Prime Minister Announces Funding for New Warragul Kindergarten

Published on 12 April 2018

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Baw Baw Shire Council has successfully secured $800,000 in funding from the Australian Government through their Regional Jobs and Investment Packages (RJIP) which will go towards the construction of a new Early Learning Centre, to be co-located at the Warragul Primary School.

The Prime Minister, the Hon Malcolm Turnbull MP alongside the Federal Member for Gippsland Darren Chester made the funding announcement today at a ceremony in Traralgon following a funding application submitted in November 2017.

Combined with the State Government funding of $650,000 announced late last year, Council is delighted to be able to partner with all levels of Government to deliver this much needed community asset.

Mayor of Baw Baw Shire Councillor Joe Gauci welcomed the news and said it was a real win for local families and communities and goes towards easing the growing burden on kindergarten places in our shire.

“Our Shire is experiencing unprecedented population growth. There is an influx of young families moving to the Shire and as birth rates continue to rise, so does the need for early year’s services”, said the Mayor.

“We face many gaps in local kindergarten service and infrastructure needs which simply put, are out of Council’s jurisdiction. We are grateful to the Australian Government for understanding this and contributing to our future community needs.”

Once constructed, the new facility will contain multi-use rooms tailored for kindergarten and play group use during school hours, allied health and early childhood intervention services during the day and with the ability to provide a community hub outside of these times.

“We have been working hard for some time lobbying for investment into new kindergartens. Without this investment, we would be facing the distinct possibility of a significant shortfall of funded kindergarten places in Warragul”, said the Mayor.

The Mayor also acknowledged the many years of advocacy and planning that went into the grant application and thanked all involved for their contribution towards the process.

“We are so pleased to be able to work with the Australian Government to make this project a reality. I’d like to thank Prime Minister Turnbull for delivering the great news, and Russell Broadbent for his ongoing assistance and support for the Baw Baw community.”

Federal Member for McMillan Russell Broadbent who was also in attendance said “Warragul and Baw Baw are growing rapidly, particularly with young families and this funding has come at an opportune time to help our infrastructure needs.”

“I am thrilled the Australian Government is able to partner with the Victorian Government and Baw Baw Shire Council to make this project a reality”, said Mr Broadbent.

Council has been in close consultation with the Warragul Primary School and both parties acknowledge the value of a co-located centre.

Tender documents for the project will be prepared shortly, with contracts expected be awarded in the coming months and construction of the new facility to be completed in 2019.

In addition to the Early Learning Centre, other organisations within Baw Baw Shire were also recipients of RJIP funding:

  • Drouin West Timber and Truss - $2 million
  • Neerim District Soldiers’ Memorial Hospital - $150,000

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Image: Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull with Cr Michael Leaney and CEO Alison Leighton.

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Image: Mayor Joe Gauci with Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull.

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Image: Cr Darren Wallace with RJIP funding recipients Nick Ward and Peter Ward (Drouin West Timber and Truss) and Mayor Joe Gauci.