Greens candidate for Ballina, Tamara Smith has thrown her support behind the campaign to secure a permanent site for the Alstonville Community Preschool.
“Alstonville Community Preschool is a volunteer not for profit organisation that has been working tirelessly for 5 years to provide a preschool for their local community.
“This dedicated group of parents and community members have been operating a fully-enrolled preschool from a temporary venue, while working with Ballina Shire Council to identify a permanent site for the preschool at Crawford Park.
“Together they have gained nearly $349,000 in funding from the NSW Department of Education toward the building of a purpose built preschool and secured a $120,000 contribution from Ballina Shire Council towards site preparation and car park for the facility, as well as a $77,000 grant toward the internal fit out for the preschool. It’s an outstanding effort and I congratulate all who have been involved. However, with building scheduled to start in April, the Alstonville Community Preschool still requires $70,000 to complete the project and build an outdoor playground.
“After visiting the Alstonville Community Preschool on Tuesday and meeting with the Director, staff and parents, I’m pleased to annouce my commitment to assist in securing funding for their outstanding project costs if elected on March 28.
“The Greens have a costed $4.5 billion state-wide education and hospitals infrastructure plan. This will be funded from revenue raised through restoring taxation measures on big property speculators and poker machines in large clubs; not by privatising our electricity poles and wires like the Nationals plan to do.
“This is about priorities. For the Greens, quality eucation will always come first.
“The situation at Alstonville Community Preschool illustrates a broader problem with funding for early childhood education across NSW. The NSW Government invests less per child in early education than any other state or territory in Australia, which limits our kids access to early education and results in higher preschool fees.
“I’m calling for a funding model that ensures community-based preschools and long day care services can continue to provide high quality early education to NSW children, and will work to improve access and funding for early childhood education for NSW if elected as the new member for Ballina on March 28” said Tamara Smith.