By John Eren, Member for Lara
What a busy time it is in the northern suburbs of Geelong.
Works are well underway at Barwon Health North. With the structure now finished, external works are nearing completion and internal fit-out is in progress with services expected to begin in 2020.
Services at Barwon Health will be a hybrid of specialist care, women’s and children’s health clinics, and treatment for non-emergency illnesses and injuries. These will include renal dialysis, after-hours care such as GP and urgent care services, as well as specialist outpatient services and clinical support services, including medical imaging, pathology and pharmacy.
It has been great to also see construction works underway at the Purnell Rd Child and Family Centre. The centre will provide kindergarten, long day care, maternal and child health, consulting rooms, specialist family support and a toy library, in a location that complements other local services and facilitates the transition to school.
In addition to this the State Government has contributed funds to the Northern Bay Wexford Campus which will make improvements to the school and also create a unique ‘hub’ between the school and the Purnell Road Child and Family Centre.
Rollins Primary School and Lara Lake Primary School also recently received funds for capital projects. Additionally, the Andrews Government has invested $2.581 million from the Camps, Sports and Excursions Fund and over 15,799 payments across the Lara electorate to ensure that every student – regardless of their background – gets the chance to go on camps and excursions with their friends.
We have also invested $41.071 million in equity funding for schools in my electorate – needs-based funding used by schools to introduce programs that help disadvantaged students achieve better results at school and reach their full potential.
More than 1573 students in Lara benefit from the State School Relief program each year, with more than 14,005 items of clothing distributed since 2015. We want schools to be inclusive environments and no family should have to worry about affording a uniform for their child.
Over 53,600 breakfasts have been served to kids in my electorate as part of our Breakfast in Schools Program.
Victoria’s prison population has grown substantially in recent years and, with numbers expected to continue to rise, we are planning ahead to ensure we can meet future demand.
In the recent budget, more than $1.8 billion was invested to ensure our prisons remain safe, secure, and are able to keep pace with demand.The expansion included an extra 548 beds at the new Chisholm Road Prison making it our largest maximum-security prison bringing the total to 1248 beds.
The new prison will deliver an estimated economic benefit of $173 million to the Greater Geelong Region during construction and will bring more than 650 ongoing jobs to the area.
There will be a range of roles, including prison officers, psychologists, teachers, administration and maintenance staff and allied health professionals.
The building of the new prison will support hundreds of jobs across the steel, manufacturing, construction, engineering and other sectors and will create up to 800 jobs during peak construction periods.
Construction is set to start at the end of 2019 and the prison will be operational in 2022.
For more information on other projects underway please feel free to contact my office on 52753898.