BUDGET REPLY: LABOR WILL HAVE UNPRECEDENTED SCHOOL BUILDING PROGRAM

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A Foley Labor Government will have an unprecedented school building program which will ensure unused public land goes towards school infrastructure.

With a school overcrowding crisis in NSW and 100,000 children learning in demountable classrooms, Labor will ensure there is an achievable plan to build new schools and expand existing ones.

NSW Opposition Leader Luke Foley made the commitment in his Budget Reply speech today that if elected, the Greater Sydney Commission will be given the power to seize surplus government land from other departments and agencies for much-needed schools.

The Liberal-Nationals’ six years of neglect has forced them into playing catch-up on school infrastructure.

Half the schools announced in the Berejiklian Government’s first Budget on Tuesday were previously announced and three-quarters are stuck in the design phase.

Labor's plan will prevent past situations in which the Liberals promoted the sale of precious land adjacent to overcrowded schools, including the disused RMS site next to Lidcombe Public School.

If elected in 2019, Labor will also ensure every new school built will include childcare or before and after school care facilities on-site.

As part of Labor’s on-going commitment to education in NSW, Mr Foley today reiterated his commitment that every primary school student in NSW will be taught a second language.

And every child will have access to at least 15 hours of affordable preschool education per week, in the year before school.

Quotes attributable to NSW Opposition Leader Luke Foley

“Six years of neglect means we now have a school overcrowding crisis.

“It’s taken three Premiers, four Treasurers and seven budgets for the Liberals and Nationals to work out there’s a soaring school age population in our state.

“When it comes to investing in our childrens’ education, Labor will do so much more than the Liberals and Nationals.”

Quotes attributable to Shadow Education Minister Jihad Dib

“NSW students deserve better than to be sitting in over 1,450 demountables that have been in the same place for over 10 years.

“What is meant to be a short term solution is simply becoming part of the furniture – Labor’s plan will ensure land can be freed up to build and extend schools.”