in COVIDSafe settings consistent with Victoria’s roadmap, with a double vaccinated requirement for all spectators and staff on course unless a medical exemption applies. Since December 2014 the Labor Government has approved more than $1.1 million to support thoroughbred meetings and racing infrastructure projects at Werribee. The Victorian thoroughbred racing industry generates $3.2 billion for the economy annually and helps sustain 25,000 full-time-equivalent jobs. Quotes attributable to Member for Werribee Tim Pallas “Christmas is coming early to Werribee – this meeting promises something for all the family.” “It’s great that racing fans can get back on course and we’re providing support to make sure it can be done in a COVIDSafe way.” Quote attributable to Werribee Racing Club Chair Robert Jarvis “We’re looking forward to a great day of racing and entertainment on Saturday, and we thank the Victorian Government for its support.”    

LITTLE RIVER MECHANICS’ INSTITUTE AND LIBRARY IMPROVED

Saturday 4 December 2021 LITTLE RIVER MECHANICS’ INSTITUTE AND LIBRARY IMPROVED The Little River Mechanics’ Institute and Free Library has been serving locals for more than a century and continues to do so, thanks to support from the Andrews Labor Government. A $12,000 grant from the Public Libraries Funding Program has helped the Institute install audio-visual, projection and theatrical lighting facilities, available for use by local community groups. Member for Werribee Tim Pallas represented Minister for Local Government Shaun Leane today in a visit to the historic building to see the upgrades underway. The Little River Mechanics’ Institute was built in 1910 and its heritage library, which operates under community ownership, has been continuously open to borrowers since 1911. It boasts a growing collection of local and rural Australian history books as well as fiction for people of all ages. Regular library events include visits from the local primary school, dance classes, movie screenings, community meetings and art exhibitions. Mechanics’ Institutes began as a model for free education for workers in Scotland and were soon established throughout the British Empire. They opened in Australia in the early 19th century and were extremely popular, with one in almost every town in Victoria. Today, 562 remain in Victoria and 10 of them continue to provide library services to their local communities. These 10, including the one in Little River, recently received a share of $100,000 from the Victorian Government's Public Libraries Funding Program to help them with initiatives like buying new books and equipment. The Government also provided $30,000 to the Mechanics’ Institutes of Victoria for IT upgrades, collection building, cataloguing and publications. For more information on how the State Government supports public libraries, visit: https://www.localgovernment.vic.gov.au/funding-programs/public-library-funding For details about the history of Mechanics’ Institutes and their relevance today, visit https://connection.vic.gov.au/mechanics-institutes-evolving-with-their-communities Quotes attributable to Minister for Local Government Shaun Leane: "The Public Libraries Funding Program helps our libraries continue to provide locals with high-quality library services and facilities. I'm so pleased that we were able to include libraries at Mechanics’ Institutes as they continue to evolve and support their communities.” Quotes attributable to Member for Werribee Tim Pallas: “It’s fantastic to see the Andrews Labor Government recognise the importance of the Little River Mechanics’ Institute and Free Library to the community through the Public Libraries Funding Program.” “This library has been serving the community for more than a hundred years and continues to provide a vital facility for locals - not just as a place for borrowing books but also as a place to meet, take part in activities and socialise.”

LITTLE RIVER MECHANICS’ INSTITUTE AND LIBRARY IMPROVED

Saturday 4 December 2021 LITTLE RIVER MECHANICS’ INSTITUTE AND LIBRARY IMPROVED The Little River Mechanics’ Institute and Free Library has been serving locals for more than a century and continues to do so, thanks to support from the Andrews Labor Government. A $12,000 grant from the Public Libraries Funding Program has helped the Institute install audio-visual, projection and theatrical lighting facilities, available for use by local community groups. Member for Werribee Tim Pallas represented Minister for Local Government Shaun Leane today in a visit to the historic building to see the upgrades underway. The Little River Mechanics’ Institute was built in 1910 and its heritage library, which operates under community ownership, has been continuously open to borrowers since 1911. It boasts a growing collection of local and rural Australian history books as well as fiction for people of all ages. Regular library events include visits from the local primary school, dance classes, movie screenings, community meetings and art exhibitions. Mechanics’ Institutes began as a model for free education for workers in Scotland and were soon established throughout the British Empire. They opened in Australia in the early 19th century and were extremely popular, with one in almost every town in Victoria. Today, 562 remain in Victoria and 10 of them continue to provide library services to their local communities. These 10, including the one in Little River, recently received a share of $100,000 from the Victorian Government's Public Libraries Funding Program to help them with initiatives like buying new books and equipment. The Government also provided $30,000 to the Mechanics’ Institutes of Victoria for IT upgrades, collection building, cataloguing and publications. For more information on how the State Government supports public libraries, visit: https://www.localgovernment.vic.gov.au/funding-programs/public-library-funding For details about the history of Mechanics’ Institutes and their relevance today, visit https://connection.vic.gov.au/mechanics-institutes-evolving-with-their-communities Quotes attributable to Minister for Local Government Shaun Leane: "The Public Libraries Funding Program helps our libraries continue to provide locals with high-quality library services and facilities. I'm so pleased that we were able to include libraries at Mechanics’ Institutes as they continue to evolve and support their communities.” Quotes attributable to Member for Werribee Tim Pallas: “It’s fantastic to see the Andrews Labor Government recognise the importance of the Little River Mechanics’ Institute and Free Library to the community through the Public Libraries Funding Program.” “This library has been serving the community for more than a hundred years and continues to provide a vital facility for locals - not just as a place for borrowing books but also as a place to meet, take part in activities and socialise.”

