Ballina school in planning with $40m in state budget

PLANNING will start on Ballina's new super school with $40 million set aside for the purpose in 2015-16, out of $300 million under the state government's 10-year Regional Schools Renewal program.

The election commitment for the new high school will be one of four that planning will start on in 2015-16, while a further $205 million will go to new schools or substantial upgrades at 11 other schools.

Treasurer Gladys Berejiklian said the funds would form part of $1 billion reserved for education projects under the state's Rebuilding New South Wales program released in Tuesday's budget.

The remaining $700 million of that fund would go towards a similar 10-year 'Future Focused Schools program', while the government will spend another $48 million on new scholarships.

Education Minister Adrian Piccoli said the 2015-16 budget included $507 million in extra Gonski funds, including $224 million over four years to improve teacher standards; $167 million for 236 more counsellors and wellbeing support in public schools.

The state's total education reaches $12.4 billion this year, or about 39% of the total NSW budget for 2015-16.

Students aged 15 to 30 years old would be able to access one of 200,000 fee-free scholarships to study at government-subsidised VET certificate courses, with priority to concession-card eligible social housing residents.

A further $25 million will provide up to 25,000 $1000 scholarships for students in courses in "technology-based industries" and $8 million over four years for young people in regional areas to get into education, training or jobs.

State-wide, the government will also pour $2 billion into the TAFE Commission to expand skills-based training, focussing on up-skilling the state's most disadvantaged.



Council targets wild dogs

Council targets wild dogs

Wild dogs will be targeted in a new humane trapping program.

Local sports in the one spot

Local sports in the one spot

Whitsunday Sports Expo on Saturday.

Conservation on the menu

Conservation on the menu

All the women who attended the event are active in conservation.