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Education

BUREAUCRACY BUNGLING BROADWATER SCHOOL CHILDREN’S FUTURE

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Ritchie Williamson and other at Broadwater Public School

BUREAUCRACY BUNGLING BROADWATER SCHOOL CHILDREN’S FUTURE

 

Families in the lower Richmond Valley have waited long enough for the 2022 flood-damaged Broadwater Public School to be rebuilt and it’s time for the NSW Labor Government to intervene, Clarence Nationals MP Richie Williamson has declared.

“It has been two years already! The bureaucracy continues to fumble this simple but vital project, so I have contacted the Minister for Education, Ms Prue Car, and asked her to intervene,” Mr Williamson said.

“The project could be completed in just eight weeks because it’s a pre-fabricated build that I’m told is almost finished, but School Infrastructure NSW has instead lodged a development application with Richmond Valley Council, a step that is not required for crucial NSW public infrastructure.”

Mr Williamson said schools, hospitals, ambulance stations, police stations are entirely exempt from local government development application approval processes.

“I have asked the Government to override the bureaucracy and withdraw the DA from Council and get cracking on the rebuild so we can get our kids back to their school,” Mr Williamson said.

Ritchie Williamson and other at Broadwater Public School

Ritchie Williamson and other at Broadwater Public School

“Lower Richmond Valley parents, community, teachers and most importantly the students are ready to return to their own classrooms, and I want to see that happen as a matter of urgency.

“I encourage parents who support this initiative to email me at clarence@parliament.nsw.ogv.au so I can stress the importance of this issue to the Minister in Sydney,” Mr Williamson concluded.

Secretary of the Broadwater Public School P & C Association, Emma Crethar said the current abandoned and overgrown school ground is the first thing you see as you enter town and serves as a constant reminder of the devastation caused by the February 2022 floods.

“We were told at the first community consultation meeting that the maximum time we’d be out of our school would be two years,” Ms Crethar said.

“We are now at the second anniversary of the floods and still to have no government approvals in place or a firm commencement date. It’s a real slap in the face.

“We are now prioritising our children’s wellbeing and education and pushing for the rebuild of Broadwater Public School to commence as soon as possible.

“Any bureaucracy that’s hindering the process needs to be addressed immediately as our kids have suffered long enough.”

 

For more Richmond Valley news, click here.

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Education

Boosting Child Education: Kyogle and Federal Communities Gain from Fresh Initiative

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NSW-Northern-Rivers-Breaking-News

Boosting Child Education: Kyogle and Federal Communities Gain from Fresh Initiative

 

Kyogle and Federal are gearing up to enhance support for working families through expanded access to early childhood education and care, thanks to a new $20-million initiative known as the Flexible Initiatives Trial (FIT).

This program aims to tackle the obstacles faced by parents, particularly women, in joining the workforce by empowering early childhood education services to tailor their offerings and hours to suit local community needs.

Among the 16 grant recipients announced in the first round of successful applicants, Kyogle’s Bundgeam Preschool and the Federal Community Children’s Centre in the Byron Shire hinterland stand out as local beneficiaries.

State Member for Lismore, Janelle Saffin, expressed satisfaction with the inclusion of these services, emphasising the dedication of their educators and the positive impact the trial will have on the surrounding communities.

Ms. Saffin also highlighted the broader regional impact, noting that Yamba Early Learning Centre and Clarence Community Preschool in Grafton will also benefit from the program. For instance, the Grafton service will introduce weekend operations, catering to families’ needs beyond the usual weekday schedule.

The family-friendly enhancements offered through the FIT program include extending operating hours, flexible drop-off and pick-up times, options for occasional or ad hoc care, establishment of new family day care services in remote areas, and collaborations between different service types to provide comprehensive care.

This initiative is part of the NSW Labor Government’s ongoing commitment to supporting children and young families, exemplified by the unprecedented $769 million investment to construct 100 new public preschools across the state.

Additionally, $60 million has been allocated to build and upgrade preschools in 50 non-government schools, focusing on areas with the greatest need, along with $17 million for capital works in early childhood services.