MEMBERS STATEMENT: WYNDHAM PARK COMMUNITY CENTRE

MR PALLAS (Werribee—Treasurer, Minister for Economic Development, Minister for Industrial Relations) (09:38): I rise to acknowledge to the house the team at the Wyndham Park Community Centre in my electorate of Werribee. Led by Greg and Christine, the amazing group of volunteers provide crucial support to local families who need it most, particularly those negatively impacted during the coronavirus pandemic. During the course of the pandemic the Wyndham Park Community Centre has received $45 000 in grants from the Andrews Labor government. This funding has been essential to enable them to continue their good work, helping those less fortunate with food and essential supplies. The priority response to multicultural communities during coronavirus program aims to ensure organisations like Wyndham Park Community Centre can respond to the current health crisis and particularly the impacts this has had on multicultural and faith communities. This support also allows organisations to provide access to health information that is language specific and access to technology, enabling groups to stay connected and engage, and improve resilience against the negative impacts of coronavirus. Through the pandemic our government has supported more than 320 community organisations like the Wyndham Park Community Centre, providing emergency relief and support to communities through this challenging period. Thank you to Greg, Christine and the many local volunteers for the support that you have provided to the Wyndham community.

MEMBERS STATEMENT: WYNDHAM PARK COMMUNITY CENTRE

MR PALLAS (Werribee—Treasurer, Minister for Economic Development, Minister for Industrial Relations) (09:38): I rise to acknowledge to the house the team at the Wyndham Park Community Centre in my electorate of Werribee. Led by Greg and Christine, the amazing group of volunteers provide crucial support to local families who need it most, particularly those negatively impacted during the coronavirus pandemic. During the course of the pandemic the Wyndham Park Community Centre has received $45 000 in grants from the Andrews Labor government. This funding has been essential to enable them to continue their good work, helping those less fortunate with food and essential supplies. The priority response to multicultural communities during coronavirus program aims to ensure organisations like Wyndham Park Community Centre can respond to the current health crisis and particularly the impacts this has had on multicultural and faith communities. This support also allows organisations to provide access to health information that is language specific and access to technology, enabling groups to stay connected and engage, and improve resilience against the negative impacts of coronavirus. Through the pandemic our government has supported more than 320 community organisations like the Wyndham Park Community Centre, providing emergency relief and support to communities through this challenging period. Thank you to Greg, Christine and the many local volunteers for the support that you have provided to the Wyndham community.

 

FUNDING TO MAKE SCHOOLS TREE-SAFE

Tuesday 30 November 2021 FUNDING TO MAKE SCHOOLS TREE-SAFE The Andrews Labor Government is supporting schools in Werribee to assess, manage and remove high-risk trees through the Safe Tree Program, keeping school environments safer. Member for Werribee Tim Pallas today announced that through the Safe Tree Program, all Victorian government schools can apply for funding to assess, manage and, if required, remove or prune high-risk trees. The Safe Tree Program also supports schools to implement the recommendations provided by a qualified arborist when the work is funded by the school. The program is open to all government schools across Victoria, and applications can be made at any time throughout the year. The program does not apply in instances where trees present an immediate risk to the health and safety of students, staff or community – which are immediately assessed through the Victorian School Building Authority’s emergency ‘Make-Safe’ service provider. Quotes attributable to Member for Werribee Tim Pallas “This program means peace of mind for school communities and families – knowing that students in Werribee can learn in safe settings.” “I’m delighted that schools are receiving a helping hand in keeping our school environments safe.”  

FUNDING TO MAKE SCHOOLS TREE-SAFE

Tuesday 30 November 2021 FUNDING TO MAKE SCHOOLS TREE-SAFE The Andrews Labor Government is supporting schools in Werribee to assess, manage and remove high-risk trees through the Safe Tree Program, keeping school environments safer. Member for Werribee Tim Pallas today announced that through the Safe Tree Program, all Victorian government schools can apply for funding to assess, manage and, if required, remove or prune high-risk trees. The Safe Tree Program also supports schools to implement the recommendations provided by a qualified arborist when the work is funded by the school. The program is open to all government schools across Victoria, and applications can be made at any time throughout the year. The program does not apply in instances where trees present an immediate risk to the health and safety of students, staff or community – which are immediately assessed through the Victorian School Building Authority’s emergency ‘Make-Safe’ service provider. Quotes attributable to Member for Werribee Tim Pallas “This program means peace of mind for school communities and families – knowing that students in Werribee can learn in safe settings.” “I’m delighted that schools are receiving a helping hand in keeping our school environments safe.”  

