Member for Macedon Mary-Anne Thomas with Evelyn, Indi and Harper at the announcement of a site for a new primary school in the south of Gisborne.

THE site of a new primary school in the south of Gisborne has been locked in, with the State Government seeking community input to name the new facility.

A plot of land near Willowbank Road has been announced as the future site of what the government says will be a state-of-the-art educational facility, including an on-site kindergarten.

Member for Macedon Mary-Anne Thomas joined Minister for Education James Merlino and Minister for Early Childhood Ingrid Stitt last week to announce the purchase of the land.

Ms Thomas said Gisborne residents had an opportunity to name the future school.

“This new school alongside a new kindergarten delivers great facilities for our kids and gives every child the opportunity to succeed,” she said.

“We also invite the community to work with us to find a name for the new school and urge every Gisborne resident to head to the website and let us know what they think.”

The government announced three naming options for the community to vote on.

The options are: Bunjil Primary School – Bunjil, the eagle, is a Woi-Wurrung word and an important part of Wurundjeri culture. Bunjil is seen as the creator of country and men. Bunjil Creek is also located nearby; Garrong Primary School – the Woi-Wurrung word for wattle, which is native to the Macedon Ranges; and Willowbank Primary School – as the new primary school is located near Willowbank Road and Willowbank Estate.

Gisborne community members will be able to vote on the name until Friday, November 13 by visiting engage.vic.gov.au/south-of-gisborne-primary-school-naming-engagement.

The new primary school is set to open in 2022 and will cater for 475 students.

The two-room, 66-place kindergarten, with its own administrative facilities and outdoor play spaces is also due to open in 2022.

Ms Stitt said the opening of the facility was in line with the government’s plan to support three-year-old kindergarten across Victoria.

“We are ensuring that children living in Gisborne are getting the best start to life with funded universal three-year-old kindergarten, quality kindergarten programs and a smoother transition from kindergarten to school,” she said.

Mr Merlino said the new school was part of a $7.2 billion dollar State Government investment in school infrastructure that aims to build 100 new government schools by 2026.

“Securing land for a new primary school in Gisborne delivers on our promise to build 100 new schools over the next seven years and to make drop-offs for families a little easier by also having a kindergarten on-site,” he said.

Mr Merlino said every new Victorian primary school opened in 2021 and 2022 would have a kindergarten on-site or next door.

He said the government had committed to a $5 billion program to provide access to 15 hours of three-year-old kindergarten to every Victorian child by 2029.

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