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The Nationals Member for Gippsland Darren Chester has welcomed the announcement of $7.6 million funding for a purpose-built Sale Specialist School.

Mr Chester said today’s announcement was a win for the community and overdue recognition of the need to provide better facilities for the young people with disabilities.

He said the Sale Specialist School Parents Action Group (SPAG) had led a long and tiring campaign to secure the funding.

“All credit must go to the parents and school community for their long-standing efforts to bring this matter to the attention of government ministers from both sides of Parliament, in particular, to those parents who have spent countless hours, never giving up, working towards this new school precinct,” Mr Chester said.

“Anyone who has been to visit the current campuses of Sale Specialist School would be well aware that the need is urgent, and I am delighted that both sides of parliament have been able to work together for the sake of the children.

“I have been working closely with parents and teachers, and my parliamentary colleagues, to gain bi-partisan support and while I am sure there will be big celebrations amongst the school community, there will also be great relief for those parents who have exhausted themselves in the campaign to give local children the best opportunities for their future.”

Sale Specialist School was built in 1984 for 15 students. Last year enrolments topped 70 and the school community was spread across three campuses using portable buildings as classrooms. 

The project took a giant step forward in June when former state member Peter Ryan announced funding to purchase land for a new school and commence planning and design.

Today’s announcement means the construction can start without delays and students will have access to a state -of-the-art purpose built school to enhance their learning.