HELP WITH ENERGY BILLS THROUGH THE $250 POWER SAVING BONUS

Tuesday 30 November 2021 HELP WITH ENERGY BILLS THROUGH THE $250 POWER SAVING BONUS The Victorian Government is encouraging households doing it tough with energy bills to apply for the one-off $250 Power Saving Bonus payment, as the 12-month program marks more than 320,000 payments to Victorians totalling $80 million. Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio today called on all eligible households to take advantage of the one-off $250 payment before the program ends on 31 January 2022. This includes households receiving payments through the Pension Concession, JobSeeker, Austudy, Abstudy or Youth Allowance programs, or who hold a Department of Veterans’ Affairs Gold Card. With electricity bills a top cost of living issue and about 20 per cent of Victorian households requesting financial assistance with bills in 2020, the program aims to reduce cost of living pressure with a $250 payment transferred electronically into bank accounts or provided via cheque on request, typically taking about two weeks to arrive. Around one-third of remaining eligible households are in the areas of Casey, Greater Geelong, Hume, Brimbank, Whittlesea, Wyndham, Greater Dandenong, Mornington Peninsula, Knox, Moreland and Frankston. Member for Werribee Tim Pallas, Member for Altona Jill Hennessy, and Member for Tarneit Sarah Connolly encouraged community members to check their eligibility and apply for the payment by calling 1800 000 832 or visiting compare.energy.vic.gov.au. To assist eligible households who may not have access to a computer or require assistance with their application, the Government is providing support through the Power Saving Bonus Community Outreach Program. Outreach Program partners include the Brotherhood of St. Laurence, Consumer Policy Research Centre, Good Shepherd and Neighbourhood House, Ethnic Communities Council of Victoria, Consumer Action Law Centre, and State Trustees Limited. The Power Saving Bonus, part of a $797 million household energy affordability package, is delivered through the Government’s Victorian Energy Compare website, which sees more than one million visitors each year. The website helps consumers find the best energy deal available, with data showing seven out of every ten users save money by switching energy offers and a typical annual saving of $330. Quotes attributable to Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio “This one-off $250 payment provides immediate financial relief for those struggling to pay their power bills. “The Government is determined to bring this important program to as many vulnerable households as we can, whether that’s through a quick call with the Victorian Energy Compare helpline or encouraging children and grandchildren to help elderly Victorians apply online.” Quote attributable to Member for Werribee Tim Pallas “This $250 payment helps reduce household bill pressure, and I call on all pension concession, JobSeeker, Austudy, Abstudy or Youth Allowance recipients – or if you know someone who is – to apply.” Quote attributable to Member for Altona Jill Hennessy “This program is providing direct support to many lower income households in Hobsons Bay and Wyndham by reducing household bill pressure, and I call on all residents to check the eligibility requirements and submit an application online or call the Victorian Energy Compare helpline.” Quote attributable to Member for Tarneit Sarah Connolly  “Victorian Energy Compare is saving households hundreds of dollars on energy bills every year. I encourage everyone in Wyndham to visit the site and find a better deal on their gas and electricity.”

HELP WITH ENERGY BILLS THROUGH THE $250 POWER SAVING BONUS

Tuesday 30 November 2021 HELP WITH ENERGY BILLS THROUGH THE $250 POWER SAVING BONUS The Victorian Government is encouraging households doing it tough with energy bills to apply for the one-off $250 Power Saving Bonus payment, as the 12-month program marks more than 320,000 payments to Victorians totalling $80 million. Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio today called on all eligible households to take advantage of the one-off $250 payment before the program ends on 31 January 2022. This includes households receiving payments through the Pension Concession, JobSeeker, Austudy, Abstudy or Youth Allowance programs, or who hold a Department of Veterans’ Affairs Gold Card. With electricity bills a top cost of living issue and about 20 per cent of Victorian households requesting financial assistance with bills in 2020, the program aims to reduce cost of living pressure with a $250 payment transferred electronically into bank accounts or provided via cheque on request, typically taking about two weeks to arrive. Around one-third of remaining eligible households are in the areas of Casey, Greater Geelong, Hume, Brimbank, Whittlesea, Wyndham, Greater Dandenong, Mornington Peninsula, Knox, Moreland and Frankston. Member for Werribee Tim Pallas, Member for Altona Jill Hennessy, and Member for Tarneit Sarah Connolly encouraged community members to check their eligibility and apply for the payment by calling 1800 000 832 or visiting compare.energy.vic.gov.au. To assist eligible households who may not have access to a computer or require assistance with their application, the Government is providing support through the Power Saving Bonus Community Outreach Program. Outreach Program partners include the Brotherhood of St. Laurence, Consumer Policy Research Centre, Good Shepherd and Neighbourhood House, Ethnic Communities Council of Victoria, Consumer Action Law Centre, and State Trustees Limited. The Power Saving Bonus, part of a $797 million household energy affordability package, is delivered through the Government’s Victorian Energy Compare website, which sees more than one million visitors each year. The website helps consumers find the best energy deal available, with data showing seven out of every ten users save money by switching energy offers and a typical annual saving of $330. Quotes attributable to Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio “This one-off $250 payment provides immediate financial relief for those struggling to pay their power bills. “The Government is determined to bring this important program to as many vulnerable households as we can, whether that’s through a quick call with the Victorian Energy Compare helpline or encouraging children and grandchildren to help elderly Victorians apply online.” Quote attributable to Member for Werribee Tim Pallas “This $250 payment helps reduce household bill pressure, and I call on all pension concession, JobSeeker, Austudy, Abstudy or Youth Allowance recipients – or if you know someone who is – to apply.” Quote attributable to Member for Altona Jill Hennessy “This program is providing direct support to many lower income households in Hobsons Bay and Wyndham by reducing household bill pressure, and I call on all residents to check the eligibility requirements and submit an application online or call the Victorian Energy Compare helpline.” Quote attributable to Member for Tarneit Sarah Connolly  “Victorian Energy Compare is saving households hundreds of dollars on energy bills every year. I encourage everyone in Wyndham to visit the site and find a better deal on their gas and electricity.”

