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Mount Rowan Secondary College gets new gym and music block in funding

Announcing the election promise on Tuesday, the Coalition says it will fund a new gym, music block and also provide a new synthetic court at the school. It matches a commitment made by Labor on October 17.

Ripon MP Louise Staley said while Mount Rowan was an outstanding local school, an upgrade for the gym and music department is long overdue.

The school is currently undergoing a $12.6 million renovation of facilities, as well as a brand new humanities wing, and an upgraded administration building.

It is the first major upgrade of the school since it was built in the 1970s.

This year it was also announced that the Ballarat Secondary College name would no longer exist from next year with Mount Rowan Secondary College and Woodmans Hill Secondary College becoming stand-alone schools from term one next year.

Slam dunk for Ballarat indoor sport as premier promises millions

Premier Daniel Andrews matched a $5.2 million pledge for stage two works at Ballarat Sports and Events Centre on Tuesday afternoon, adding to a $9 million play Labor made to start the new stadium going into the 2014 state election.

The Liberal-Nationals committed the full stage two amount in October, should they win government in next week’s election.

This will mean a purpose-built strength and conditioning gym and three-on-three outdoor basketball courts, popularly known as street ball, as key features in stage two developments.

If you have got an opportunity to go even further, then you should always take it… To roll into existing an tender and have it all delivered in one go is just a fantastic outcome.

Premier Daniel Andrews

“If you have got an opportunity to go even further, then you should always take it,” Mr Andrews said. “We think that sometimes staggering projects is really important but sometimes to take that next step is really important as well. To roll into existing an tender and have it all delivered in one go is just a fantastic outcome.”

BSEC is also now a confirmed high-performance basketball training hub for emerging talent and elite athletes.

The project will also now get a modern skin, uniting existing facilities to the new wing.

Basketball Ballarat has already formalised partnerships with Federation University and University of the Third Age, which focuses on classes for the semi-retired and retirees, to maximise learning opportunities in the BSEC – particularly in the now-funded strength and conditioning gym.

Nicholson Construction remains on schedule to deliver stage one works by mid-2019. This will include six new courts – one a 3000-seat multi-purpose showcourt – learning rooms and sports medicine facilities.

Mr Andrews said the stadium was shaping up to not only be one of the best facilities in regional Victoria, but also for regional Australia that could host a whole range of events and tournaments.

The Premier visited existing courts on site to make Labor’s play as part of an $11.8 million for the Eureka Sports precinct. Mars Stadium will get $6.6 million in upgrades, should Labor be re-elected.

Mr Andrews said this funding was to boost game day experience for major sporting events, including more AFL matches for premiership points.

New ticket boxes, covered areas, permanent bathrooms and food and drinks areas, are high on the agenda with improved accessible seating and standing viewing, and fixing stadium niggles, like lighting.

Mr Andrews said it was vital to keep improving Mars for community and elite sport like AFL because in turn, this had a strong flow-on effect on the Ballarat economy.

BSEC has been a project being realised after more than a decade of lobbying.

Basketball Ballarat chief Peter Eddy said it was fantastic to have the funding commitment to move straight into the full construction vision.

Forensic hubs will be up and running by April say police

View the original article here

The new hub, which is being built next door to the Ballarat West Police Station at Delacombe will see 11 forensics experts be based in the region.

It will act as a stop-off point for police throughout the western district, saving hours of resources where officers currently are forced to drive to and from Melbourne to drop off evidence.

The hub, which will open in April, is part of an $11 million state government commitment to build new sites in Ballarat and Morwell.

The construction site was inspected by Regional Development Minister Jaala Pulford on Friday.

Director of Forensic Services of Victoria Police Rebecca Kogios said the 11 new positions had already been filled.

“They are in the process of undergoing a very rigorous training program to make sure, when we open the facility here next year, we will hit the ground running from day one,” Dr Kogios said.

“It’s important that the standards of forensic services delivered here will be consistent with the facility we currently operate in Macleod.

“We’ve been fortunate to be able to staff the facility with a mixture of internal experts and also attract interest from interstate as well.”

Ballarat Acting Superintendent Trevor Cornwill said it would make an enormous difference in the turnaround time for cases to be finalised.

“For us it will be hundreds of hours saved where we can concentrate on policing. Certainly for outlying areas it will make a huge difference in travel time,” he said.

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Fourth generation Ballarat builder to construct GovHub

The Wendouree-based Nicholson Construction will team up with Kane Constructions for the two-year build which will see the tearing down of the lower hall and the building of a new multi-storey office block, with 200 car spaces at its base.

