Victoria's State Premier, Daniel Andrews
Victoria's State Premier, Daniel Andrews, speaks to the media regarding Thursday's incident involving a vehicle ploughing into pedestrians in Melbourne, Australia December 21, 2017. Reuters/Luis Ascui

The Victoria Government has included $353.2 million in its budget to build 12 new schools. It also plans to add nine new schools opening this year, as well as seven more opening in 2019.

The Andrews government announced Monday that it would be building 28 new schools to accommodate more than 15,000 students in the state. Premier Daniel Andrews said his government had spent more than $2.8 billion building new and upgrading old schools for the past three years. Nevertheless, it was a necessary investment for the students.

“We’re giving families in our growth areas certainty that they will have a great local school, close to home,” he said. “This is more than just an investment in n

Most of the schools will finish in 2020. Work on eight new schools — Armstrong Creek Secondary School, a second McKinnon Secondary College campus, Fishermans Bend Secondary School, Fitzroy Gasworks senior campus, Leneva (Frederic Street Road) P-6, Miners Rest Primary School, North Melbourne Hill and Endeavour Hills Special School — will start early. A further $18.8 million budget will be allocated to building the first stage of Docklands Primary School.

The budget also includes $46.1 million for the additional stages of seven new schools opening in 2019. These are the Aitken Primary School, Burnside Primary School, Pakenham North East Primary School, Preston High School, Sanctuary Lakes P9, Truganina East P9 and Yarrambat Park Primary School.

The schools scheduled to open in 2020 are:

  • Armstrong Creek West Priamry School
  • Beveridge West Primary School
  • Botanic Ridge Primary School
  • Casey Fields (Five Ways) Primary School
  • Clyde North East Primary School
  • Craigieburn South Secondary School
  • Davis Creek Primary School
  • Footscray Learning Precinct – Seddon Secondary Campus
  • Keysborough South Primary School
  • Lucas Primary School
  • Point Cook South Senior Secondary School
  • Wyndham South (Riverwalk) Primary School

Andrews also included a swipe at the Liberal Party in the announcement. “The Labor Government is building the Education State to give every Victorian student a great education, and every community a great local school,” the announcement reads.

“In contrast, in 2016 not one new school opened because the Liberals failed to plan for our growing state. We won’t let that happen again.”

“The previous Liberal Government slashed education funding and failed to plan for future growth. We’re changing that so that every child will have every change — regardless of where they live,” Minister for Education James Merlino said.

Meanwhile, the Opposition was not impressed. Its education spokesman, Tim Smith, said that even with the new buildings, the Government was not doing enough to improve the quality of teaching and curriculum.

“The Government can talk all day about new schools, but our standards are going backwards in schools and have been for the past two decades,” he was quoted by the ABC as saying. “We’ve got to get serious about maximising our intellectual capacity in Victorian school, because if we continue as we’ve been for the last two decades for the next two, then the rest of the world is going to pass us by.”