Tasmanian Budget 2018: Kindergartens, schools infrastructure boost but no surprises

Legana primary school students will have to wait at least three years before the first funds flow for its new school development.

The first $5 million for the anticipated project is expected in 2021, planned in the forward estimates of the 2018-19 Tasmanian Budget.

The budget was handed down by Treasurer Peter Gutwein on Thursday.

Infrastructure spend was a big feature of the education portfolio, with a $163.5 million investment for government schools and $15.5 million for TasTAFE infrastructure.

The state government has committed new funding of $179 million over six years in total.

Kindergarten upgrades, announced on June 8, were a feature in the budget, as were six early learning hubs.

One of the hubs will be located in East Tamar.

While infrastructure spending for education was high, most announcements had already been made as pre-election or pre-budget initiatives.

In the North-West, $20 million was allocated for the Penguin District School, and $10.5 million for a redevelopment of Devonport High School.

Two of the new early learning hubs will be the in North-West, one at West Ulverstone and the other at Waratah-Wynard.

The government has also committed to its roll out of additional teachers and support staff, pledged at the state election.

Within four years, there is expected to be 277 new staff, including 192 new teachers.

This investment will grow to 358 more staff including 250 teachers and 80 additional support staff over the next six years.

Tasmania’s three-year-olds will also get access to free pre-school under an initiative funded in the budget.

This is the second year of the initiative, that is a joint partnership between the Education Department and the early learning sector.