MINISTERS STATEMENT: REGIONAL ECONOMY

MR PALLAS (Werribee—Treasurer, Minister for Economic Development, Minister for Industrial Relations) (14:23): You may have heard from me recently that when I began as Treasurer the regional unemployment rate left to us by those opposite was 6.6 per cent, and the latest figure is now 3.3 per cent. That is half of what it was in November 2014 in percentage terms, when those opposite lost the government benches. Of course, given the global pandemic of this and last year, it is quite an incredible figure. Since November 2014 over 84 000 jobs have been created in regional Victoria. This government’s ambitious jobs and infrastructure agenda tells half of that story. There are of course our new low payroll tax settings for the regions at just 1.21 per cent, not even half but a quarter of the metropolitan rate, the lowest rate in the nation, with daylight second—because we are not a government that does things by halves. We have gone on to build confidence, create innovation and kickstart projects like the Regional Rail Revival and countless projects made possible by our Regional Jobs and Infrastructure Fund. In fact our government has invested over $30 billion in regional Victoria, more than four times what those opposite invested in their last time in government. The government’s halving of the regional unemployment rate of November 2014 is the largest decrease in the nation in this time. Our jobs creation is the highest of all states in percentage terms, and I am sure even the member for Ripon would agree that that is not half bad. And we got here because, unlike those opposite, we spend our time focusing on the priorities of the Victorian people, recognising that the wellbeing of regional Victoria is intrinsic to the wellbeing of the whole state.

MINISTERS STATEMENT: REGIONAL ECONOMY

MR PALLAS (Werribee—Treasurer, Minister for Economic Development, Minister for Industrial Relations) (14:23): You may have heard from me recently that when I began as Treasurer the regional unemployment rate left to us by those opposite was 6.6 per cent, and the latest figure is now 3.3 per cent. That is half of what it was in November 2014 in percentage terms, when those opposite lost the government benches. Of course, given the global pandemic of this and last year, it is quite an incredible figure. Since November 2014 over 84 000 jobs have been created in regional Victoria. This government’s ambitious jobs and infrastructure agenda tells half of that story. There are of course our new low payroll tax settings for the regions at just 1.21 per cent, not even half but a quarter of the metropolitan rate, the lowest rate in the nation, with daylight second—because we are not a government that does things by halves. We have gone on to build confidence, create innovation and kickstart projects like the Regional Rail Revival and countless projects made possible by our Regional Jobs and Infrastructure Fund. In fact our government has invested over $30 billion in regional Victoria, more than four times what those opposite invested in their last time in government. The government’s halving of the regional unemployment rate of November 2014 is the largest decrease in the nation in this time. Our jobs creation is the highest of all states in percentage terms, and I am sure even the member for Ripon would agree that that is not half bad. And we got here because, unlike those opposite, we spend our time focusing on the priorities of the Victorian people, recognising that the wellbeing of regional Victoria is intrinsic to the wellbeing of the whole state.

