Invest in the future

Nine local schools are set to be upgraded as part of the State Government’s $266 million Latrobe Valley support package.

During a tour of Morwell Central Primary School on Thursday, Premier Daniel Andrews announced Boolarra, Churchill, Liddiard Road, Tyers and Yinnar South primary schools, Kurnai, Lowanna and Traralgon colleges and Trafalgar High School would be revamped, sharing in $5 million of funding facilitated through the Valley support package.

Mr Andrews said the $18.2 million Morwell Central Primary School, due to open for the 2017 school term, was exactly what he wanted for the entire Latrobe Valley – “only the best”.

“This is such a fantastic facility. I see $18.2 million as not a cost, but a profound investment in the best facilities to give every child in Morwell, and indeed as we look across the Valley, the very best start,” he said.

He said the $5 million school upgrades would go a long way in improving student outcomes and planning would begin immediately.

“We’ll never give our kids a first-rate education in second-rate classrooms,” Mr Andrews said.

“On the other side of that coin though, if you build the right infrastructure you can change lives and make sure that every young person in Morwell, and indeed across the state, gets the right opportunities they are entitled to.”

Mr Andrews confirmed local contractor priority would be given during the upgrades.

“This is about not only investing in our schools for the best start for all our kids, but also about creating jobs,” Mr Andrews said.

“A healthy share of this employment (through the school upgrades) will be to local trades, local businesses.

“That is really important and part of our broader approach to ensure the Latrobe Valley has a very strong future.”

Kurnai College principal Anthony Rodaughan welcomed the state’s $750,000 contribution towards a total rebuild of its Morwell campus.

Mr Rodaughan said the announced upgrades, combined with the new Morwell Central Primary School and redevelopment of Morwell Park Primary School, were a “great boost to our community”.

“For students to come all the way through these fantastic primary schools and then up to the secondary college then maybe experience the new tech school, there are great learning opportunities ahead,” Mr Rodaughan said.

“It creates a nice pathway for Morwell students, with their education to be taught in 21st century learning environments, and this can only boost engagement and connectedness with schools while helping teachers, students and families work together to provide more positive outcomes for the region.”

The following Latrobe Valley schools will share in a $5 million State Government investment into school upgrades:

-Boolarra Primary School: $150,000

-Churchill Primary School: $250,000

-Kurnai College (Morwell campus): $750,000

-Lowanna College: $500,000

-Trafalgar High School: $2.3 million

-Liddiard Road Primary School: $790,000

-Traralgon College: $80,000

-Tyers Primary School: $100,000

-Yinnar South Primary School: $70,000