Plan for 100,000 more but no new schools

State Opposition Leader Luke Foley and Shadow Education Minister and State MP for Lakemba, Jihad Dib, discuss concerns that no new schools have been planned to cope with the massive population influx.

Story appeared in: Torch | August 15th, 2017


LABOR MPs have condemned what they say is the NSW Government's failure to plan for new schools in the Sydenham to Bankstown growth area.
The Sydenham to Bankstown Corridor Strategy will bring an additional 35,000 dwellings - and estimated 100,000 extra people - to existing crowded suburbs over the next 20 years.
Canterbury Bankstown Council estimates that 36 new primary schools and 12 new high schools, as well as other essential infrastructure, will be needed.
Shadow Education Minister and State MP for Lakemba, Jihad Dib, said the Government had not made a single new school announcement along the entire corridor.
"Schools in my electorate are already at or above capacity - with more demountables on the way," Mr Dib said.
"It beggars belief that nowhere along the planning process did anyone had the foresight to consider schools as a crucial piece of social infrastructure."
Labor's school building program will give the Greater Sydney Commission the power to seize surplus Government land from other departments and agencies in order to build and expand government schools.
Mr Dib said Wiley Park Public School, which is at 103 per cent capacity, sits next to surplus Government-owned land which could be used to expand the school.
NSW Education Minister Rob Stokes says the Lakemba Water Pumping Station is on that site and supplies water daily to about 160,000 people.
"It is also heritage listed and much of the infrastructure for the pumping station is underground, which limits the potential for building on the site," he said.
"The site is not surplus to Sydney Water's operational needs."
Mr Stokes says the Government is planning for schools along the Sydenham-to-Bankstown corridor.
"The plans for the Sydney-to-Bankstown corridor are ambitious and will take 20 years to plan and realise. As more details of the planning of the corridor emerges, we will examine resource requirements and land acquisitions if required for new schools."

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Publication: Torch | Section: news | Author: Mick Roberts | Story ID: 130257 | Viewcount: 18346