WERRIBEE SOUTH BOAT RAMP DESIGNS READY FOR REVIEW

Boaters are being encouraged to have their say on proposed upgrades at the Werribee South boat ramp as part of planned improvements by the Andrews Labor Government. Designed to make launching boats quicker and easier, the upgrade is just one project in an unprecedented investment to improve recreational boating in Victoria via the $33 million Better Boating Fund – including making the use of Victorian boat ramps free of charge. Better Boating Victoria has worked with coastal engineers to develop concept designs for the upgrade, with public feedback open for four weeks until Friday, 17 December. The Werribee South facility is one of the busiest within the Port Phillip Bay network and services a significant number of boaters on the western side of Melbourne. The ramp also provides access to Port Phillip and Corio Bay, as well as the Werribee River. The proposed upgrades are expected to significantly improve the facility's functionality and address congestion issues that can impact boaters, especially during peak periods. The plans include adding two additional boat ramp lanes to make launching and retrieving boats more efficient, extra pontoons to allow more vessels to be berthed, and provisions for all future abilities access. Other proposed improvements include realigning the parking area to provide more boat preparation spaces away from the main ramp along with additional entry and waiting lanes to increase capacity and reduce queuing back to Beach Road. Once public feedback is collated, the data will be analysed and incorporated into a final concept plan to be developed alongside local user groups and Wyndham City Council. An unprecedented increase from the previous $5 million per year investment, the new Better Boating Fund delivers on a 2018 election promise to ensure all money from the licence fees and recreational vessel registration of Victorian boaters goes to improving boating infrastructure and programs. Quotes attributable to Minister for Fishing and Boating Melissa Horne "The Werribee South boat ramp serves a rapidly growing part of Melbourne, and these upgrades will provide more boaters with access to some of Port Phillip Bay's best fishing." "With two new ramp lanes and extra pontoons providing more capacity, and improvements to parking and traffic management, boaters will spend less time queuing, which is a big win, especially over the busy summer months." Quotes attributable to Member for Werribee Tim Pallas "These upgrades will ensure Werribee South is a go-to spot for boaters heading out for a day on Port Phillip or venturing down to Corio Bay to land calamari, King George whiting or snapper." "We're investing in facilities like this to ensure more families can get out on the water and enjoy quality time together in the great outdoors."

WERRIBEE SOUTH BOAT RAMP DESIGNS READY FOR REVIEW

Boaters are being encouraged to have their say on proposed upgrades at the Werribee South boat ramp as part of planned improvements by the Andrews Labor Government. Designed to make launching boats quicker and easier, the upgrade is just one project in an unprecedented investment to improve recreational boating in Victoria via the $33 million Better Boating Fund – including making the use of Victorian boat ramps free of charge. Better Boating Victoria has worked with coastal engineers to develop concept designs for the upgrade, with public feedback open for four weeks until Friday, 17 December. The Werribee South facility is one of the busiest within the Port Phillip Bay network and services a significant number of boaters on the western side of Melbourne. The ramp also provides access to Port Phillip and Corio Bay, as well as the Werribee River. The proposed upgrades are expected to significantly improve the facility's functionality and address congestion issues that can impact boaters, especially during peak periods. The plans include adding two additional boat ramp lanes to make launching and retrieving boats more efficient, extra pontoons to allow more vessels to be berthed, and provisions for all future abilities access. Other proposed improvements include realigning the parking area to provide more boat preparation spaces away from the main ramp along with additional entry and waiting lanes to increase capacity and reduce queuing back to Beach Road. Once public feedback is collated, the data will be analysed and incorporated into a final concept plan to be developed alongside local user groups and Wyndham City Council. An unprecedented increase from the previous $5 million per year investment, the new Better Boating Fund delivers on a 2018 election promise to ensure all money from the licence fees and recreational vessel registration of Victorian boaters goes to improving boating infrastructure and programs. Quotes attributable to Minister for Fishing and Boating Melissa Horne "The Werribee South boat ramp serves a rapidly growing part of Melbourne, and these upgrades will provide more boaters with access to some of Port Phillip Bay's best fishing." "With two new ramp lanes and extra pontoons providing more capacity, and improvements to parking and traffic management, boaters will spend less time queuing, which is a big win, especially over the busy summer months." Quotes attributable to Member for Werribee Tim Pallas "These upgrades will ensure Werribee South is a go-to spot for boaters heading out for a day on Port Phillip or venturing down to Corio Bay to land calamari, King George whiting or snapper." "We're investing in facilities like this to ensure more families can get out on the water and enjoy quality time together in the great outdoors."

MEMBERS STATEMENT: WERRIBEE ELECTORATE SPORTING FACILITIES

MR PALLAS (Werribee—Treasurer, Minister for Economic Development, Minister for Industrial Relations) (09:38): I rise to update the house on my recent visit to see upgraded sporting facilities in my electorate of Werribee and officially open a new female-friendly sporting pavilion. The new pavilion is located at the grounds of Galvin Park, home of the Werribee City Football Club, the Bees. I have to say the results are nothing short of spectacular. Along with representatives of the club, including president Giovanni Inserra and the Wyndham council CEO, mayor and councillors, we celebrated the official opening of the pavilion. It provides a great new space to support almost 300 players from junior and senior teams and complements the four soccer pitches at Galvin Park. We will see the competition opportunities for local events, community gatherings and functions. The world game of football is truly rooted in the fabric of our local community, and I am proud the new pavilion was made possible thanks to a $1 million investment from the Andrews government’s Community Sports Infrastructure Fund stimulus program. The Wyndham City Council are to be acknowledged for contributing $1.9 million to the project. I also had the pleasure to visit the Wyndham All Abilities Football and Cricket Club ground at Warringa Reserve. The reserve was upgraded with new irrigation, thanks to an investment through the Victorian government’s community cricket program. The improved playing surface on the oval will enable extended use of the grounds for the local club. I am proud that our government is supporting the upgrading of sporting facilities that our local communities deserve.

