Parking plan a CBD test case
Joel Peterson
BENDIGO’S Sacred Heart Cathedral precinct will serve as a crucial test case for a council review of the city’s parking when a trial of timed parking in the area begins on Monday. Council this week announced that timed parking would apply in residential streets near the cathe..
19-Jan-2018
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Housing plan in focus
Bendigo Weekly
COUNCILLORS will consider the Greater Bendigo Housing Strategy Implementation Plan at their first public meeting of the year on Wednesday, January 24. The future direction of the city’s two major forestry plantations at Huntly and Crosbie will also be discussed, as well as ..
19-Jan-2018
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A cool discovery
Bendigo Weekly
What better way to cool off than at -196º? That’s right, Discovery’s Science Sizzle is on again. They will be making bunsen burgers, interstellar snags and liquid nitrogen ice cream. Discovery’s Alissa Van Soest and David Holmes said now is your chance to get totally ..
19-Jan-2018
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Glory days
Joel Peterson
LONG-AWAITED plans for the development of the former Bendigo Mining Exchange will connect Pall Mall and Hargreaves Mall and bring the site back to its former glory. Developers Pall Mall Nominees will soon submit to council plans for the 146-year-old building that will include reopening Allan..
19-Jan-2018
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Push on for rural medical students
Sharon Kemp
AUSTRALIA’S peak medical body wants to give preference to regional students seeking to study medicine but does not want any more medical schools. Upping the ante, medical school proponent La Trobe University will commit to an 80 per cent minimum intake of rural, regional and indigenous..
12-Jan-2018
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Police look into deaths
Peter Kennedy
VICTORIA police are continuing to investigate the circumstances surrounding last month’s tragic death of Bendigo cyclist Jason Lowndes in a crash at Mandurang. Mr Lowndes died from injuries sustained in a collision with a vehicle being driven by a Kangaroo Flat woman on Friday, Decembe..
12-Jan-2018
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Property Guide
Survey reveals NBN pain
Steve Kendall
OVERWHELMED is how federal MP Lisa Chesters describes the result of her customer survey on the NBN, and she’s hitting out a government plan to limit a system upgrade. The online and postal questionnaire has drawn more than 4000 responses, and shown some clear trends, with most complain..
19-Jan-2018
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Cinema lovers back Star funding plan
Bendigo Weekly
Greater Bendigo has thrown its support behind the Star Cinema’s Bums on Seats campaign. “Since the campaign was launched on December 1, we have been overwhelmed by the support from the community,” business manager Martin Myles said. “In December we sold $6000 wort..
11-Jan-2018
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End near for works
Sharon Kemp
AFTER nearly two years of traffic disruptions during construction of the $86 million Ravenswood Interchange, VicRoads has promised there will be no more major traffic changes before the roads and ramps are fully open to traffic this year. In August the project was pushed over the scheduled c..
05-Jan-2018
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Care at hand for mothers
Bendigo Weekly
THE gifts have been rolling in for young mothers and their children in need. Caregivers have donated essential household items, vouchers and toys to go the mother and baby unit, a new initiative of St John of God Health Care’s Horizon House Young Mother and Baby Program. The servic..
20-Dec-2017
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Big day for top students
Joel Peterson
THE nervous wait for school leavers to find out their VCE results ended this morning, when the 2017 ATAR results were released. Girton Grammar School student Alexander Nielsen has topped the list of local year 12 graduates, recording a "perfect" score of 99.95. Nielsen’s score w..
15-Dec-2017
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Sky's the limit for winning aerialists
Bendigo Weekly
TWO young performers had their efforts recognised last week at the Victorian Music Theatre Guild Awards. The girls are part of the Z Fit Studios Circus program, with Isla Devers performing on aerial hoop and aerial hammock and Remy Cugura performing on aerial silks and aerial hammoc..
14-Dec-2017
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Taine set for fun times
