I would like to congratulate the Belmont Community Kindergarten on the official opening recently of its new $400 000 playroom. The community raised the phenomenal amount of $100 000 towards this project, and I place on record my sincere appreciation for its amazing efforts. Kinder is a really important time in a child’s development, and it was for that reason that the previous Brumby Labor government invested $300 000 in the Belmont kinder project. I was particularly disappointed to see the Minister for Children and Early Childhood Development, Wendy Lovell, once again misleading the community by attempting to take the credit for a project that this government contributed no money to. The minister knows full well that it was funding from the Labor government and local council together with community money that made this project possible.
The minister states that these projects are very important to the local community. If this is her belief, then why is there no money for kinders in this year’s state budget? The minister states in her media release about the Belmont Community Kindergarten that the new building was a great example of why the Victorian coalition government has allocated more than $80 million to kinders in the past 18 months. Once again the minister is misleading the community. She knows that the $80 million she constantly attempts to take the credit for is overwhelmingly federal Labor government money.
The minister provided only $15 million in last year’s budget for kindergarten infrastructure and zero dollars this year. One really has to have more front than Myer to travel around the state taking credit for the previous Labor government’s projects and stating that the Baillieu government has invested $80 million in kinders, when it is the federal Labor government in Canberra that is providing the vast bulk of the funds.