Showing their plans for the new Gulargambone Preschool to Deputy Premier John Barilaro last week. [L to R] Kirsty Fisher, Belinda Moeris, Cr Robert Thomas, Amii Marchant (Preschool Director), Jason Sharpe, John Barilaro, Ash Walker (Project Manager) Pip Tindall (Preschool staff member), Milla Banks (Trainee) and Haylee Barry with current and future users.
Deputy Premier and Minister for Regional NSW John Barilaro squeezed in a visit to regional NSW last week amid ongoing crisis talks about the NSW Government’s response to Coronavirus.
As well as Bourke, Goodooga and Walgett, Mr Barilaro stopped over on Friday 20 March to congratulate the committee and community of Gulargambone Preschool on securing further funding towards their ambitious project.
“It’s always nice when you come to a town with some money and an announcement,” Mr Barilaro said.
“I know the preschool has been at the heart of everything the committee has been behind for a very long time and the local community got in behind and raised a significant amount of money, which is always wonderful,” he said.
Mr Barilaro announced a further $329,804 to build an outdoor learning and play area at the planned Gulargambone preschool on along with a bus storage shed, landscaping, irrigation and fencing.
“I am pleased that the NSW Government is able to deliver this once-in-a-generation opportunity for the preschool,” Mr Barilaro said.
“I congratulate the Gulargambone preschool on securing this funding and thank the staff for their dedication and determination to create a new fun learning environment which I am sure will benefit kids both today and into the future.”
The funding is in addition to the $1.145 million in funding that was awarded to Gulargambone Preschool in 2017 under the Start Strong Capital Works Grant Program.
With $200,000 of their own funds and $15,000 from Coonamble Shire Council, their brand new Preschool is now approximately a $2 million dollar project.
The new facility will be constructed on a site adjacent to Gulargambone Central School.
Preschool Director Amii Marchant said that after some lengthy delays the organisers are relieved that construction is due to start in July this year.
“We expect it will be a 30 week build,” Ms Marchant said. “So with landscaping and all the approvals in place we hope to be in before February 2021.” Further more we would not have got this project off the ground without the support of the current government, they are funding over $1.5 million dollars in total.
Project Coordinator and former Preschool parent Ash Walker says that they are particularly pleased that so much of the work will go to tradespeople from within the region.
“We drew a circle on the map of 100 kilometres around Gulargambone in the centre and made this area one of our selection priorities,” Mr Walker said. “We got a very good response and are proud to say that the winning tender has subcontractors from Gulargambone, Coonamble and Gilgandra.”