By Lachlan Ellis
On a busy week for State politicians, the Premier and local MP Michaela Settle visited Bacchus Marsh last Friday, announcing a new six-figure contribution for a local early years hub.
The West Maddingley Early Years & Community Hub aims to cater for the area’s many young families and their kids, with Premier Daniel Andrews saying the State Government would match a $3.5 million commitment from Moorabool Shire Council.
“It’s great to be here and see this brand-new family and community hub, maternal and child health, kinder, family services, and a whole lot of community space…and to be here with the Mayor and Councillors, and celebrate a really important partnership,” Mr Andrews told the Moorabool News.
“This is being built by a local firm, so it’s great for local jobs and families. With the amount of housing going up here, now’s the time to invest in kinder, they’re going to be very busy here I think.”
Moorabool Shire Mayor Cr Rod Ward said it was fantastic to have the State Government’s support to get the Hub completed.
“It’s very exciting, this facility’s going to be a great benefit. There was a significant deficit last year in early childcare spots available, so this will definitely help us address that with our rapidly-growing population. We appreciate the support of the Victorian Government – this is one of several projects we’ve benefited from under the Growing Suburbs Fund over the past few years,” he said.
“It’s $3.5 million from the State Government and $3.5 million from Council…that’s significant money, and Council can’t achieve these sort of projects, of this scope, without that support. This is a much-needed facility.”
“Having childcare available alongside a kindergarten, there’ll be a good transition there for the kids. It’s very much needed, we’re in the peri-urban area which is an enormous growth area. It’s fantastic that we can work with the State Government to secure these funds,” East Moorabool Ward Councillor Moira Berry added.
Maddingley is one of the most rapidly-growing areas in the state, with census information released by .id earlier this year showing that over the past decade, the area has grown by a whopping 140 per cent, compared to the Victorian average of 21.5 per cent.
The West Maddingley Early Years & Community Hub is expected to be completed by the end of the year, in time for the first students to use in Term 1 2024.