Strathfieldsaye preschool to get $650,000 from state

Children and Early Childhood Development Minister Wendy Lovell.

Children and Early Childhood Development Minister Wendy Lovell.

UPDATE 2PM: The state government will provide $650,000 for a proposed preschool and maternal and child health centre in Strathfieldsaye.

The redevelopment will cost a total of $1.95 million with the City of Greater Bendigo contributing $1.24 million.

Responding to criticism from Member for Bendigo East Jacinta Allan, Ms Lovell said the government had not committed the funding earlier because it was the first time the council had applied for it.

"The state government don’t actually build early childhood facilities," she said.

"It’s very much a partnership with local government and community organisations. The way that funding is allocated is through a competitive grants process.

"This is the first time the council has had the money in their budget that has enabled them to apply for a grant to start this project and we’ve supplied every cent that they’ve applied for."

Ms Lovell said Ms Allan failed to allocate money towards the project while Labor was in office.

EARLIER: CHILDREN and Early Childhood Development Minister Wendy Lovell is expected to announce state government funding today for a proposed preschool and maternal and child health centre in Strathfieldsaye.

The City of Greater Bendigo's proposed 2014-2015 budget invests $460,000 in the new centre.

Member for Bendigo East Jacinta Allan said she worked during the 2010 election campaign to ensure Labor committed $1 million towards the project.

"This was an important commitment to the Strathfieldsaye community, given the rapid population growth and the need then to expand the preschool and provide better facilities for both the preschool and the maternal and child health centre," she said. 

At the time, the Liberal Party did not match the commitment.

"The funding and the upgraded facilities are welcome," Ms Allan said.

"This is a long overdue project.

"It is disappointing for the Strathfieldsaye community that they had to wait years for the desperate Napthine Liberal government to recognise this need only in the shadow of the looming state election."

Ms Lovell will make an announcement at 2pm in Strathfieldsaye.

RELATED COVERAGEBendigo budget: Strathfieldsaye families welcome preschool

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