Sam Kane
FOR most teenagers, the January holidays is spent relaxing on the couch or camping in the bush. But, for year 10 student Taine Lang, the break will see him take to the courts of Melbourne Park as one of 350 ballkids for the Australian Open. It’s a dream come true ..
19-Jan-2018
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History beckons for Fyffe
Peter Kennedy
Throughout Bendigo’s long and proud history, only three people have served as mayor four times. The effervescent, everlasting Rod Fyffe OAM is one of them. Cr Fyffe’s trademark flowing locks may be whiter than they were when he was first elected to the then City of Bendigo co..
12-Jan-2018
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New Year fireworks spark escape
Bendigo Weekly
RSPCA Victoria is praising dog owners for their success in managing their pets during the New Year’s Eve fireworks. There were 56 stray dogs brought into RSPCA Victoria animal care centres between Sunday evening and Tuesday morning, less than half the number of animals received by shel..
04-Jan-2018
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Hands-on approach from new CEO
Sharon Kemp
THE first thing new Bendigo Health chief executive Peter Faulkner will tell you is that he doesn’t spend much time in his office. “Come in and do a quick few emails and then nick off and do something else,” Mr Faulkner said just days into his new role. “I get out ..
20-Dec-2017
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New plan brewing in Bendigo
Sharon Kemp
BROOKES is already making beer in Bendigo, but the brewer wants people to be able to experience being in a brewery while sampling the product or eating lunch. In a first for Bendigo, Brookes Beer owner Doug Brooke has plans to build on Matchett Drive in East Bendigo what amounts to a..
14-Dec-2017
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Governor tours local factories
Bendigo Weekly
VICTORIAN governor Linda Dessau has seen the high-tech sights of two of Bendigo’s largest employers. Ms Dessau toured the two major defence manufacturers in Bendigo, Thales and Australian Defence Apparel, this week. Along with husband Anthony Howard QC, Ms Dessau to..
07-Dec-2017
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Algae a dog threat
Bendigo Weekly
Water quality monitoring has detected high levels of potentially toxic blue-green algae at Harcourt Park, the council’s off-lead dog park in Crook Street. Blue-green algae occurs naturally and can be dangerous to animals. Characteristic signs of swallowing water containing high le..
19-Jan-2018
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Water castle ideal draw to mall
Dianne Dempsey
The Hargreaves Mall was overflowing on Tuesday with children, parents and tourists who took advantage of the warm weather and a free water jumping castle, courtesy of the City of Greater Bendigo. Children lined up in their bathers, while their parents stood at the ready with the towels. ..
11-Jan-2018
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Application sought
Bendigo Weekly
The Zonta Club of Bendigo is inviting applications from central Victorian females who have recently completed Year 12, and who will be enrolling in a science, technology, engineering or mathematics degree in 2018. The Bendigo Club’s Ann Horrocks STEM scholarship is valued at $750 per ..
04-Jan-2018
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Bendigo takes the challenge
Bendigo Weekly
BENDIGO police have come out tops across the state in the Movember challenge. The team of 21, named Bendigo Hot Fuzz, pulled in $7050 part of a state total of $27,858. Team captain, Sergeant Tony Kekich, said Hot Fuzz was one of seven Victoria Police teams throughout the state, with a to..
20-Dec-2017
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Katherine takes a final bow
Joel Peterson
THE leader of the community campaign to save Bendigo’s Discovery Science and Technology Centre, Katherine Legge, has stepped down after 17 years of involvement with the education facility. Dr Legge has twice been the leader of the centre’s board, with which she has been i..
14-Dec-2017
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Itching for an open day
Bendigo Weekly
Itchy Palms Gardens in Mandurang is having an open day this weekend. The property is owned by Paul and Judy Sens and the name Itchy Palms was derived from Judy’s love of palm trees and kurrajongs with their itchy seed pods. The now 2.4-hectare property was bought i..
14-Dec-2017
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Current Issue
The Property Guide

