Piccoli passes the buck

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Education Minister Adrian Piccoli is trying to distract from his failure to adequately plan for our state’s schools by today proposing to ban international students from the new Ultimo Public School.

In December 2014 Mr Piccoli promised to build a new Ultimo Public School on the site of the Wattle Street council depot. 

In a huge backflip, the Baird Government wants to build a high-rise school on the site of the existing school – relocating students during construction – even though the current site will not be able to cater for the growing local school-aged population.

Now the Minister has suggested banning international students from the new school to secure spaces for local students – despite the fact that the majority of international students in inner Sydney attend high schools, not primary schools.

Minister Piccoli has also suggested students in Ultimo and Pyrmont attend Fort Street Public School in the Rocks – a school three kilometres away, with only 10 teachers.

Quotes attributable to Shadow Minister for Education Linda Burney

“International enrolments at Ultimo Public School won’t change the fact that a school on the current site simply won’t be able to meet the community’s needs.”

“Adrian Piccoli is dog whistling by using the small number of international students in Sydney schools to distract from his complete incompetence in school planning.”

“It is completely unacceptable to suggest children attend other schools already nearing capacity further away, when just last year the Minister himself recognised the need for a new Ultimo Public School and promised to build it.”  

Quotes attributable to City of Sydney Labor Councillor Linda Scott

"For years, I have fought alongside the communities of Pyrmont and Ultimo for a new school to meet the needs of their future communities.”

“To see these plans fail is devastating.” 

“The Baird Government should stop trying to put the spotlight on international students and deliver on its commitment for a new school for Ultimo.”