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The Weekend Neos Kosmos : 10 November 2018
NEWS 8 THE WEEKEND NEOS KOSMOS | SATURDAY 10 NOVEMBER 2018 Lead-up to state election brings good news for Oakleigh Grammar With Victoria growing faster than any other state and territory in Australia, planning to accommodate for the additional 90,000 students by 2022 is high on the agenda for both sides of politics. To ensure Oakleigh Grammar can better accommodate families in the area, Labor pledged to contribute $1.5 million to go towards upgrading classrooms and learning areas. "This project was identified as needed by the school and will help them grow in the future," said Labor member for Oakleigh, Steve Dimopoulos. The news was announced at the Oakleigh Glendi on Sunday as part of a new $400 million fund that Labor plans to establish in partnership with the nongovernment school sec- tor. The funds will go towards upgrading existing schools, and building new ones, along with supporting the removal of dangerous asbestos and cladding. Meanwhile if Matthew Guy is elected at the upcoming elections, the Liberal party has also committed to financing improvement works for Oakleigh Grammar, pledging $4.3 million. Announced as part of the Liberals' $400 million Catholic and Independent Schools Capital Fund, if Oakleigh Grammar becomes the recipient of the money, it will put the funds towards constructing an aquatic centre to help keep students active, along with building a dedicated car park in a bid to ease congestion in surrounding streets. Inquiry into taxi-Uber saga among Liberals’ campaign promises As Victoria's political parties fiercely hit the election campaign trail, the Liberals have come all guns blazing with a number of pledges focused on the Greek Australian community. Among them is the proposal of an independent inquiry into the taxi licence saga since the legalisation of Uber, which has impacted the livelihoods of a number of taxi licence owners. If Matthew Guy is elected, the inquiry will look into Premier Daniel Andrews' handling of taxi license compensation and the appointment of Jeff Kennett as head of Commercial Passenger Vehicles Victoria. Meanwhile, in a bid to strengthen the sister city relationship between Melbourne and Thessaloniki and facilitate tighter business relationships between Victoria, Greece and the Balkans, the Liberals will look to establish a Victorian Government Business Office in Thessaloniki. If successfully elected, the party has also made an "unequivocal pledge" to rezone the Greek Community of Melbourne's land in Bulleen, and to provide Pronia with $150,000 for a new 25 seat mini-bus. "Melbourne and Victoria are home to hundreds of thousands of people of Hellenic descent, who are proud of their heritage, and who have made an enormous contribution to our state," said Mr Guy. "A government I lead will always stand side by side with Victoria's Hellenic community, and will endeavour to provide whatever support we can to foster in the continuation of Hellenic culture and heritage in Victoria." DIGITAL.NEOSKOSMOS.COM Labor pledges to support multicultural schools The Victorian government announced their plan to invest a further $7.5 m in community language schools upon re-election The Andrews Government has made public their plans to continue supporting community schools in Victoria with a further $7.5 million should they win the coming elections. The announcement was made by Minister of Education James Merlino, who was joined by Minister of Early Education Jenny Mikakos and the Member for Oakleigh Steve Dimopoulos, as they visited the Omiros College Community Language School on Monday. "We are the Multicultural state and we are the Education state, backing our community language schools just makes sense," Minister Merlino said. "This massive funding boost will make Victoria's community language school's program the best in the country". Minister Mikakos' statement followed along the same lines: "We know there are many benefits for children to learn their mother tongue from a young age. Victorian Minister of Education James Merlino. PHOTO: AAP/ALEX MURRAY We're proud to enable more preschool children to learn a language at a community language school for the first time." Mr Dimopoulos also showed his support in the investment: "We know that teaching kids their mother tongue is important to keep them connected to their heritage - and only Labor will make sure that can happen," he said. Minister of Housing Martin Foley had also announced these measures during his visit at the Albert Park Saturday school of the Greek community on Saturday. The vice-president of the Greek community of Melbourne, Mr Theodoros Markos welcomed these investments: "We are delighted by the announcement of the Daniel Andrews government that they will be supporting community and afternoon schools where the community languages are being taught with the additional amount of $7.5 million. It is especially encouraging that the subsidy that the local government has been giving to the children of elementary and high school will now be given to those in preschool. Also recognised here is the need to continue educating the staff in order to ensure the provision of the most modern and complete educational program to our children. We give our word that we will be in close cooperation with the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Early Education in order to push forward the community languages on all levels and sectors of teaching. We would like to congratulate the Minister of Education Mr Merlino, along with minister Jenny Mikakos and Member of Oakleigh Steve Dimopoulos for the loyalty they have shown to the area of teaching community languages, both in the public sector and also in the area of Saturday and afternoon schools." Labor pledges to allocate $2.5 million towards a new seniors and youth centre for GOCMV PHOTO: KOSTAS DEVES The funding towards Australia's largest Greek population continues with Minister for Families and Children Jenny Mikakos announcing on Wednesday that a re-elected Labor administration will provide $2.5 million for the creation of a Greek seniors and youth centre. "This investment acknowledges that in every way, our Greek communities have made Vic- toria stronger and more successful," Minister Mikakos said explaining that the centre could house community, educational and cultural facilities, offering services dedicated to both Greek seniors and young people. The funds will be provided to the Greek Orthodox Community of Melbourne and Victoria (GOCMV) that will determine the exact location and specifi- cations of the centre as Labor believes that "it is essential the funding is administered by the Greek community and for the Greek community". "It's important to make investments in facilities that connect young people with our Greek heritage and traditions," added Bentleigh MP Nick Staikos. This funding comes in addition to the Government's $600,000 previous commit- ment over four years to the Lonsdale Street Greek Festival and to the $337,000 it has allocated towards the Parthenon Frieze replica expansion for the Greek Centre on Lonsdale Street. "The older Greek generations have given so much to Victoria – it's only fitting we invest in facilities to support them," said Oakleigh MP Steve Dimopoulos.
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