Ms VAGHELA (Western Metropolitan): My constituency question is directed to the Minister for Education and Minister for the Coordination of Education and Training: COVID-19, the Honourable James Merlino, MP.
The Andrews Labor government is committed to providing world-class education to the school-going children. The Andrews Labor government has made announcements for funding works in Saltwater P–9 College to deliver essential construction of specialist learning spaces to accommodate students in years 7 to 9.
I am thrilled about this announcement as it will deliver better infrastructure for a school in my area of Western Metropolitan Region. It will make Western Metropolitan Region a great place to live and raise a family. These works demonstrate the Andrews Labor government’s commitment to education.
My question to the minister is: can the minister provide me an update on the time line of commencement and completion of this project?
The Hon. James Merlino MP (Deputy Premier and The Minister for Education): I thank the Member for Western Metropolitan Region for her question.
The Andrews Labor Government is committed to building the Education State. That’s why we have invested more than $7.2 billion in the last five years to build, upgrade and maintain school infrastructure across the state.
In response to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, in May 2020 the Government announced the $2.7 billion Building Works package. At the centre of this package is a $1.18 billion allocation for education infrastructure projects.
The project at Saltwater P-9 College is part of this package, which will generate more than 1,600 local construction jobs to help Victoria’s economy rebound from the coronavirus crisis. As the Member for Western Metropolitan Region notes, the latest funding will enable the college to build the extra classrooms and specialist learning spaces needed for secondary education.
I am advised that site investigation works and preparation of tender documents for the project are currently in progress. The Victorian School Building Authority is working collaboratively with the college’s leadership team to coordinate important details of the project, to ensure a successful construction phase.
I am advised that construction works are scheduled to begin in late 2020 and will be completed in time for the 2022 school year.
I trust this information is of assistance.