Construction will start in January next year and is expected to be completed by December 2020 with the first staff to move into the hub the following January.

Minister for Regional Development Jaala Pulford said it was a major transformation in the city hall site which had not been filling its potential.

“We will have a total of 1000 public servants and the total cost of the project will be in the vicinity of $100 million, projects in this community do not get any bigger than this,” she said.

“Nicholson Construction has very deep roots in this community and indeed have a beautiful multi-generational family history with this site and this type of work.

“Kane Construction is an award winning company and this will be a wonderful partnership. We’ve had a long and detailed procurement process who the successful companies are.”

Ms Pulford said as well as construction jobs, a further nine apprenticeships will be offered. She said during peak construction phase, 250 people would be on site and another 250 involved in the supply chain.

Nicholson Construction, director Richard Nicholson said it was a major project in Ballarat that his company was thrilled to be a part of.

The Bendigo Soldiers Memorial Institute

The building’s new look is part of a $4.5 million revitalisation project currently being undertaken. Exterior works have also included a total roof replacement and new sky lights.

Source: The Bendigo Advertiser see original article here

The Bendigo Soldiers Memorial Institute is shedding its scaffolding to reveal a new, yet original, colour in all its glory.

The warm sandstone render is what experts believe to be the original colour, which time and regular patch jobs had worn away.

The building’s new look is part of a $4.5 million revitalisation project currently being undertaken. Exterior works have also included a total roof replacement and new sky lights. More work is being undertaking inside.

The project is being funded by the state and federal governments, the City of Greater Bendigo, the Bendigo RSL and community contributions.

Employers who understand her endometriosis pain

Endometriosis, which affects one in 10 women, occurs when tissue similar to the lining of the uterus grows outside the uterus, causing inflammation, pain and in some cases infertility.

Source: The Courier see original article here

Tansyn Dennett estimates that endometriosis has cost her a dozen jobs over the years, not to mention the agony the condition causes her.

Endometriosis, which affects one in 10 women, occurs when tissue similar to the lining of the uterus grows outside the uterus, causing inflammation, pain and in some cases infertility.

Some days the period pain is so great she cannot get out of bed and her husband must come home from work to carry her to the bathroom. It also affects her immune system. But because endometriosis is an invisible disease, it is often misunderstood.

Ms Dennett began suffering symptoms in high school but was not diagnosed until she was 25, a common story among sufferers with diagnosis taking an average of eight to nine years. “I’ve lost jobs in the past for having too many sick days,” Ms Dennett said.

While she thought female co-workers would support her, often it was not the case. “Women are the worst because if they don’t understand they dismiss it as ‘just a period’, when the reality is far different,” she said. “And you don’t discuss your period with men full stop, which makes endometriosis a hidden disease that few people understand.”

That lack of understanding led to Ms Dennett developing depression and anxiety. But in her current job as project administrator at Nicholson Construction, Ms Dennett has found the support and understanding that has been missing in other workplaces.

She made her managers aware of her condition in her first job interview and they have supported her ever since. “I really struggle to put it in to words because for the first time in my life I have that support. Just to know someone has got my back, someone finally understands it’s not in my head and not made up. If I’m sick, I’m sick … whereas in the past I’ve taken myself to work and been a mess.”

Ms Dennett’s employers and co-workers are hosting an afternoon tea and wearing yellow on Friday as part of Worldwide EndoMarch, a campaign to raise money and awareness of endometriosis around the world.

“There’s no cure, but we can try to cure ignorance – that’s my war cry,” Ms Dennett said. Ms Dennett has also helped establish a local support group Ballarat Endo Sisters on Facebook for local women suffering endometriosis.

Finally, earth moves for stadium after 10+ years

Earthworks are already well underway on the eastern side of Ballarat Sports and Events Centre but an official construction launch on Tuesday morning allowed key parties a chance to celebrate together in what was finally unfolding.

Source: The Courier see original article here

FOUNDATIONS are being laid on a project more than 10 years in the making.

Earthworks are already well underway on the eastern side of Ballarat Sports and Events Centre but an official construction launch on Tuesday morning allowed key parties a chance to celebrate together in what was finally unfolding. Indoor sports groups, led by Basketball Ballarat, first entered talks to address a critical court shortage in 2006.

The final $10 million federal grant to complete the full $24 million vision for the stadium was secured last year after three failed bids under the now-defunct National Stronger Regions Fund. The full stadium will feature six new courts, including a 3000-seat show court, added to the existing Norman Street site with new community multi-purpose class rooms and sports medicine facilities.

