Labor to build new Medowie High School

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A Foley Labor Government will invest $40 million to build a new high school in Medowie within its first term in office, without selling the electricity network.

Currently, 1,000 students travel hours each day from the local area to attend schools in Newcastle, Raymond Terrace, Maitland or Nelson Bay. Labor will ensure that local students are not forced to travel these distances each day just to attend school.

Labor believes that providing high quality public schools in local neighbourhoods is central to giving our children the best possible education.

The local Medowie community has for many years campaigned for a public high school to be built – and with construction to begin in the first term of a Labor Government.

The new Medowie High School will also include before and after-school care facilities to make life easier for busy working parents – part of Labor’s Building the Schools of the Future policy announced on Sunday.

The school will cater for about 1,000 students and Labor will direct the Department of Education and Communities to review the existing site and the detailed forecast for student numbers in the area.

Unfortunately, the Liberals have failed to deliver on their commitment before the 2011 election that they would begin planning and design stages of the project if they won Government. Four years later and the families in the Medowie area are still waiting for their new school.

Funding for the new school will come from Labor’s additional $1.3 billion fund to build and improve schools and TAFE, as part of Labor’s A Better Way infrastructure program. This is on top of the current budget for school and TAFE capital works – currently around $400 million a year.

Labor’s support for education is fully funded and will be delivered without privatising the electricity network.

Quotes attributable to Labor Leader Luke Foley:
“Giving our children the best possible education means building new schools where they are needed.

“A Labor Government will build the new Medowie High School, an important project that is long overdue.

“We will invest in education, building new schools like Medowie, without privatising the electricity network.

“I am very proud to have Kate Washington, who has been the strongest advocate on behalf of the local community for a new school in Medowie, as part of my Labor team.

“This is a big victory for Kate and the hundreds of local families who have been calling for this school for years.

“A local high school will mean students spend less time on overcrowded buses and have more time for homework, recreation and time with their families.”

Quotes attributable to Labor Candidate for Port Stephens Kate Washington:
“The Liberals promised to get working on this school just weeks before the 2011 election – four years later and the locals haven’t seen a single plan, let alone a shovel in the ground.

“We have been campaigning to get this high school built for many years – and I am proud that Labor will build this high school without selling off our electricity network.

“Families are worried about this community being slowly pulled apart by the “teenager ghost town” that Medowie becomes during school terms. Building a high school will ease the burden that the children’s long commute is taking on the local community.”

Key Facts:

  • The government purchased land in Medowie in 1983 to build a high school, but the site remains vacant to this day.
  • Port Stephens Council has identified Medowie, Tilligerry and Raymond Terrace/Kings Hill as key growth areas for the next 20 years, with new lots opened in Medowie to cater for another 3,500 residents. A further nearby land rezoning at Kings Hill will accommodate up to 11,000 new residents over the next 20 years.
  • The number of children finishing Year 6 in the Medowie area is climbing, with about 380 students ready to start high school each year.
  • Before the last election, the then Shadow Minister for Education Adrian Piccoli and the local Liberal MP promised to begin planning and design stages of the project. To date not one shovel has hit the ground to start this project.