Children’s services funded

Member for Northern Victoria Jaclyn Symes and Member for Yan Yean Danielle Green, front from left, with Mitchell Shire councillors Rhonda Sanderson and Bob Cornish. Back, from left is Mitchell Shire councillors Rob Eldridge, Bill Chisholm and David Lowe.

Two Mitchell Shire projects will share in almost $2 million in funding from the State Government’s Growing Suburbs Fund.

The funding will help Mitchell Shire Council support children and families in Wallan and Kilmore access community services and early education.

The new Wallan Community Services Hub will receive $850,000 towards the $1.2 million total cost of creating a single integrated community facility to support access to services and programs, which are focused on early intervention and prevention.

Council will foot the remaining $350,000 of the project’s total cost, which will be located at the former Killara Child Care Centre.

Council will also receive $1.1 million from the State Government, contributing a third of the cost to the $3.3 million Kilmore Family and Children’s Centre expansion.

The centre will provide a space for maternal child health and early learning services to better cater for young families in the area.

Council is providing $450,000 towards the project, with $1.8 million of funding still being sought before the expansion of the Marie Williams Kindergarten can move forward.

Mitchell Shire Mayor David Lowe said the funding announcement came at a time when families were planning for the future after a disruptive year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“It’s a great boost for morale as well as the economy, and it sends a clear message that Mitchell has a strong future ahead as it continues to lead Melbourne’s growth,” he said.

“The new facilities will mean our community can access modern, purpose-built services now and in the future as we continue to grow.”

Local Government Minister Shaun Leane, Member for Yan Yean Danielle Green and Member for Northern Victoria Jaclyn Symes made the funding announcement last week.

Ms Symes said it was great to see continued investment in Mitchell Shire to make sure young families had access to vital services and early education programs.

“The expansion of the Kilmore Family and Children’s Centre will ensure that enough spaces are available for our growing community,” she said.

Ms Green said the addition of vital services would ensure there was help and support available to the community.

“The new Wallan Community Services Hub will create a much-needed home for child, youth and family support services in central Wallan,” she said.

Cr Lowe said the family and children’s centre expansion would help council continue to meet demand from a growing community for families to access maternal child health and early learning services.

“It will also mean those services can be provided in a more contemporary space that suits modern practices for service delivery,” he said.

“The funding for the Wallan Community Services Hub is also great news and will provide a flexible space for specialist services.

“We are grateful for our partnership with the State Government and their assistance with providing these much-needed community services through the Growing Suburbs Fund.”