Furthermore, the NSW Government is actively bolstering the early childhood workforce through a significant scholarship program, attracting a record number of applicants.

 

For more Kyogle news, click here.

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Casino NSW News

New $8 million learning centre for Casino students

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Mercy centre

New $8 million learning centre for Casino students

 

By Samantha Elley

There were a long list of dignitaries, community members, teachers and of course, the students who attended the opening of St Mary’s Catholic College, Casino’s refurbished building, called the Mercy Centre.

One key person missing was parish priest Father Peter Slack, who was recovering from an operation, but his words were read out by Aaron Beach, Regional Service Leader, Diocese of Lismore, Catholic Schools.

“It is a building that is spacious with natural light,” said Mr Beach on behalf of Fr Slack.

“It is a building which invites the world into its walls.”

Built on the site of the Sisters of Mercy, who were established in the 1880s, it is fitting that it has been named the Mercy Centre.

Mr Beach described it as a learning space with flexible learning areas that will foster creative and critical thinking.

The project included a complete refurbishment of the previous block.

The new facility includes a number of general learning classrooms, four state-of-the-art STEM science labs, open learning spaces, study pods, canteen, gymnasium and an auditorium- style seating, referred to as the Learning Commons.

Bishop of Lismore, Gregory Homeming gave the blessing which included the people, the building and the plaque.

“I am blessing more than a building,” he said.

“But I am blessing you.”

With that, he sprinkled holy water on all in attendance, giving a double dose to the politicians who he felt needed the extra kick.

Finally, the plaque was unveiled by NSW Senator, the Hon Jenny McAllister, Assistant Minister for Climate Change and Energy.

“I understand the building has already been in use for some months,” she said.

“It is an enhancing experience that you all have here.”

The total project cost $8,394,000, with $3,600,000 contributed to by the Australian Government.

Other dignitaries in attendance included Member for Page, Kevin Hogan, Member for Clarence Richie Williamson, Richmond Valley mayor Robert Mustow and Director of Catholic Schools, Adam Spencer.

 

For more Casino news, click here.

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Education

Tenterfield, Murwillumbah TAFE share over $300,000 in upgrades

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Tenterfield and Murwillumbah TAFE upgrade

Tenterfield, Murwillumbah TAFE share over $300,000 in upgrades

 

LISMORE MP Janelle Saffin has welcomed a NSW Government investment of over $300,000 in improving technology and infrastructure at Tenterfield and Murwillumbah TAFE NSW campuses.

Ms Saffin said the investment is part of a $300-million state-wide program delivering upgraded facilities and equipment to more than 120 TAFE NSW campuses across the state this financial year.

The funding includes:

  • TAFE NSW Tenterfield: $150,000 for improved network connectivity and Wi-Fi upgrades; $60,000 for replacement of 26 digital devices; and $14,000 for signage and general maintenance.
  • TAFE NSW Murwillumbah: $40,000 for 15 new digital devices; $70,000 for asset renewal, including lift replacement and building upgrades.

The funding is part of the NSW Government’s record $2.131-billion investment in TAFE NSW through the 2023-24 state budget.

Ms Saffin said:

“TAFE creates great vocational and life opportunities for students across all ages.

“I often say to students TAFE can and does change lives,” Ms Saffin said.

“I love TAFE and it is important that it remains the primary provider for the delivery of VET in our local area and indeed state-wide.”

Minister for Skills, TAFE and Tertiary Education, Steve Whan said:

“Students and teachers need to have functional classrooms and access to industry-standard equipment.

“Stories of neglected classrooms, poor Wi-Fi connectivity, and out-of-date teaching equipment shine a spotlight on the decade of neglect by the previous Liberal-National Government. The NSW Labor Government is doing something about it.

“This continued investment in TAFE NSW facilities will expand learning opportunities in local communities, improve educational outcomes, and support the state’s critical skills needs.”

 

For more Tenterfield news, click here. For more Murwillumbah News, click here.

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