MEDIA RELEASE - June 24, 2015
Speaking about the Government’s broken promise on the new Ultimo public school, local MP Jamie Parker, Member for Balmain, said he shared the community’s disappointment and outrage at the announcement a school was not proceeding at the site on Fig and Wattle streets.
“Before the election, the community was assured by the Government that a new school would be built to address the capacity issues in one of the most densely-populated areas of Sydney. No one wanted to be cynical enough to think the decision could be reversed so quickly”, said Mr Parker, whose electorate of Balmain now covers parts of Ultimo.
“The Department of Education has known the projected student numbers for some time. Unfortunately the Liberal Government has similarly failed like the former Labor Government to adequately plan for quality long-term educational outcomes for the inner city and inner west.
“Now we hear the ridiculous proposal to knock down and redevelop the existing Ultimo public school at a cost of than $40 million for only 300 extra places. By the Department’s own admission the expanded school will only meet capacity for 15 years, at most. This is not long-term planning.
“The existing school community has already experienced displacement during a redevelopment in 2003, and parents are acutely concerned with the impact on children’s learning outcomes should the school be disadvantaged by this disruption again. The Department has underestimated the significance of that experience on the school.
“I am committed to working with Ultimo Public School P&C and all stakeholders in the local community to bring about a better outcome than what is now being proposed by the Department,” said Mr Parker.
For more comment from Jamie Parker: 0413 581 603 (Lesa de Leau)