MEMBERS STATEMENT: WERRIBEE ELECTORATE SPORTING FACILITIES

MR PALLAS (Werribee—Treasurer, Minister for Economic Development, Minister for Industrial Relations) (09:38): I rise to update the house on my recent visit to see upgraded sporting facilities in my electorate of Werribee and officially open a new female-friendly sporting pavilion. The new pavilion is located at the grounds of Galvin Park, home of the Werribee City Football Club, the Bees. I have to say the results are nothing short of spectacular. Along with representatives of the club, including president Giovanni Inserra and the Wyndham council CEO, mayor and councillors, we celebrated the official opening of the pavilion. It provides a great new space to support almost 300 players from junior and senior teams and complements the four soccer pitches at Galvin Park. We will see the competition opportunities for local events, community gatherings and functions. The world game of football is truly rooted in the fabric of our local community, and I am proud the new pavilion was made possible thanks to a $1 million investment from the Andrews government’s Community Sports Infrastructure Fund stimulus program. The Wyndham City Council are to be acknowledged for contributing $1.9 million to the project. I also had the pleasure to visit the Wyndham All Abilities Football and Cricket Club ground at Warringa Reserve. The reserve was upgraded with new irrigation, thanks to an investment through the Victorian government’s community cricket program. The improved playing surface on the oval will enable extended use of the grounds for the local club. I am proud that our government is supporting the upgrading of sporting facilities that our local communities deserve.

READING CHALLENGE OPENS A NEW WORLD TO WYNDHAM KIDS

Young Victorians in Wyndham are among more than 71,000 young Victorians who explored exciting new worlds and built their literacy skills this year as part of the Premiers’ Reading Challenge, now in its seventeenth year. Victorian kids aged from pre-school to Year 10 collectively made their way through more than 2.8 million books between March and September for the Challenge, which this year celebrated the theme ‘Open Up a New World’. The annual challenge encourages enthusiastic readers across households, early childhood centres and schools to read a set number of books – including picture books, short stories, poems or non-fiction books –and record their efforts online. The challenge sets kids a goal of 40 books for children below school age with their parents or carers, 30 books for Prep to Year 2 students with or without assistance, and 15 books for students in Years 3 to 10. Of this year’s 71,342 participants, 8,315 readers were below school age – encouraging a love of books and stories in Victorian kids from a young age. More than 12,000 books were listed on the Premiers’ Reading Challenge booklist for each age group to choose from, with titles curated by an expert panel including teachers and librarians. The annual challenge receives support from the Andrews Labor Government’s Premiers’ Reading Challenge Book Fund to help meet the extra demand for books. An extra investment of $1.1 million will ensure all children have access to the listed books. Wyndham Council will receive $34,959 so they can buy the materials they need to support the 2022 Challenge. More than 3.5 million young people have read more than 54 million books since the challenge began in 2005. Each participant who meets the challenge receives a certificate of achievement signed by all Premiers since 1992 – celebrating Victorian Governments’ decades-long commitment to literacy and a love of reading. Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “Reading not only fosters a lifelong love of learning, but helps kids build important literacy skills that will remain with them for life – a huge congratulations to every Victorian child who has picked up a book or 40 this year!” “I also want to congratulate every parent and carer who has supported their child’s learning and love of reading as part of this challenge – each word, page and chapter will go a long way in their education journey.” Quote attributable to Minister for Local Government Shaun Leane “I’m proud that we can support public libraries to make sure that no child misses out on the Premier’s Reading Challenge – or the joy of books.” Quotes attributable to Member for Werribee Tim Pallas “Well done to every Wyndham kid who has completed the Premiers’ Reading Challenge this year – I hope you had a great time exploring new worlds and improving your reading along the way.” Quotes attributable to Member for Altona Jill Hennessy “Reading is such an important skill that fosters a love of learning, I want to congratulate not only those children who picked up a book this year, but also those parents and carers who supported their child’s love of reading.” Quotes attributable to Member for Tarneit Sarah Connolly “The ability to read opens doors to different worlds. Which is why it’s so important to give every Victorian child the opportunity to explore, imagine and create through reading books. Congratulations to all the students who completed the Premier’s Reading Challenge!”

