MS TIERNEY (Western Victoria—Minister for Training and Skills, Minister for Higher Education) (09:40): I rise today to pay tribute to the residents of Western Victoria for managing an unprecedented time in education across both the state school system and the independent school system.
This time of COVID-19 has certainly given new meaning to the concept of flexible learning and education. Most students have been getting their education at home through remote learning using materials that either arrive in the mail or are delivered by teachers or by working online with their teachers. This has thrown up huge challenges. It is the first time this has happened on such a large scale. As well, schools have simultaneously offered quality learning to students who needed to actually attend school. Congratulations to the teachers, students, parents and school officers and support staff for managing this very new situation, one that has not been easy. Well done.
I am very pleased to see that school building projects will help Victoria step up to provide jobs as quickly as possible. Western Victoria will benefit from almost $95 million of investment in schools and infrastructure, while a huge $389 million will be spent statewide. In that space there is no better news than Hamilton’s Baimbridge College receiving funding of $8.3 million for stage 1 of its long-awaited redevelopment, already planned and shovel ready. Thirteen other schools will also be able to develop their sites. This investment is fantastic news for our communities in Western Victoria.