Australia news live updates: Victoria records 34 Covid deaths, NSW 30; biggest political donor revealed; public schools return

It is an incredibly important day for our state and an exciting day …

And I want to particularly thank our teachers who have done an amazing job over the course of the last few weeks in getting our schools ready to open day one, term one.

I know that many parents are anxious. I know that many parents are also excited to have their kids back in the classroom. But this is incredibly important as we move through 2022, as we move back to normal, that we have our students back at school.

We know that many children have lost a quarter of their time in face-to-face learning over the last two years as a result of the pandemic. There could be nothing more important, not just for our student’s educational outcomes, for social outcomes, for mental health outcomes, is for kids to get back in school.