Havea makes his return
Simon Wooldridge
Tongan-born, Melbourne-raised, and now resident of Germany, singer-songwriter Joel Havea makes a welcome return to Bendigo after almost three years. Havea has played more than 500 gigs in more than 20 countries since 2012 – an impressive schedule for the young performer who fuses blues..
11-Jan-2018
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New year, new comedy acts
Bendigo Weekly
The Shamrock Comedy Club is back tonight with headliner Kirsty Webeck. The show will be hosted by Bendigo comedian Cody Jones, best known for his dry wit and cutting observations. Support act for the night is Luka Muller. Muller is a two-time Raw Comedy state finalist and is the host o..
04-Jan-2018
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Best of the year
Simon Wooldridge
IT was another exciting year for music in Bendigo; some great gigs, and the release of some much-anticipated debut albums. In no particular order, here’s a brief selection of 2017 highlights. Midweek Blues’ first album, Last Days of May was released in September. It fea..
20-Dec-2017
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Revengers return
Simon Wooldridge
Christmas comes sandwiched between two big Saturday nights at CBD alternative music venue MusicMan. Saturday, December 30 sees a very welcome return to the live arena for local punk rockers, The Revengers. It’s been nearly a year since their last gig. “Everybo..
14-Dec-2017
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Festival season rocks
Simon Wooldridge
LIVE music-wise, there isn’t much time to pause for breath in the lead-up to Christmas. The festive season kicks off in style tonight – Friday, December 8, with Anglo-Welsh-Australian outfit, Iffy Pop, putting Ashes squabbles aside to deliver an eclectic mix of covers &n..
07-Dec-2017
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Working the Vine
Bendigo Weekly
Melbourne duo This Way North will be returning to Bendigo on Friday, December 15 at the Golden Vine Hotel. With a powerful alt-pop-rock sound, This Way North are two-piece drum and guitar featuring Cat Leahy and Leisha Jungalwalla. Their new track Make It Work was recor..
07-Dec-2017
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Demons claim T20 crown
Joel Peterson
IT was billed as a match up of two unlikely sides and the Bendigo District Cricket Association Twenty20 grand final has produced just as unlikely an ending as White Hills won their first short form title in thrilling fashion. Rhys Irwin was the hero for the Demons in front of a big QEO crowd..
19-Jan-2018
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Buchanan continues strong form
Joel Peterson
GUN long-distance runner Andy Buchanan has restated his aim of running in national colours after another impressive win. The 26-year-old took the honours in the Mountain to Surf event at Lorne on Friday in close to race record time. Buchanan finished just six seconds off the race record,..
19-Jan-2018
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Pearce sees promise in AFLW season
Joel Peterson
IT may not include the element of frenzy of last year’s campaign but there is plenty of excitement among players and fans ahead of the second AFL Women’s season. And that excitement is shared between rookies and established stars alike. Just ask Melbourne captain Daisy Pear..
19-Jan-2018
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Spirit use review to chase success
Joel Peterson
CALLS for future planning for the Bendigo Spirit have been answered, with the administrative body that oversees the club to conduct a full review of its operations following a wooden spoon finish. Coach Simon Pritchard made it clear after the season he believed the review was needed to find ..
19-Jan-2018
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Country's best hit Bendigo
Joel Peterson
BENDIGO has been abuzz with the sound of leather on willow this week as the annual Bendigo Country Week cricket tournament got into full swing. Teams from across the state converged on central Victoria for the five-day tournament, played across three divisions. The Emu ..
19-Jan-2018
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Crome sprints into 2018
Joel Peterson
THE fact that two of the best results in the career of cyclist Sam Crome have come months apart doesn’t bother him in the slightest. In fact, he views his form in his two most recent starts as a positive sign. The 24-year-old’s efforts at his two most recent events – la..
12-Jan-2018
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Names of the game
Joel Peterson
HOW many cricketers can say they played with Bradman and Waugh? Given the generational gap between the greatest player of them all and brothers Mark and Steve, in most instances it would be impossible to believe. But now a group of local representative juniors can one day sit down and te..
19-Jan-2018
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Phoenix makes a mark
Bendigo Weekly
CELEBRATION was in the air on Saturday, as Phoenix FM marked their 10th anniversary. They held their first transmissions on January 7, 2008 for a two-week stint on the 89.5fm frequency. A full time licence was granted in March, 2010 and Phoenix moved to 106.7fm. Business manager Anne..
11-Jan-2018
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Revised map a top guide for visitors
Bendigo Weekly
REVISED maps and track notes have the potential to unleash a whole new level of interest in the 210-kilometre Goldfields Track from Bendigo to Ballarat. Mountain bike riders and walkers can source information in the one book in the newly released second edition of the track guidebook. Ti..
04-Jan-2018
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Ethel marks 50 years of service
Bendigo Weekly
St John of God Bendigo Hospital has recognised and celebrated 50 years of service from Ethel Gallagher to the St John of God Bendigo Hospital Auxiliary. Every year the auxiliary raises funds for equipment to support the care of patients. This has added up to hundreds of thousands of dol..
20-Dec-2017
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Gift run a real treat
Bendigo Weekly
Every year, State Trustees’ Bendigo regional office hosts a charity Christmas run. It is an annual initiative established by one of the employees, Karyn Clarke, she has been organising every campaign since the office opened in 2012. This year the generous people o..
14-Dec-2017
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Grant to a good home
Bendigo Weekly
The announcement this week of a housing grant of almost $300,000 was welcomed by the not-for-profit organisation, Amicus. The grant will be used by Amicus to build a fully accessible, two-bedroom unit providing much-needed, affordable housing for people with a disability. ..
07-Dec-2017
