Education and health spending is high on the list of priorities for creating a smart, healthy Ballarat in to the future.
As the state government prepares to hand down its delayed 2019/20 State Budget next week, the focus is on fulfilling election promises made in the lead up to the November election.
Local schools are hoping that promises become reality with millions pledged for redevelopment at Ballarat's five secondary colleges.
Ballarat High School is hoping for the $8 million promised to modernise classrooms, upgrade the ground floor of the J.J Sheehan Wing and upgrade the administration building.
Mount Rowan Secondary College, which is already undergoing a $12 million redevelopment, is hoping for $3.5 million for the final stage to finish the gym, music room, install a synthetic field and landscaping.
Wendouree MP Juliana Addison said with construction crews on site at both schools, it would make sense for the projects to continue to conclusion instead of builders having to "pack up then come back" to finish the schools.
"As a teacher, education is really important to me and we know that if we want great schools, we've got to invest in great schools," she said.
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During the election campaign, Labor also promised $5.5 million for Mount Clear College, $11.7 million for Phoenix P-12 College, as well as new primary schools for Lucas and Miners Rest. Lucas Primary School construction is well underway, with the school scheduled to open next year, while Miners Rest Primary is still in the planning stages as sites are considered.
Ballarat's expanding population is also squeezing health services, which the government addressed in last year's budget with a promise of $461.6 million for redevelopment of Ballarat Health Service's Base Hospital. The project is still in the planning stages, but pressure on the emergency department continues to grow and interim measures would be needed.
"More than 200 people presented to emergency last weekend. Demand for the emergency department is at a record high and we know that we need to make sure that people accessing Ballarat Health Services get timely access to health care," Ms Addison said.
Ms Addison conceded more education was needed to make people aware of ED alternatives including the nurse on call hotline, and the 24-hour UFS Pharmacy in Sturt Street with its free evening nurse service.
With no commitment of federal funding for the Ballarat Innovation and Research Collaboration for Health, the group is looking back toward the state for further funding to grow the research hub.
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