BAIRD GOVERNMENT FAILS TO PLAN FOR FUTURE SCHOOL STUDENTS

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The Baird Government is failing to plan for new schools in areas where the school aged population is expected to boom.

Analysis by NSW Labor of the latest state population data has revealed a number of Local Government Areas (LGAs) are expected to have significant increases in their school aged population in the next five, 10, 15 and 20 years.

In 13 Sydney LGAs where the school aged population is growing significantly there is no new school planned for the area (see table).

In Burwood, Botany Bay and Liverpool the population of children aged 5 to 19 years is expected to increase by more than half in the next 20 years but there are no new schools, classrooms or even school upgrades planned for these areas. 

Earlier this year the Baird Government announced a mere 40 classrooms, accommodating 900 school children, to be shared between three schools in the Cumberland and Strathfield councils – barley scratching the surface.

In Cumberland council, the school aged population is expected to climb by 4,700 in the next five years alone.

By 2036, the school aged population there is expected to increase by 39 per cent with an extra 15,900 kids.

This comes as the site for a new school nearby at Wentworth Point lays dormant, despite money for its build pledged in five consecutive State Government budgets.

All up, NSW needs at least 225,000 new school places by 2031 - with the majority needed in Sydney – according to the Department of Education.

Further analysis by NSW Labor estimates that figure is closer to 303,350.

Last month, documents released under freedom of information revealed that 37 per cent (807) of the 2182 NSW public schools are now either at capacity or well above, creating further pressure on existing schools right across the stat

Quotes attributable to Opposition Leader Luke Foley

“Kids are packed to the rafters in schools right across the state, and in many cases there are no new schools planned.

The Baird Government has fallen so far behind in delivering new classrooms in the booming regions of Sydney that it will take at least 45 years to catch up.

“We need a far greater commitment from the Baird Government for delivering new schools and new school places.”

Quotes attributable to Shadow Minister for Education Jihad Dib

“Currently there’s no plan for thousands of students that will start school in the next five years. We must be accommodating these communities as they grow.

“There is a $9 billion hole in schools capital works in NSW and the Minister has to explain how he is going to fill it.

“Once again, what we see is symptomatic of this Government, a complete failure to put schools for our students at the very centre of urban planning".

Population of age groups 5-19 years**

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LGAs with no school works planned

Today

2021

2026

2031

2036

% increase in 5 years

% increase in 10 years

% increase in 15 years

% increase in 20 years

Burwood

5,650

6,650

7,600

8,550

9,150

18%

35%

51%

62%

Botany Bay*

7,950

9,850

11,050

12,100

12,650

24%

39%

52%

59%

Liverpool

45,900

51,200

58,550

64,500

70,000

12%

28%

41%

53%

Blacktown

74,500

82,300

92,950

101,900

110,000

10%

25%

37%

48%

Lane Cove

6,600

7,400

8,100

8,850

9,500

12%

23%

34%

44%

Canterbury-Bankstown

69,100

76,450

84,700

92,500

98,500

11%

23%

34%

43%

Canada Bay

13,450

14,800

16,500

17,750

18,850

10%

23%

32%

40%

Inner West

23,950

26,750

28,450

29,900

30,550

12%

19%

25%

28%

Georges River

25,650

27,500

29,450

30,900

31,550

7%

15%

20%

23%

Waverley

9,550

10,850

11,600

11,700

11,500

14%

21%

23%

20%

Sutherland

42,150

44,150

45,750

47,000

47,500

5%

9%

12%

13%

Fairfield

40,500

41,500

43,150

44,050

44,100

2%

7%

9%

9%

Mosman

5,150

5,250

5,350

5,350

5,350

2%

4%

4%

4%

*Population data taken before Botany Bay was merged into Bayside Council.

** All data taken from the Department of Planning 2016 Population Projections.