Wednesday, 14th August 2019

Ms GARRETT (Eastern Victoria) (09:55): Recently I had the opportunity to celebrate the upgraded facilities at two preschools in my electorate. Blacks Camp Preschool in Somerville and Bittern Preschool both received funding as part of the Inclusive Kindergartens Facilities Program. I know all of us in this house know just how important it is to be inclusive, and that is why funding like this is so special. So it was with great excitement that I was able to officially launch these upgrades along with the children, parents and teachers at both sites.

I take this opportunity to congratulate and thank all of those who were involved and to make really special mention of the teaching staff and both of the parent committees. Without these groups of dedicated volunteers, including the parents working behind the scenes and all the extra hours that the teachers do, projects like these just would not happen. You have all been passionate advocates for your kindergartens and for your local community, and we are most grateful for the hours you contribute. It makes such a big difference to children, who are able to grow and learn with the very best facilities, and of course these upgrades will benefit generations to come.

Funding of $200 000 was provided to Blacks Camp Preschool. This gave them the means to develop their outdoor space, which now provides universal access to the area. Bittern received close to $100 000, and they used that to build a multi-sensory discovery forest, a tree house and a self-directed rest bench for worn-out children to use after all that playing. This is all part of building the Education State, which is a hallmark of the Andrews Labor government, and I was delighted to be involved.