Labor to build inner city high school - without selling off our electricity network

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NSW Opposition Leader Luke Foley has today announced a Labor Government will build a state-of-the-art inner city high school on the site of the Cleveland Street Intensive English High School – without selling off the state’s electricity network.

Mr Foley joined Shadow Minister for Education Ryan Park and Labor Candidates Verity Firth (Balmain), Edwina Lloyd (Sydney) and Penny Sharpe (Newtown) today at Cleveland Street Intensive English High School to declare that Labor will investigate all options to allow the new school to begin taking enrolments in Years 7 to 9 in 2018.

“In recent years, more families have chosen to live close to the cluster of amenities and services in the centre of our biggest city – but our schools have failed to keep up with this growing population,” Mr Foley said.

“High schools serving the inner city will be at capacity in just three years; we must act immediately. It is our responsibility to adapt to population flows and ensure our kids are not sitting in overcrowded classrooms.

“A Labor Government will invest $60 million to build a state-of-the-art high school in the inner city.
“We will address the needs of families in Sydney without further delay – and without selling the electricity network that brings in over $1 billion for schools each and every year.”

The funding is included within Labor’s plan for infrastructure – A Better Way – which unlocks an additional $10.055 billion of infrastructure investment over the next ten years without privatising the electricity network. $3 billion of this will be set aside for new hospital projects, to build and renew schools, and upgrade our TAFE facilities.

Labor’s additional $10 billion for infrastructure is on top of capital expenditure contained within the budget – valued at $15 billion per year.

Shadow Minister for Education Ryan Park said: “The Liberals have spent four years ripping $1.7 billion from the education budget – including money that could have been used to build new schools.

“Now they’ve finally come to the table and offered to build a new school – but only if families agree to sell off our electricity network and be slogged with higher power bills as a result.

“Under the Liberals, the school won’t start taking students until 2020 – two years after existing schools will reach capacity. What do they expect families to do for those two years?

“The Liberals are threatening to pull out of their promise if they can’t get away with their electricity privatisation plan – this is blackmail plain and simple. There’s no guarantee this school will be built under the Liberals.

“We’ve listened to the community’s concerns and today Labor is committing to build this school, and investigate all options for kids to enrol in 2018 – but it will be funded by the reliable profits delivered by our publicly-owned electricity network.”

Read more about Labor's commitment to build a high school in Sydney's inner city.