An elected Liberal Nationals government will give our youngest rural and regional Victorians the best start in life, lifting education opportunities through better support for parents and children in the early years of schooling.
Deputy Opposition Leader Peter Walsh and Shadow Minister for Young Victorians Steph Ryan announced the Liberal Nationals’ $80 million Brighter Futures Fund in Shepparton last weekend.
Mr Walsh said the Fund will be the first step in a dedicated investment to transform education for our youngest rural and regional Victorians.
“A child’s future shouldn’t be determined by where they live, but we know there’s a persistent disadvantage in education in rural communities compared to the city,” Mr Walsh said.
“The Liberal Nationals will work to close the rural education gap because we believe the long-term prosperity of our country communities relies on our young people having a brighter future.”
The Victorian Auditor General recently found ‘there is no sign that the gap in performance is likely to narrow. Indeed, in some areas of performance, the gap is getting wider’.
Results of the most recent Australian Early Development Census show 15 of Victoria’s 20 worst performing LGAs for early childhood education are in rural and regional Victoria.
Action is needed to ensure our children have the best start in life.
Ms Ryan said the $80 million Fund will be invested in integrated education hubs – a one-stop-shop for allied health, early childhood, maternal and child health services, and tertiary education.
“A short-term plan won’t secure real change. We know real change will only happen with a dedicated generational approach,” Ms Ryan said.
“The Premier for Melbourne’s promise to make Victoria the ‘education state’ ends at Melbourne’s tram tracks.
“An elected Liberal Nationals government will do more than create number plate slogans.
“It takes a village to raise a child and we’ll help build that village to ensure children in rural and regional Victoria have a brighter future.”
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