Basketball Ballarat chief executive Peter Eddy said it felt a pretty emotional moment to formally get works underway. “This was about belief in the message we had, but also about making sure we took people on a journey with us,” Mr Eddy said. “I’m just so proud really understand the value, not just for the elite athlete but the grassroots participant. It’s the kid who hasn’t started playing yet who will use these facilities.”

Ballarat patron senator Jane Hume, on-site for construction launch, said persistence had paid off. But she said the key that finally got the project over the line was a sustained united passion from a wide cross-section of sporting and communities groups across the city. Nicholson Construction director Richard Nicholson confirmed BSEC was scheduled for completion by June next year. Work on laying the slab on the eastern wing is expected to begin next month.

There will be minimal disruption to basketball and netball matches on existing facilities amid construction. Ballarat mayor Samantha McIntosh said the city already drew a lot of sporting participants from across the city and across western Victoria. This stadium would offer far greater opportunities to promote an active community. “If we’ve got healthy people, fit young people and families, who are active in the community and involved, we know they can make a great contribution to Ballarat in the long term,” Cr McIntosh said.

Major steps on path to upgrade

  • 2004-05: Minerdome upgrades to host basketball for Commonwealth Games in March 2006.
  • 2006-10: Ballarat Basketball investigates options to expand. Other indoor sports groups enter talks in September 2010 to address critical court shortage.
  • 2011: Community groups like University of the Third Age and sporting bodies like Basketball Victoria Country explore chance for shared bases and community use.
  • March 2012: Plans for new six-court facility in Wendouree made public.
  • May 2013: Council commits to deliver major new indoor sports facility in five-year plan. Elite basketball, netball needs training base. Courts overflowing.
  • November 2014: Labor state government delivers $9 million to project with $5 million from council.
  • 2015-October 2016: Project narrowly misses funding three times under National Stronger Regions Fund.
  • July 31, 2017: Federal government announces $10 million for project under new Building Better Regions Fund.

New residential mental health care facility opens

Source: The Standard.  See original article here.

THE name of Warrnambool’s new residential mental health care facility pays homage to the region’s indigenous heritage.

Member for Western Victoria and state government minister Gayle Tierney officially opened the Moore Street facility, which has been named Ngootyoong, on Saturday.

Ngootyoong is a local Aboriginal word meaning new, fresh, healthy, good and strong.

The ceremony included a welcome to country ceremony by Peek Wurrung elder Uncle Locky Eccles.

Ms Tierney said the new Prevention and Recovery Centre (PARC) facility was symbolic of how Warrnambool has come of age.

“This is a facility for the most vulnerable in our community,” Ms Tierney said.

“This new mental health support service will boost and improve treatments and ease pressure on other local health services. It’s a new community-based model to support people in Warrnambool with a mental illness on their journey of recovery. PARC units deliver a unique, home-like setting where people with a mental illness can get the support they need to get their lives back on track.”

Ms Tierney said the new facility is one of two that have opened in regional Victoria this year, the other being in Mildura. The total cost of building the two facilities was $8.6 million with Ngootyoong costing $4.8million. The facility has 10 beds with the average stay expected to be 14 to 21 days.

Ngootyoong will be staffed by 12 new full-time equivalent positions and will be ran on behalf of South West Healthcare (SHW) by Mind Australia.

SWH CEO Craig Fraser said it was fantastic to see the hard work of many come to fruition. He praised the state government for its funding of the program and its ongoing support of SWH.

Mental health services director at SWH Karyn Cook said the facility will provide mental health care in the least restrictive environment.

The facility will be open for the public to view on Wednesday, February 28 from 3-6pm.

Ballarat Tech School opens for business

The high-tech future is now for Ballarat students who will explore technology-based solutions to real world problems at the new Ballarat Tech School.

Source: The Courier see original article here

The high-tech future is now for Ballarat students who will explore technology-based solutions to real world problems at the new Ballarat Tech School.

Premier Daniel Andrews and education minister James Merlino yesterday officially opened the Ballarat Tech School, the third of 10 tech schools to be built across the state.

About 10,000 students from 15 Ballarat secondary schools will visit Ballarat Tech School each year to take part in specialised learning.

The new school includes an IT and virtual reality lab and project spaces dedicated to regional industry areas including health science, new energy technologies, food and fibre, advanced manufacturing and IT.

Mr Merlino said yesterday the school had received additional funding to open a space on the top floor to allow the general community to engage in science, technology, engineering and mathematics learning and to run adult education.

He also said the government was in the final stages of negotiations over land for a state primary school in Lucas, with a conclusion likely in the next month or so.