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New And Improved Picnic Grounds For Badger Weir

Visitors to Badger Weir in the Yarra Ranges National Park now have access to new and improved picnic grounds thanks to a funding boost from the Andrews Labor Government. Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio today officially reopened the site, which received a $1.69 million funding boost from the Labor Government. The popular Badger Weir site has been closed since 2016 after a storm wreaked significant and widespread damage to the park, including hundreds of fallen trees and damage to infrastructure. New barbeques, picnic tables, shelters, paths, toilets, signage, fencing, and a new footbridge and staircase to the weir are just some of the improvements made, providing revitalised public spaces. Reconstruction efforts were supported by volunteers who kindly donated their time and provided valuable assistance in getting the park ready to be reopened. With the help of volunteers and Parks Victoria staff, visitors can now enjoy an even better Badger Weir site – which is home to forests of tall Mountain Ash and tree ferns that support native animals such as possums, bats, owls, parrots and Crimson Rosellas. The Yarra Ranges National Park is also home to 14 plant species that have been identified as being rare or threatened, including the Slender Tree-fern and Tree Geebung. Quotes attributable to Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio “It’s fantastic to see this well-loved area reopened and better than ever for locals and tourists visiting this beautiful Park.” “I encourage people to get back to Badger Weir picnic grounds and take full advantage of these new and improved facilities.” Quote attributable to Member for Northern Victoria Jaclyn Symes “This project has really been a community effort and I want to thank all the volunteers involved for their tireless work.”

New And Improved Picnic Grounds For Badger Weir

Visitors to Badger Weir in the Yarra Ranges National Park now have access to new and improved picnic grounds thanks to a funding boost from the Andrews Labor Government. Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio today officially reopened the site, which received a $1.69 million funding boost from the Labor Government. The popular Badger Weir site has been closed since 2016 after a storm wreaked significant and widespread damage to the park, including hundreds of fallen trees and damage to infrastructure. New barbeques, picnic tables, shelters, paths, toilets, signage, fencing, and a new footbridge and staircase to the weir are just some of the improvements made, providing revitalised public spaces. Reconstruction efforts were supported by volunteers who kindly donated their time and provided valuable assistance in getting the park ready to be reopened. With the help of volunteers and Parks Victoria staff, visitors can now enjoy an even better Badger Weir site – which is home to forests of tall Mountain Ash and tree ferns that support native animals such as possums, bats, owls, parrots and Crimson Rosellas. The Yarra Ranges National Park is also home to 14 plant species that have been identified as being rare or threatened, including the Slender Tree-fern and Tree Geebung. Quotes attributable to Minister for Energy, Environment and Climate Change Lily D’Ambrosio “It’s fantastic to see this well-loved area reopened and better than ever for locals and tourists visiting this beautiful Park.” “I encourage people to get back to Badger Weir picnic grounds and take full advantage of these new and improved facilities.” Quote attributable to Member for Northern Victoria Jaclyn Symes “This project has really been a community effort and I want to thank all the volunteers involved for their tireless work.”

NEW MIDLAND HIGHWAY OVERTAKING LANES OPEN

Travellers on the Midland Highway will have an easier and safer journey with the opening of two new overtaking lanes near Barjarg. Set to ease driver frustration for those stuck behind slow-moving vehicles, the overtaking lanes will give drivers the opportunity to overtake on the 65-kilometre journey between Benalla and Mansfield. The $2.5 million upgrade will improve safety and traffic flow on this vital regional Victorian connection. The project also includes guard rails and shoulder sealing to reduce the risks and severity of run-off road crashes, with a wide painted median to provide greater separation between opposing lanes of traffic. A new right-turn lane at Hewsons Road, Barjarg, will also provide a safer turning opportunity exiting the highway. The Midland Highway connects Geelong, Ballarat, Bendigo, Shepparton, Benalla and Mansfield, providing economic opportunities by supporting freight and tourism. The overtaking lane construction and associated works have been funded through the Better Roads Victoria Regional Overtaking Lanes program. Previous safety upgrades on the Midland Highway from Benalla to Barjarg were funded by the TAC and included intersection and driveway improvements, guardrail, rumble strips and flexible road safety barrier installation. Quotes attributable to Jaclyn Symes, Member for Northern Victoria “These new overtaking lanes will give a much-needed passing opportunity between Mansfield and Benalla, which will be welcome news for drivers.”  “Safety is our highest priority – that’s why we’re undertaking vital upgrades and building a better road network for our communities.”

