My adjournment matter this evening is for the Minister for Children and Early Childhood Development and is in relation to early learning infrastructure in the shire of Melton, which is at the eastern end of the electorate of Western Victoria Region. I have been made aware of recent applications that the shire has made for funding in relation to the early years infrastructure that is needed in the shire. The applications are seeking funding through the capital children’s grants, and they include $1.5 million for construction of a new community hub, including the early years groups, at the Botanica Springs Estate, Melton South; $300 000 for alterations and refurbishments to the Kororoit Creek early learning centre in Burnside Heights; and renovations and additions to the Parkwood Green community centre in Hillside for a further $300 000.
As members may be aware, the proportion of families with young children in the shire of Melton is growing, with the number of zero to four-year-old children living in the shire second only to the number of 25 to 34-year-olds living in the area. The proportion of affordable housing with access to greater Melbourne for employment is particularly attractive to young couples wishing to purchase a home and start a family.
To understand the population growth and the subsequent need for early childhood infrastructure one only needs to visit the shire and see the enormous amount of development that has been occurring. The shire is predicting that the number of zero to four-year-olds living in the shire will make that the highest age group category by 2021.
The projects I have mentioned have been identified by the shire as significant infrastructure projects needed to provide for this growth and best serve those young families who live in the area, including a number of my family members, as it so happens. It is extremely important for the government to provide the necessary support for local councils experiencing such growth so that they can accommodate that growth, particularly growth for this young age group. With this in mind, I strongly urge the minister to take action in support of these three important infrastructure projects at the Botanica Springs Estate, Kororoit Creek early learning centre and Parkwood Green community centre.