THE Korumburra community celebrated the opening of the $5.3 million Karmai Community Children’s Centre on Friday, completing an eight year project in grand style.
The new purpose-built children’s centre will provide 120 places for early learning and long day care, as well as kindergarten, maternal child health services and out of school hours care.
Vice president of the Karmai Community Children’s Centre committee, Rebecca Marriott described the process, which began in 2009, as a “true collaboration” between the community and all three tiers of government.
She thanked for Gippsland South MP Peter Ryan, McMillan MP Russell Broadbent and the South Gippsland Shire Council “for backing our community”.
“This has always been about the future, breaking the cycle of disadvantage and recognising the integral role education plays in that.”
Mr Broadbent said the project is an example of the Australian Government’s commitment to promoting sustainable long term economic development in Australia’s regions.
“Not only will the facility provide much needed quality services for families with young children but also 20 ongoing jobs will be created to operate the centre, providing a welcome economic boost within the local community.
“Particular congratulations must go to the Karmai Children’s Centre Committee, who fought so hard for to ensure the construction of this vital community asset,” Mr Broadbent said.
Mayor of South Gippsland Cr Ray Argento said the new wonderful facilities would serve the Korumburra community for years to come.
“It stands as a tribute to the hard work of the community members who raised $100,000 towards the project – their vision has now been realised,” Cr Argento said.
“Council would particularly like to thank the Australian and State Governments for their contribution.
“This is the result of all four of us: Council, the community, the Australian Government and the Victorian Government – working together for the benefit of the families of the Korumburra district.”
The project was jointly funded by the Australian Government ($1.6 million), the Victorian Government ($1.6 million), South Gippsland Shire Council ($2.05 million), and the Karmai Community Children’s Centre Inc. ($100,000).
Local company TS Constructions commenced work on the project in late 2015 and completed the job in December 2016.
The project is the construction of an integrated children’s centre to include the following:
• three long day care rooms with children’s bathroom facilities;
• two early learning rooms;
• two interchangeable maternal and specialist consulting rooms;
• one play space;
• four meeting rooms;
• one kitchen, three kitchenettes and one laundry;
• public toilet facilities with all ability access;
• separate staff amenities;
• storage areas;
• three outdoor undercover play areas with concrete floor, colorbond roof, and cement sheet ceiling; and
• car parking for 40 vehicles.
The purpose of the completed project is to provide quality, accessible childcare, kindergarten, maternal child health, out of school care and vocational education/training opportunities.