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Comment - Aspire parking a problem
Bendigo Weekly
By Max Turner and Alan Ellis For and on behalf of objectors and concerned residents living in the cathedral precinct. We write on behalf of objectors to a Planning Application by the Catholic Diocese Sandhurst, known as Aspire, on land adjacent to the Sacred Heart Cathedral. The bus..
11-Jan-2018
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Pall Mall prize sold post auction
Bendigo Weekly
A LANDMARK Pall Mall property has been sold. The Grand Hotel building, once home to the Bendigo Advertiser, has changed hands after an auction for the property at 96-98 Pall Mall on Wednesday, December 13. The property has recently undergone a dramatic $3.5 million transformation and inc..
04-Jan-2018
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Mountain bike park on track
Bendigo Weekly
More than two thirds of the 34-kilometre trail network at Harcourt’s new mountain bike park has been constructed as the project moves towards its scheduled completion early next year. Member for Bendigo West Maree Edwards last week inspected progress on the works being delivered by th..
20-Dec-2017
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Conductor for the future
Sharon Kemp
A BENDIGO-based engineering firm has developed and tested the power lines it believes will replace conductors in Victoria and be used for the next 50 years. A team of engineers in Groundline Engineering’s Bendigo office has developed conductors that will not start bush fires. ..
14-Dec-2017
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Steps to a healthy future
Bendigo Weekly
A simple walk after eating could play a big role in controlling diabetes and heart disease according to new research to come out of Bendigo. La Trobe University PhD researcher Philip Shambrook has discovered a 30-minute walk taken 30 minutes after eating is just as effective as a hig..
07-Dec-2017
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New spot booked
Bendigo Weekly
After operating for 15 years, Dymocks is the last major bookshop in Bendigo left standing – secondhand bookshops aside. “It’s important that we’re still here,” Dymocks manager Harry Hart said. “As well as the general public, we service the schools and..
30-Nov-2017
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New stage for Napier Street
Bendigo Weekly
DRIVERS are asked to be aware of road works along Napier Street during January. VicRoads has already started work on stage two of the $30 million road upgrade. The organisation is asking drivers to be patient with traffic management measures which will cause delays and the closures of fo..
11-Jan-2018
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Grant a high note for band
Bendigo Weekly
Everyone loves a brass band and out Eaglehawk way it’s the Eaglehawk Citizens‘ Brass Band that leads the parades and lifts the spirits. One of the many recipients of the Eaglehawk UFS Dispensary’s community grants, the band was in particular need for help with storage and ..
04-Jan-2018
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Mayor's Christmas message
Bendigo Weekly
Merry Christmas everyone. We’re at the end of another year and hopefully this column finds you well on your way to completing your Christmas to-do list. Perhaps you’re super organised and all done, lucky you. Last Sunday I attended Carols by Candlelight in Rosalind Park and I..
20-Dec-2017
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How Bendigo fares
Bendigo Weekly
AS Bendigo residents consider creating a ratepayers’ group, new data on the City of Greater Bendigo shows fewer of us than the state average visit outdoor swimming pools and reclaim our runaway pets. Yet he costs of these services are below those of other councils. ..
14-Dec-2017
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Living the high life
Steve Kendall
PILOT Lochie Tremain-Hill was destined for a life in the air, his family owned a helicopter company. “It was inevitable really,” he said. Now well into his career he’s based in Bendigo in preparation for the fire season. Mr Tremain-Hill has b..
07-Dec-2017
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Fountain has a new lease of life
Sharon Kemp
A $350,000 facelift sounds expensive, but not when it is preserving a priceless fountain that carries a replacement value of $2.8 million Alexandra Fountion that graces Charing Cross could never be replaced but it needs to be maintained in order to hold that value. ..
01-Dec-2017
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Missing pieces in tangled roots
Rosalea Ryan
If there’s one dominant theme running through Edvard Hirifjell’s life it’s undoubtedly “blanks”: the gaping memory blanks that have always pockmarked his early-childhood recollections and now, unexpectedly, the solid timber blanks from which the highest-quality shot..
11-Jan-2018
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Bucking convention
Rosalea Ryan
BENDIGO in the mid-1890s is an inhospitable place for any unwed mother, let alone one whose predicament is the result of a single afternoon’s alcohol-fuelled indiscretion with someone else’s sweetheart. Complicating the situation further, the father – unaware of the pregnan..
04-Jan-2018
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A season to die
Rosalea Ryan
Iceland publishes more books per capita than any other country on Earth. In December the population of 330,000 Icelandic-speakers observes a tradition known as the “Christmas book flood”: a full year’s worth of new titles is launched in a roughly week-long deluge, just in t..
20-Dec-2017
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Chilling clues
Rosalea Ryan
Still deeply shell-shocked in the wake of interviewing a genocidal Rwandan teacher, journalist Nora Sand decides to distract herself from reality with a couple of minutes of retail therapy. In the sleepy surroundings of a small seaside village it’s impossible to know the ramifi..
14-Dec-2017
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Sardinian Seachange
Bendigo Weekly
Newly graduated from design college but with no immediate job prospects, Faye Forrester is both surprised and delighted to receive an invitation to housesit for an old school friend and her Italian husband in Sardinia. Perhaps a few days of visiting Charolotte and Fabio’s tiny ..
07-Dec-2017
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Best of Bendigo in music
Bendigo Weekly
Music Town showcases Bendigo’s vibrant, growing and diverse music scene – from international artists like The Davidson Brothers and Cosmic Psychos, to Bendigo Chorale, to rising young talents Bill Barber and Sherri Parry. This new book features more than 120 bands and artists &nd..
30-Nov-2017
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The Property Guide

