Heathcote Primary School to Receive $20,000 for Oval Upgrade

Federal Member for Bendigo, Lisa Chesters has visited Heathcote Primary School to announce $20,000 in federal funding for an oval refurbishment.

The school is one of 15 across the Bendigo electorate to receive a share of $200,000 through the Local Schools Community Fund.

Eligible projects included a broad range of small scale capital and non-capital initiatives from playground equipment and computer facilities, to measures targeting student wellbeing and mental health ranging from $1,000 to $20,000.

Heathcote Primary School Principal, Kate Ballantyne said the funding will allow the school to upgrade the main oval.

“Our school community is very excited about the prospect of having grass on our oval.

“The area will provide a great surface for a range of sporting activities and for students to have a place to go during break times with their friends.

“We are extremely grateful to have received this grant which has enabled us to upgrade the pump and sprinkler system, do the necessary earthworks and sow new seed.

“We are looking forward to springtime when we should be able to sit on some grass instead of dirt.”  Ballantyne said.

Chesters said although it’s great to see $200,000 split across a number of schools, there were many important projects that missed out.

“Local applications for this fund totalled $905,365, far exceeding the $200,000 available.

“It’s disappointing that an electorate the size of Bendigo, with almost 90 schools and campuses, received the same amount of funding as McPherson which has just 31 schools or North Sydney which has 44,” Chesters said.

“Throughout the process it was evident that many schools sought assistance for similar projects, highlighting funding gaps in the current education model.

“I have written to the Education Minister, Dan Tehan to request further funding for schools in our region."