The Northern Territory Government’s Budget 17 will see a total of $141.7 million invested in school upgrades and infrastructure projects across the Northern Territory, to invest in children and create local construction jobs.
The NT Minister for Education Eva Lawler today said a key part of this infrastructure investment is the new Building Better Schools grants of $300,000 for every Territory school.
“The upcoming budget is all about investing for our future – Jobs, Children, Community – and the Building Better Schools grants does all three,” Ms Lawler said.
“Fifty four schools will be the first to receive this $300,000 funding in Budget 17 for refurbishments and upgrades which will lead to improved learning spaces for Territory children.
“The budget will deliver on our election commitments and be a fair plan for our future.”
The Building Better Schools grants will fund every Government and non-Government school over the next four years from a $56.4 million investment, to create quality learning environments.
“We made an election commitment to put children at the centre of our decision making, because we recognise giving every child the best start in life is the right thing to do and the smart thing to do,” Ms Lawler said.
“As a Government we want to provide Territory children with access to a quality education, regardless of where they live.
“The Building Better Schools grants are another example of us fulfilling an election commitment and restoring trust in Government.”
Schools can choose how to use the money to best meet the needs of their students, which could include classroom upgrades, repair projects or new buildings.
The NT Minister visited Nemarluk School – one of the first 54 schools to receive the grant.
“It’s great to see Nemarluk School will use their funding to install specialist playground equipment that will improve students outside play experience,” Ms Lawler said.
Nemarluk School Principal Lorraine Hodgson said she was delighted the school would receive funding from the Building Better Schools program.
“The $300,000 will enable us to build a safe and exciting wheelchair accessible playground that will engage our students in learning and creativity,” Ms Hodgson said.
“Because it is wheelchair accessible, it will create an inclusive environment for all our students so they can play with their friends.
“Students at our school will have access to a play environment that has places for them to meet their sensory needs, inspire their imagination and play together.”
Over the four-year period, works will be distributed across the region to support the Government’s plan to grow the economy and create local jobs.
The Building Better Schools program will comply with the Northern Territory Government’s Buy Local Policy.
The next expressions of interest for Building Better Schools grants will be called for in October 2017, in preparation for Budget 18.