MEDIA RELEASE. 26 November, 2014.
Reacting to news that the Department of Education has walked away from negotiations for a new school in Ultimo, Greens MP Jamie Parker said it cast the Government’s priorities in poor light.
“I received the disappointing news last night that the Department has withdrawn its offer to buy the site on Fig and Wattle Streets Ultimo which had been earmarked for a desperately needed new school,” said Mr Parker.
“The local community is understandably outraged and is left questioning whether the Government cares about the next generation and their parents.
“This decision is just another in a long-line of inaction and incompetence by the former Labor and now Liberal Government to provide for the growing demand for school and childcare. Statistics have shown for some time that our local area is experiencing a baby boom.
“Four education ministers in ten years – Labor’s Carmel Tebbutt, John Della Bosca and Verity Firth, and currently the Liberal’s Adrian Piccoli – have each failed to plan for the increase in our population.
“The NSW Government, whether Labor or Liberal, has been able to deliver for the big end of town. James Packer’s casino was approved with lightning speed, yet after 10 years of community lobbying we still do not have a new school in the Inner City.
“The community and the City of Sydney Council have been working in good faith with the Department to identify an appropriate site for a new school. To simply throw away all this work is an extraordinary move which will delay our urgently-needed school by years.
“Department representatives said they will be looking at alternative options to provide a school in the area and raised the option of a location in the Bays Precinct. Where exactly does the Government propose a new school be built? Surely not in the basement of a new luxury apartment building?” said Mr Parker.
Mr Parker, along with the Member for Sydney Alex Greenwich, has written today to the Education Minister demanding a commitment from the Government for the new school to be operating by 2017.
For further media comment by Jamie Parker, contact Lesa de Leau 0413 581 603