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Liberals deliver Daycare Centre for Charlton families

Member for Ripon, Louise Staley today announced that an elected Liberal Nationals government will fund a long daycare centre for Charlton.

Ms Staley announced that an elected Liberal Nationals Government would provide $340,000 to renovate the extension of the current Maternal and Child Health Care Centre. The project will see the site transitioned to an integrated children’s hub, with facilities for 22 children, great access for parents and conveniently located close to the High Street.

“For too long families in Charlton have had to choose between no childcare or driving up to two hours each day to access their closest daycare in St. Arnaud,”

“Parents in Charlton have been unable to return to work because of a lack of daycare. Today’s announcement finally gives those parents the option that they need.” Ms Staley said.

“Lack of access to childcare for families in and around Charlton is a major economic barrier to the whole area’s development. Currently, the region misses out on the skills of nurses, teachers, podiatrists and skilled office staff, amongst other professions, just because of a lack of childcare.”

The announcement was welcomed by Buloke Shire Council and many local Charlton families.

Buloke Shire Council Mayor Cr David Pollard said, “Availability to childcare is vitally important to young Buloke families and the wider community. We would like to attract young families to employment, but workforce management and recruitment are difficult when childcare is in short supply. We welcome projects which improve childcare access in Charlton and across the region.”

“This is a priority project for the Buloke Shire Council but more importantly, for the Charlton community,” Ms Staley said.

“Unlike the city-centric Labor government who have spent the last four years ignoring the Charlton community, the Liberals understand what our local communities because we live and work in them,”

“The Charlton community has been calling for this much-needed long daycare centre for years, and it is great news that an elected Liberal Nationals Government will able to deliver this project for them.” Ms Staley said.

Only a Liberal Nationals Government will deliver this important project for parents and families in Charlton.

Securing Stawell’s economy with skills and experience

An elected Liberal Nationals Coalition Government will seek to upskill more Victorians by investigating new and innovative approaches to training.

Member for Ripon Louise Staley MP, said the Liberal Nationals would look at targeted funding for micro-credentials to fill the demand for workers in high-priority sectors and transitioning industries.

Ms Staley said the Stawell workforce was constantly changing and we need to make sure the training sector is offering the skills local workers need.

“Mining and new exploration opportunities will shape Stawell’s future and we need to make sure workers in Stawell can get the skills they need when they need them. A Liberal Nationals Government will open up even more area’s for exploration and ensure that mining in Stawell has a future.”

“This review will make sure Victoria’s training system is meeting our workforce needs and giving people the skills they need to change or retain their job.”

“Stawell has a bright future, yet Labor and Daniel Andrews are ignoring the abundant opportunities for exploration, and new mining in the region. This policy will upskill our young people so that they can work in the mines of the future.” Ms Staley said.

Micro-credentials will give people the opportunity to upskill or reskill to meet the changing needs of the Victorian economy.

The review will be led by Craig Robertson, an experienced leader in VET and TAFE, in consultation with industry and training sector representatives.

Shadow Minister for Skills, Training, and Apprenticeships Steph Ryan said the training sector not only needs to support young people starting out in their careers but also mature aged workers who want to add new skills.

“Training is the pathway to a better job or a new career for Victorians choosing to upskill or reskill in a quickly changing workforce,” Ms. Ryan said.

 “Labor’s funding cuts have left the training industry in crisis, only the Liberal Nationals will do the work to make sure Victorians can seize the opportunity of lifelong learning.”

The latest data from the National Centre for Vocational Education Research (NCVER), shows government-funded VET student numbers have dropped 31.7 percent under Daniel Andrews.

It’s a decline from 460,500 students in 2014, to 314,600 in 2017.

A report from the Productivity Commission, released earlier this year, revealed Labor underspent the student training budget in 2016 by a staggering $502 million.

Solar and Energy Smart Upgrades for Ballarat High School

A future Liberal Nationals Government will create Australia’s most energy efficient schools by embracing the latest renewable energy technology.

Ballarat High School will received $50,000 to install a solar PV system and deliver energy efficient lighting solutions to tackle their soaring power bills.

Ballarat High School is the leading government secondary school in Ballarat. It has a proud tradition of excellence, and has been committed to improving facilities for students for many years.

Unfortunately, it has been hit hard by rising energy costs, but its large campus provides the ideal opportunity for the installation of solar panels and energy efficiency upgrades.

Schools such as Ballarat High are ideal candidates for solar PV, as they consume most of their power during the day, which coincides with the peak generation from a solar installation.

Principal Gary Palmer backs the commitment, stating, "we think this is a great initiative because reducing our energy footprint will allow us to divert that money to students and their classroom practices."

A Guy Government will get renewables right and help Ballarat High School to generate their own energy – meaning less money wasted on power bills and more being spent on our kids’ education.

Comments attributable to Shadow Minister for Renewables, David Southwick MP:

“Under Daniel Andrews, Victorians are paying more than ever for power electricity bills are affecting everyone in Victoria, including Ballarat High School.”

“This announcement not only helps out with the bills that the Labor Government have lumped them with, but it gives an opportunity for the school to teach its students about renewables.”

Comments attributable to Louise Staley MP, Member for Ripon:

“Ballarat High School is the school of choice for many local families in Ripon and this grant will enable the school to free up funds for teaching and learning.”

Comments attributable to Amy Johnson, Liberal Candidate for Wendouree:

“Power bills are going through the roof due to Labor’s ideological energy policies. The Liberals are committed to practical solutions to this.”

“Schools like Ballarat High shouldn’t be out of pocket because Labor wants to increase power bills and appease Greens voters in inner-city Melbourne.”

Liberals confirm commitment to build Lucas Primary School

Shadow Minister for Education, Tim Smith MP and Ripon MP, Louise Staley today confirmed that an elected Liberal Government will build a brand new Primary School for Lucas.

Lucas is a fast-growing suburb of Ballarat, the existing Catholic Primary School is at capacity and students who are unable to attend that school are travelling to neighbouring suburbs of Alfredton and Miners Rest where those schools are also nearing capacity.

“A new Primary School for Lucas is desperately needed, local schools have been at capacity for a number of years, and Ballarat is continuing to expand,”

“In 2014 Labor committed $5 million to the development of Lucas Primary School, here we are 4 years on and not a single bit of work has started.” Mr Smith said.

The new school to be designed in consultation with the Lucas Community, local Council and Department of Education will be designed to ensure it has sufficient capacity to meet the growing needs of the Lucas community and will also include extensive sporting grounds for the community.

“Labor have forgotten about the Lucas community. Building a new school for Lucas should have been a priority and it should have been delivered by now,”

“The Andrews Government has been playing politics with the Lucas community by delaying funding for a new Primary School until an election year.” Ms Staley said.

Mr Smith said, “The Andrews Government has dragged its heels on Lucas Primary School for four years. Only in an election year do they start to pay attention to the demands of the residents.

“Daniel Andrews has no plan, no vision and no interest in decentralisation and what is needed to ensure our regional communities can thrive.”

Only an elected Liberal Nationals Government will deliver a new Primary School for the families of Lucas.