NEW MIDLAND HIGHWAY OVERTAKING LANES OPEN

Travellers on the Midland Highway will have an easier and safer journey with the opening of two new overtaking lanes near Barjarg. Set to ease driver frustration for those stuck behind slow-moving vehicles, the overtaking lanes will give drivers the opportunity to overtake on the 65-kilometre journey between Benalla and Mansfield. The $2.5 million upgrade will improve safety and traffic flow on this vital regional Victorian connection. The project also includes guard rails and shoulder sealing to reduce the risks and severity of run-off road crashes, with a wide painted median to provide greater separation between opposing lanes of traffic. A new right-turn lane at Hewsons Road, Barjarg, will also provide a safer turning opportunity exiting the highway. The Midland Highway connects Geelong, Ballarat, Bendigo, Shepparton, Benalla and Mansfield, providing economic opportunities by supporting freight and tourism. The overtaking lane construction and associated works have been funded through the Better Roads Victoria Regional Overtaking Lanes program. Previous safety upgrades on the Midland Highway from Benalla to Barjarg were funded by the TAC and included intersection and driveway improvements, guardrail, rumble strips and flexible road safety barrier installation. Quotes attributable to Jaclyn Symes, Member for Northern Victoria “These new overtaking lanes will give a much-needed passing opportunity between Mansfield and Benalla, which will be welcome news for drivers.”  “Safety is our highest priority – that’s why we’re undertaking vital upgrades and building a better road network for our communities.”

ENCOURAGING KINDERGARTEN TEACHERS OF THE FUTURE

The Andrews Labor Government is offering an additional 300 scholarships to aspiring kinder teachers, as well as $9,000 incentives to support early childhood teachers to move to areas where three-year-old kinder is rolling out. Labor Upper House Member for Northern Victoria, Jaclyn Symes is encouraging the pursuit of careers in early childhood education, with an additional $3.82 million available in scholarships and incentives to start supporting those pursuing careers in this rewarding field. Early childhood education is one of Victoria’s fastest growing professions, with more teachers and support staff needed as the Labor Government delivers universal three-year-old kindergarten for all children. The roll-out of nearly $5 billion for this program begins in 2020. Over the next decade, every Victorian child will have access to a full 15 hours of three-year-old kinder. This investment stands in stark contrast to the budget delivered by the Morrison minority government, which fails parents and kids by not including funding for three-year-old kinder, and continuing the uncertainty for four-year-old kinder. To address the increased demand for kinder teachers, incentive payments of up to $9,000 will be available for early childhood teachers who move to areas where subsidised three-year-old kinder programs will be rolled out first. This package is part of a $7.2 million investment in workforce initiatives to attract aspiring early childhood teachers and retain them, which includes establishing a pool of mentors to support new teachers and holding four early childhood teacher conferences to support graduate teachers at the start of their careers. This will build on the Labor Government’s existing $8 million Early Childhood Scholarship Program, which opened in October 2018 and has already offered more than 200 scholarships to eligible students. The new funding to commence 300 scholarships will mean approximately 700 scholarships are on offer. Coupled with the employment incentives, this money will help cover costs including course fees, study materials and financial support in the early years of their career. The roll out of three-year-old kinder is expected to create almost 7,000 jobs. More than 4,000 additional kinder teachers and more than 2,000 additional early childhood educators are needed as the program expands state-wide. To apply, visit: www.education.vic.gov.au/childhood/professionals/profdev/Pages/scholarships.aspx Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “Introducing universal three-year-old kindergarten is one of the biggest social reforms in Victoria’s history. There’s never been a better time to be an early childhood teacher, and change children’s lives for the better.” Quotes attributable to Jaclyn Symes, Member for Northern Victoria “For anyone considering a career in kindergarten teaching, now is the time. These scholarships will help to cover the costs of study and provide incentives to get started in a new career.”

