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Thursday, 1 November 2012
Page: 13032


Mr DREYFUS (IsaacsCabinet Secretary, Parliamentary Secretary for Climate Change and Energy Efficiency and Parliamentary Secretary for Industry and Innovation) (09:33): Last Friday I joined the Keysborough Primary School community to officially open their new $5.68 million classrooms and buildings funded under the Labor government's Building the Education Revolution program.

The school has been on an amazing journey. After the merger of the Keysborough Park Primary and Coomoora Primary schools and this year's relocation of the merged school to Keysborough Secondary College's old site, Friday's opening marked a new and exciting development for the school. The $5.68 million Commonwealth government investment includes three new classroom complexes, a canteen and building refurbishments. Like so many other BER announcements across the country and in my electorate, Keysborough Primary's facilities offer first-class, open-plan learning spaces, allowing for a change in the way our children are taught. Old, standard square classrooms have been replaced with flexible open areas that allow for interactive, communal and individual learning. Over $100 million has been invested in schools in my electorate under the BER program. Principal of Keysborough Primary School, Margaret McKenzie, could not have summed it up better when she said:

Our BER project and the wonderful facilities we now offer help ensure students in the local area will have access to a high-quality sustainable educational future in buildings appropriate to 21st-century learning.

Investing in education and our children's future is a hallmark of our Labor government. That is why we have established the schoolkids bonus and that is why our government is committed to improving school education through the National Plan for School Improvement. I would like to congratulate Margaret McKenzie, students, parents and teachers for ensuring this project was a resounding success.

On 18 November car and truck traffic on one of Melbourne's most important roads, EastLink, will stop as thousands of cyclists ride in Hanover ConnectEast Ride for Home. The ride will help raise funds to get homeless kids back to school and help their parents find safe and sustainable housing, education and employment opportunities. I will again be participating in this year's 75-kilometre ride. Last year more than 7,000 riders came together to raise a record $318,000, and this year Hanover has set an ambitious but achievable target of $450,000.

Recently the Minister for Housing and Minister for Homelessness, Brendan O'Connor, and Hanover Chief Executive Officer Tony Keenan joined me to launch this fundraising campaign and to hear how donations will support the excellent work that Hanover does.

Our government is committed to supporting those most in need. Since Labor came to government an unprecedented $5 billion has been invested to challenge homelessness along with $15 billion in housing programs.

Finally, on 9 November I will be holding a National Disability Insurance Scheme forum in Chelsea with the Parliamentary Secretary for Disabilities and Carers, Senator Jan McLucas. (Time expired)