Kinder commotion

| Bendigo Weekly | 24-Jun-2011 04:00am

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THE State Government has confirmed what Bendigo preschools have been warning for months – there will not be enough places for four-year-olds within two years if a reform to increase the hours of attendance begins in 2013.

The Federal Government wants to increase the hours of preschool from 10 hours a week to 15 by 2013.

Most Bendigo preschools have reconfigured their timetabled sessions to offer 11 hours.

Offering any more hours will see many preschools forced to drop sessions and reduce places.

In April, the Bendigo Weekly revealed the City of Greater Bendigo council needed to find more than $10 million in 18 months to build new preschools to cope with the shortfall.

Victorian Children and Early Development Minister Wendy Lovell told the Weekly she was trying to stall the reforms, confirming Victoria needed more infrastructure for all children to attend 15 hours of preschool the year before they start school.

Ms Lovell said the State Government was committed to funding new early childhood centres at Maiden Gully, Marong and Lightning Reef and extensions at Harry Little Preschool and Kennington Preschool, which increased local preschool places by 129.

She said the $210 million Victoria had received from the Federal Government to prepare for changes was not enough and preschools needed time to test changes to timetables and programs that incorporated reforms.

In the May budget, the State Government provided money for programs to trial the changes.

Member for Bendigo West Maree Edwards said the reforms would inevitably go ahead because all states had agreed to the changes.

She said discussions with preschools had led her to believe many programs for three-year-olds, providing about three hours of class time a week, would be cut to make time for four-year-old classes.

"It is going to come in and Victoria needs funding. That is the bottom line really," Ms Edwards said.

Parent volunteers at the Helm Street Preschool have already warned of a massive shortage of places for four-year-olds in Kangaroo Flat by 2013 when hours are officially increased to 15 per week, unless new infrastructure is built.

Golden Square Preschool teacher Carol O’Bree echoed their urgency, saying it was "totally unrealistic" that Bendigo preschools could be ready for the changes within 18 months. Each child attending more hours will mean fewer places at most of Bendigo’s preschools.

"The other issue is finding more staff," Ms O’Bree said, adding it was becoming harder to find a short-term replacement if a teacher became sick. Golden Square Preschool teaches 105 children in the four-year-old program. Well-advanced plans to double its capacity have been hampered due to lack of funding.

Ms Edwards said the solution was significant investment in infrastructure.

"Kindergartens are already struggling to make ends meet and are fundraising significantly already. Why should they have to rearrange all of their programs and all of their timetables to accommodate all this?" she said.

"It shouldn’t be their responsibility to meet the needs of all children. It should be up to the State Government through funding to meet the needs of children."

 

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