ROUSE HILL TIMES WIDE OF THE MARK ON MASSIVE SCHOOLS FUNDING

Written on the 20 June 2019 by Kevin Conolly

Member for Riverstone Kevin Conolly has slammed the sloppy reporting of the Rouse Hill Times about school funding in the 2019-20 NSW State budget.

"There has never been more capital funding allocated to schools in this electorate than this year," said Mr Conolly.

"And the pipeline for the following 3 years is just as strong. All of the projects announced by the Government prior to the election are included in the 4 year Budget allocation.

"The record statewide investment of $6.7 billion over the 4 year term enables a record number of projects to be undertaken. Of this total, $1.68 billion has been allocated in the 2019-20 budget year to specific major projects for which contracts have been let.

"Of course that means there are billions of dollars for the projects which have not yet gone to tender.

"Budget documents for the Education portfolio never identify individual school allocations until the project has gone to tender so that a genuine market value can be established for each.

"Nevertheless the global funding envelope includes sufficient allowance for all the projects concerned.

"This is the same approach as has been used in Budget papers in previous years. A simple phone call to my office would have given the journalist this explanation.

"To suggest that school projects which were listed in the budget document were somehow 'left off the State Government's big ticket spending' is silly and inaccurate."

School investment this budget year in the Riverstone electorate for projects where contracts have been let includes $45 million for the new Farmland Drive (Schofields) primary school; $3.9 million for the Quakers Hill East Public school upgrade; $11.5 million at Riverbank Public school; $9.2 million at Riverstone High School and $24.2 million at Schofields Public school.

New projects to commence during the four year term will include a new primary school in the Tallawong area and major upgrades at both John Palmer Public school and Glenwood High school.

In the neighbouring Londonderry electorate a new primary school will be built in Marsden Park, with a high school in planning to follow.

"All of these projects are identified in the Budget papers," said Mr Conolly.

In addition, the majority of schools in Round 1 of the Cooler Classrooms program will receive their air conditioning in the coming budget year.

Across NSW, students and parents will benefit from a record investment in 190 new and upgraded schools, 4,600 new teachers and psychologists and social workers in every high school from an unprecedented $18.5 billion Education budget in 2019-20, an increase of $1.2 billion on the previous year.

"Investment of this magnitude in our schools has never occurred before under any Government. This is the real story of the budget," said Mr Conolly.


Author: Kevin Conolly

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