ENCOURAGING KINDERGARTEN TEACHERS OF THE FUTURE

The Andrews Labor Government is offering an additional 300 scholarships to aspiring kinder teachers, as well as $9,000 incentives to support early childhood teachers to move to areas where three-year-old kinder is rolling out. Labor Upper House Member for Northern Victoria, Jaclyn Symes is encouraging the pursuit of careers in early childhood education, with an additional $3.82 million available in scholarships and incentives to start supporting those pursuing careers in this rewarding field. Early childhood education is one of Victoria’s fastest growing professions, with more teachers and support staff needed as the Labor Government delivers universal three-year-old kindergarten for all children. The roll-out of nearly $5 billion for this program begins in 2020. Over the next decade, every Victorian child will have access to a full 15 hours of three-year-old kinder. This investment stands in stark contrast to the budget delivered by the Morrison minority government, which fails parents and kids by not including funding for three-year-old kinder, and continuing the uncertainty for four-year-old kinder. To address the increased demand for kinder teachers, incentive payments of up to $9,000 will be available for early childhood teachers who move to areas where subsidised three-year-old kinder programs will be rolled out first. This package is part of a $7.2 million investment in workforce initiatives to attract aspiring early childhood teachers and retain them, which includes establishing a pool of mentors to support new teachers and holding four early childhood teacher conferences to support graduate teachers at the start of their careers. This will build on the Labor Government’s existing $8 million Early Childhood Scholarship Program, which opened in October 2018 and has already offered more than 200 scholarships to eligible students. The new funding to commence 300 scholarships will mean approximately 700 scholarships are on offer. Coupled with the employment incentives, this money will help cover costs including course fees, study materials and financial support in the early years of their career. The roll out of three-year-old kinder is expected to create almost 7,000 jobs. More than 4,000 additional kinder teachers and more than 2,000 additional early childhood educators are needed as the program expands state-wide. To apply, visit: www.education.vic.gov.au/childhood/professionals/profdev/Pages/scholarships.aspx Quotes attributable to Minister for Education James Merlino “Introducing universal three-year-old kindergarten is one of the biggest social reforms in Victoria’s history. There’s never been a better time to be an early childhood teacher, and change children’s lives for the better.” Quotes attributable to Jaclyn Symes, Member for Northern Victoria “For anyone considering a career in kindergarten teaching, now is the time. These scholarships will help to cover the costs of study and provide incentives to get started in a new career.”

BOOSTING KINDER SERVICES IN AVENEL

Labor Upper House Member for Northern Victoria, Jaclyn Symes today visited Avenel Preschool to turn the sod on the $526,000 upgrade and expansion. The Andrews Labor Government provided $350,000 towards the new centre through a Children’s Facilities Capital Program grant. The kindergarten is being expanded with a new kindergarten/playroom, office, Maternal and Child Health room and a meeting/multipurpose room dedicated planning and administration space and multipurpose meeting room. The upgraded facility will accommodate increasing enrolments and a range of early years services, including maternal and child health and wellbeing outreach programs, further strengthening support for the community. The state’s biggest early education build will continue over the coming years, with almost 1,000 new and upgraded kinders to come. The Labor Government will invest more than $1.6 billion over the next decade to build approximately 785 new kinders and expand 170 existing services. The is part of a $5 billion plan to ensure every Victorian child has access to at least five hours of subsidised three-year-old kinder by 2022, progressively scaled up to 15 hours per week over the next decade. Quotes attributable to Member for Northern Victoria Jaclyn Symes “This exciting upgrade will ensure Avenel families can access quality early childhood services to help their children get ready for school and ready for life. Making Victoria the Education State starts with the early years – that’s why we’re delivering unprecedented investments in early childhood services.”

BOOSTING KINDER SERVICES IN AVENEL

Labor Upper House Member for Northern Victoria, Jaclyn Symes today visited Avenel Preschool to turn the sod on the $526,000 upgrade and expansion. The Andrews Labor Government provided $350,000 towards the new centre through a Children’s Facilities Capital Program grant. The kindergarten is being expanded with a new kindergarten/playroom, office, Maternal and Child Health room and a meeting/multipurpose room dedicated planning and administration space and multipurpose meeting room. The upgraded facility will accommodate increasing enrolments and a range of early years services, including maternal and child health and wellbeing outreach programs, further strengthening support for the community. The state’s biggest early education build will continue over the coming years, with almost 1,000 new and upgraded kinders to come. The Labor Government will invest more than $1.6 billion over the next decade to build approximately 785 new kinders and expand 170 existing services. The is part of a $5 billion plan to ensure every Victorian child has access to at least five hours of subsidised three-year-old kinder by 2022, progressively scaled up to 15 hours per week over the next decade. Quotes attributable to Member for Northern Victoria Jaclyn Symes “This exciting upgrade will ensure Avenel families can access quality early childhood services to help their children get ready for school and ready for life. Making Victoria the Education State starts with the early years – that’s why we’re delivering unprecedented investments in early childhood services.”

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