Labor continues to set the policy agenda for education in NSW, with today’s announcement by the Premier an embarrassing mix of recycled projects and outright policy plagiarism.
For seven years the Liberal Government has refused to air condition schools, even refusing to install air conditioning in new or re-built schools in favour of ‘natural light and ventilation’ recommendations.
With Premier Berejiklian feeling the heat, she has now tried to copy Labor’s policy and claim credit.
The Government has also copied Labor’s call for more education resources in inner Newcastle, where existing schools are at capacity.
As school construction hits an all-time low under the Liberal Government, the Premier has attempted to dress up today’s infrastructure announcement by mixing in existing projects, some of which were meant to be completed last year.
Ten school projects across the Hunter were triumphantly announced by the Government this morning, however more than half of the projects are either already underway or had previously been announced but not yet started.
The only Labor policy not copied was for new schools in Medowie and Maitland.
RE-ANNOUNCEMENTS vs. ORIGINAL ANNOUNCEMENT
Hunter Sports High School Upgrade - announced 2014.
Hunter School of Performing Arts Upgrade - announced 2015
Bolwarra Public School Upgrade - announced 2015
Belmont High School - announced 2017
Nulkaba Public School - announced 2017
Rutherford Public School - announced 2017
Callaghan College Jesmond Campus - announced 2017
Quotes attributable to Kate Washington MP
“The Government is quick with the glossy announcements, but they haven’t even delivered on their previous commitments.
“Many of these school upgrades have already been announced and were due to be completed by now. The Government has overseen countless budget blowouts and delays across their infrastructure projects, hurting communities and failing to keep up with needed investment.
“The previous Labor Government built an average of 5 new schools a year. The Liberals have struggled to open 2 new schools a year.
“This is a Government which has prioritised selling community assets and rebuilding stadiums instead of investing in our schools and hospitals.
“Under a Liberal government, students from Medowie and Tanilba will continue to squeeze into overcrowded school buses every day for decades to come.”
This item was distributed as a media release on Thursday 14 June 2018.