Mr HUSIC (Chifley—Government Whip) (12:18): I want to take this opportunity to discuss the huge investment that has occurred in the Chifley electorate—and no doubt in electorates across the country—in the education area and in particular within primary schools. I am particularly proud—and I mentioned my support of this early on in the first speech that I made to the nation's parliament—of Building the Education Revolution, which was a key component of the government's economic stimulus plan. That involved 24,000 projects delivered over four years. It supported jobs in local communities such as mine and benefited about 9,000 schools Australia wide. Through the program, we invested $16.2 billion in schools across the country for minor infrastructure and refurbishment projects and for major new infrastructure projects in primary schools and to build new or refurbish science and language centres in secondary schools. It is something that I am particularly proud of.
In the last few weeks, I have been able to visit quite a number of schools. They include St John Vianney's Primary School at Doonside; Crawford Public School, also at Doonside; Walters Road Public School, Blacktown; Quakers Hill Public School; Marayong Heights Public School; and both St Patrick's Primary School and St Michael's Primary School—all in the electorate of Chifley. That has been in the last eight weeks. I estimate that within the Chifley electorate about $65 million has been invested in the improvement of schools in our area.
As I have previously informed the House, the Chifley electorate is a young electorate. About 30 per cent of the people who reside within the electorate of Chifley are under the age of 19. Education is a key, critical priority. Keeping students in school for longer, improving retention rates and helping build the personal bank of skills that young people in Chifley have are all absolutely important. I am also delighted to see the development of trade training centres. I had the great pleasure of visiting the Loyola Trade Training Centre, with principal Rob Laidler being able to take me on a tour of the facility, which provides automotive, electrical, hospital and hairdressing training among a range of different things for which apprenticeships will be provided to young people in the Mount Druitt area. It is something which I am especially delighted with, given the investment in their skills and the investment in the neighbourhoods in our area. This trade training centre will be officially opened next year.
We have also had the Tyndale Trade Training Centre opened earlier in the year, the first one that was opened in the Chifley electorate and particularly focusing on hospitality training. I was especially pleased to be taken on a tour by principal Jack Joyce, someone who is a very enthusiastic, very committed and very capable administrator, someone who really drove that project. This will be followed up by trade training centres to be opened in Doonside and Evans, which will see a collaboration between those two schools. I was especially pleased to see what is going on there. In particular, at Doonside the metal manufacturing trade training centre will be a huge asset.
A lot of the schools have been present in our area for a significant period of time. Quakers Hill, in particular, have been there for nearly a hundred years and they are about to celebrate their centenary in about two years time. The schools do need renovations. Changing demands require new facilities. We have seen new classrooms, new halls and new equipment. This is investment, as I have described at the actual openings themselves, in our neighbourhoods, because the young people that are being trained in those facilities will go on to stay in our neighbourhoods and help our communities in years to come. Giving them quality facilities is an absolute priority, and I am very proud of that investment that we have made in their future.
I do want to take the time to congratulate the principals, the teachers, the staff, the builders and the architects, who have all spent so much time on these projects and have invested so much effort to make sure they work. They have all said to us that they welcome the investment. Also, I extend my deepest gratitude to the teachers who dedicate so much of themselves to the future of young people in the Chifley electorate. They are an absolute credit to our community, and I thank them for everything that they have done. This program has been an outstanding success and has been welcomed across Chifley.