Immediately renew funding to the Discovery Science and Technology Centre of Bendigo.
Bendigo is a city of approximately 107,000 people and surrounded by many other towns which rely on its cultural facilities. The Discovery Science and Technology Centre is the only facility dedicated to presenting science in an exciting, interactive and age relevant way to young people across Central Victoria.This kind of science education is crucial for the future economic and social development of rural and regional Victoria.
Parents of Central Victoria are immensely grateful for the Discovery Centre's Curious Kids holiday programs. The recently refurbished planetarium offers something unique to this region. The vertical slide both thrills and educates. The staff with their exceptional teaching skills and energy create a a genuine wonderland of effortless learning. There is no alternative for this vital service from any nearby facility. In addition this facility provides a hosting space for science education shows from Melbourne's Scienceworks, a more efficient way to deliver this service for all Victorians than expecting parents to make regular trips of over two hours (one way).
An article in the Bendigo Advertiser dated June 3rd was the first public notification of the likely closure of the Discovery Centre on July 12th. This is a decision resulting from the failure of both Bendigo City Council and the State Government to renew funding for the centre. Staff of the centre, Discovery centre members, casual users of the facility and the broader community are reeling from this shock decision. There has been a complete lack of community consultation..
We call on both Bendigo Council and the State Government to immediately renew the Discover Centre's funding and increase that funding if necessary to develop this vital service and repair its facilities. We demand a committment to science education for young people in regional and rural Victoria.
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