READING CHALLENGE OPENS A NEW WORLD TO WYNDHAM KIDS

Young Victorians in Wyndham are among more than 71,000 young Victorians who explored exciting new worlds and built their literacy skills this year as part of the Premiers’ Reading Challenge, now in its seventeenth year. Victorian kids aged from pre-school to Year 10 collectively made their way through more than 2.8 million books between March and September for the Challenge, which this year celebrated the theme ‘Open Up a New World’. The annual challenge encourages enthusiastic readers across households, early childhood centres and schools to read a set number of books – including picture books, short stories, poems or non-fiction books –and record their efforts online. The challenge sets kids a goal of 40 books for children below school age with their parents or carers, 30 books for Prep to Year 2 students with or without assistance, and 15 books for students in Years 3 to 10. Of this year’s 71,342 participants, 8,315 readers were below school age – encouraging a love of books and stories in Victorian kids from a young age. More than 12,000 books were listed on the Premiers’ Reading Challenge booklist for each age group to choose from, with titles curated by an expert panel including teachers and librarians. The annual challenge receives support from the Andrews Labor Government’s Premiers’ Reading Challenge Book Fund to help meet the extra demand for books. An extra investment of $1.1 million will ensure all children have access to the listed books. Wyndham Council will receive $34,959 so they can buy the materials they need to support the 2022 Challenge. More than 3.5 million young people have read more than 54 million books since the challenge began in 2005. Each participant who meets the challenge receives a certificate of achievement signed by all Premiers since 1992 – celebrating Victorian Governments’ decades-long commitment to literacy and a love of reading. Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “Reading not only fosters a lifelong love of learning, but helps kids build important literacy skills that will remain with them for life – a huge congratulations to every Victorian child who has picked up a book or 40 this year!” “I also want to congratulate every parent and carer who has supported their child’s learning and love of reading as part of this challenge – each word, page and chapter will go a long way in their education journey.” Quote attributable to Minister for Local Government Shaun Leane “I’m proud that we can support public libraries to make sure that no child misses out on the Premier’s Reading Challenge – or the joy of books.” Quotes attributable to Member for Werribee Tim Pallas “Well done to every Wyndham kid who has completed the Premiers’ Reading Challenge this year – I hope you had a great time exploring new worlds and improving your reading along the way.” Quotes attributable to Member for Altona Jill Hennessy “Reading is such an important skill that fosters a love of learning, I want to congratulate not only those children who picked up a book this year, but also those parents and carers who supported their child’s love of reading.” Quotes attributable to Member for Tarneit Sarah Connolly “The ability to read opens doors to different worlds. Which is why it’s so important to give every Victorian child the opportunity to explore, imagine and create through reading books. Congratulations to all the students who completed the Premier’s Reading Challenge!”

MORE CUTTING-EDGE EQUIPMENT FOR WYNDHAM TECH SCHOOL

Wyndham Tech School will soon be more high-tech than ever, thanks to an Andrews Labor Government boost to support Victorian Tech Schools to buy new equipment and deliver more innovative STEM learning programs. Member for Werribee Tim Pallas announced Wyndham Tech School will share in $4.18 million through the 2021-22 Tech School Equipment Renewal Fund, helping them invest in cutting-edge equipment to help secondary students build their skills in science, technology, engineering and maths – preparing them for the jobs of the future. Funding will enable Wyndham Tech School to finalise the completion of its space redesign. The Esports Arena, a first in Australia, will significantly impact on the Esports program through the provision and access to specialist equipment. The Production Studio will be an innovative learning space for students to create digital content/assets. Students will use the latest in video cameras, green screen, lighting, laser 3D scanning, motion tracking equipment and microphones to create content that will be edited, then published or broadcast to connect students to their wider community. The Labor Government invested $128 million to establish the state’s 10 Tech Schools, which give students the opportunity to work on real-world problems alongside industry and subject experts using the latest technology like virtual reality, robotics, 3D printers and other technologies. The Government has continued to invest in these nation-leading education hubs to help students go from strength to strength and prepare for their future job market. Equipment no longer required by Tech Schools is distributed to nearby secondary schools and TAFE providers to further support students’ education and advance their skills. Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “We know our fastest-growing industries and occupations need advanced STEM skills – and our Tech Schools make sure Victorian students have access to the technology to build the skills they need in the jobs of the future.” “We’re proud to be supporting our future workforce by investing in the high-tech equipment that makes STEM so engaging, challenging students to tackle real-life problems.” Quote attributable to Member for Werribee Tim Pallas “I can’t wait to see Wyndham Tech School’s Esports Arena and Production Studio up and running – delivering world-class education that will get Victorian students ready for the workforce of the future.”

MORE CUTTING-EDGE EQUIPMENT FOR WYNDHAM TECH SCHOOL

Wyndham Tech School will soon be more high-tech than ever, thanks to an Andrews Labor Government boost to support Victorian Tech Schools to buy new equipment and deliver more innovative STEM learning programs. Member for Werribee Tim Pallas announced Wyndham Tech School will share in $4.18 million through the 2021-22 Tech School Equipment Renewal Fund, helping them invest in cutting-edge equipment to help secondary students build their skills in science, technology, engineering and maths – preparing them for the jobs of the future. Funding will enable Wyndham Tech School to finalise the completion of its space redesign. The Esports Arena, a first in Australia, will significantly impact on the Esports program through the provision and access to specialist equipment. The Production Studio will be an innovative learning space for students to create digital content/assets. Students will use the latest in video cameras, green screen, lighting, laser 3D scanning, motion tracking equipment and microphones to create content that will be edited, then published or broadcast to connect students to their wider community. The Labor Government invested $128 million to establish the state’s 10 Tech Schools, which give students the opportunity to work on real-world problems alongside industry and subject experts using the latest technology like virtual reality, robotics, 3D printers and other technologies. The Government has continued to invest in these nation-leading education hubs to help students go from strength to strength and prepare for their future job market. Equipment no longer required by Tech Schools is distributed to nearby secondary schools and TAFE providers to further support students’ education and advance their skills. Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “We know our fastest-growing industries and occupations need advanced STEM skills – and our Tech Schools make sure Victorian students have access to the technology to build the skills they need in the jobs of the future.” “We’re proud to be supporting our future workforce by investing in the high-tech equipment that makes STEM so engaging, challenging students to tackle real-life problems.” Quote attributable to Member for Werribee Tim Pallas “I can’t wait to see Wyndham Tech School’s Esports Arena and Production Studio up and running – delivering world-class education that will get Victorian students ready for the workforce of the future.”

