Labor will replace 1,000 ageing demountables with new permanent air-conditioned classrooms, as part of the largest investment in schools by any state government.
The Lane Cove electorate, which includes suburbs like Gladesville, Artarmon, Putney and Greenwich has more than 43 ageing demountable classrooms.
Labor’s plan is possible because it will divert $500 million away from the Liberals and Nationals’ $2.2 billion Sydney stadium splurge, to start $1.4 billion worth of long overdue upgrades.
NSW Labor Leader Michael Daley said replacing ageing demountable classrooms was a critical priority.
“Demountables are only supposed to be used temporarily but the Liberals have been piling them into schools to try to manage severe overcrowding.
“They failed to build new bricks and mortar classrooms for eight long years. Now we have hundreds of schools that are over-capacity, with no room left for kids to play,” Mr Daley said.
In 2011, the Liberals and Nationals cancelled the former Labor Government’s “Demountable Replacement Program.” As a result, more than one in 10 classrooms in NSW are now demountables.
Labor Candidate for Lane Cove, Andrew Zbik said that Labor’s investment would make local schools safer and deliver better outcomes for students.
“Public school enrolments are surging yet the Liberals are closing more schools than they’re opening.
“This government simply has the wrong priorities. The Liberals and Nationals are more interested in splurging $2.2 billion to rebuild perfectly good Sydney stadiums than they are in improving our schools.
“Labor will replace ageing demountables with permanent, air conditioned classrooms, giving our students the spaces they need to thrive.
“The Liberals and Nationals have clearly failed to plan for our growing community. They’ve treated our schools with disdain.”
Budget paper figures reveal the Government ordered another 520 demountables.
And documents released by Labor under freedom of information laws exposed that almost 90 per cent of the demountables across the state are over 20 years old.
This announcement comes on top of Labor’s commitment to reprioritise $300 million from stadiums to air-condition every school in NSW.