Ballarat Specialist School – Adjournment Matter

Juliana ADDISON (Wendouree) (19:05): My adjournment matter is for the Minister for Education, and the action that I seek is for the minister to visit my electorate of Wendouree to celebrate the practical completion of construction works of new classrooms and facilities at the Ballarat Specialist School.

The Ballarat Specialist School caters for the educational, social and emotional needs of children with mild, moderate and complex intellectual disability. Students are aged between three and 18 years and are grouped across four mini schools, being the early years, junior, middle and senior schools.

In the 2020–21 state budget the Ballarat Specialist School received $10 million, and what a wonderful and joyous day that was. The whole school community was so overwhelmed that the Ballarat Specialist School was one of 39 Victorian specialist schools sharing in $388.8 million to upgrade and modernise schools, including constructing additional permanent buildings – investment that they had always dreamed of. There were tears that day. The principal was in tears, I was in tears, the parents were in tears – it was incredible. It was one of the happiest days because we honestly had worked so hard, and we really want the best facilities for Ballarat students who go to the Ballarat Specialist School.

The fact is that the construction is now coming to an end. We are ready to open this, and I really want the minister to come and see it. But I would also like to say that there is more, and that is that I want to thank the minister for his ongoing support for the Ballarat Specialist School, including the recent announcement of a brand new hydrotherapy pool at the Ballarat Specialist School senior campus. It is one of seven pools to be built across Victoria as part of the Allan Labor government’s $25 million hydrotherapy pools at specialist schools funding. Having spoken to the Ballarat Specialist School principal, he let me know how significant this investment will be for his school community and the benefit it will provide students, as they will be able to access hydrotherapy treatment at the senior campus.

I look forward to welcoming the Minister for Education to the Ballarat Specialist School, introducing him to principal Sam Sheppard and the dedicated teachers and support staff as well as the wonderful students and celebrating the $10 million investment our government has made into this outstanding school.


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