MAKING KINDERS IN WERRIBEE MORE INCLUSIVE FOR ALL CHILDREN

The Andrews Labor Government is making kindergartens in Werribee more inclusive for children of all abilities, with upgrades to early childhood education centres and specialist equipment to help improve learning outcomes. Member for Werribee Tim Pallas announced the opening of the second round of grants in the Building Blocks Inclusion fund ─ helping kindergartens provide a safe and inclusive learning environment for every child. Eligible kindergartens in Werribee are invited to apply for grants of up to $200,000 for building or playground upgrades that make them more inclusive of children of all needs. Grants of up to $10,000 are also available for specialist equipment like mobility chairs or sensory tools for kindergarten programs. The Building Blocks Grants program supports early childhood providers with new and existing infrastructure and facilities for eligible three and four-year-old kindergarten services. The Victorian Budget 2020/21 invested $68.5 million for early childhood education infrastructure, with $12 million allocated to fund two rounds of the Building Blocks Inclusion grants stream. In an Australian-first, the Labor Government is investing almost $5 billion this decade to provide three-year-old children with access to an additional year of funded kindergarten programs. From 2022, three-year-old children across the state will have access to at least five hours of kindergarten. Services will then scale up their hours to reach the full 15-hour program by 2029. As part of this roll-out, the Government is upgrading infrastructure through a $1.68 billion co-investment with the early childhood sector to build and expand kindergarten facilities across the state. To apply for the next round of the Building Blocks Inclusion grants stream funding, visit schoolbuildings.vic.gov.au. Quotes attributable to Minister for Early Childhood Ingrid Stitt “We’re delivering unprecedented investment in early childhood education services so our children and families can get the most out of great local kindergartens.” “Every child deserves the best start in life, and in their education journey – that’s why we’re delivering the equipment, technology and designs our kindergartens need.” Quotes attributable to Member for Werribee Tim Pallas “It is crucial to ensure all our children can fully participate at their local kindergarten, which is why we are helping to upgrade our local facilities and buy specialist equipment to provide safe and inclusive learning environments.”

MAKING KINDERS IN WERRIBEE MORE INCLUSIVE FOR ALL CHILDREN

The Andrews Labor Government is making kindergartens in Werribee more inclusive for children of all abilities, with upgrades to early childhood education centres and specialist equipment to help improve learning outcomes. Member for Werribee Tim Pallas announced the opening of the second round of grants in the Building Blocks Inclusion fund ─ helping kindergartens provide a safe and inclusive learning environment for every child. Eligible kindergartens in Werribee are invited to apply for grants of up to $200,000 for building or playground upgrades that make them more inclusive of children of all needs. Grants of up to $10,000 are also available for specialist equipment like mobility chairs or sensory tools for kindergarten programs. The Building Blocks Grants program supports early childhood providers with new and existing infrastructure and facilities for eligible three and four-year-old kindergarten services. The Victorian Budget 2020/21 invested $68.5 million for early childhood education infrastructure, with $12 million allocated to fund two rounds of the Building Blocks Inclusion grants stream. In an Australian-first, the Labor Government is investing almost $5 billion this decade to provide three-year-old children with access to an additional year of funded kindergarten programs. From 2022, three-year-old children across the state will have access to at least five hours of kindergarten. Services will then scale up their hours to reach the full 15-hour program by 2029. As part of this roll-out, the Government is upgrading infrastructure through a $1.68 billion co-investment with the early childhood sector to build and expand kindergarten facilities across the state. To apply for the next round of the Building Blocks Inclusion grants stream funding, visit schoolbuildings.vic.gov.au. Quotes attributable to Minister for Early Childhood Ingrid Stitt “We’re delivering unprecedented investment in early childhood education services so our children and families can get the most out of great local kindergartens.” “Every child deserves the best start in life, and in their education journey – that’s why we’re delivering the equipment, technology and designs our kindergartens need.” Quotes attributable to Member for Werribee Tim Pallas “It is crucial to ensure all our children can fully participate at their local kindergarten, which is why we are helping to upgrade our local facilities and buy specialist equipment to provide safe and inclusive learning environments.”