Published on: May 2021
North Shore Electorate Public Schools
Ms FELICITY WILSON (North Shore) (19:14:04):
Schools in my local area are reaping the benefits of the Berejiklian Government's investment in public education infrastructure. The Government has committed more than $7 billion over the next four years to deliver more than 200 new and upgraded schools across our State, which is the largest investment in public education infrastructure in the history of New South Wales. Locally we recently hit a milestone for the major upgrade to Mosman High School when an early contract was awarded. The new designs were co-created by the school community and the wider Mosman community. They have been lodged for planning assessment and have been open for public exhibition for the past month. We have worked closely with the school community and Mosman to ensure that we get the design right. The school sits in the very heart of Mosman village, right across the road from the main shops, and the history and heritage of our community is paramount.
I thank principal Susan Wyatt, current P&C president Richard Fechner and past P&C presidents Evan Predavec and Gerhard Beukes, who are incredibly committed and have worked tirelessly to get the project to this stage. I know they are very excited about seeing it come to fruition. We are re‑envisaging Mosman High as a modern place of learning for generations to come. The constrained site will be transformed to create modular, multi‑use components to enhance the creative and academic capacity of our students. While the transformation is unfolding, the exterior design of the school is complementary to the built environment and village aesthetic of Mosman. The upgrade includes 16 new classrooms, new administration and staff facilities, a new library, a multipurpose gym and hall, outdoor and rooftop space and new canteen facilities. The new theatre is incredibly exciting, particularly for Mosman High and its creativity. It is a once-in-a-generation project and I am excited to see building commence.
Work is also underway for North Sydney Demonstration School upgrades and planning for Neutral Bay Public School. At North Sydney Dem, we will soon finalise a contractor to get shovels in the ground. Like Mosman High, it is a significant upgrade for the school to continue offering excellent teaching and learning facilities to the many new families moving into North Sydney and surrounds. It is an investment in both current and future Dem students. The upgrade will see the replacement of old demountable classrooms with 16 new and refurbished classrooms, the addition of a new school hall, an upgrade to administration facilities and improved outdoor learning spaces. The community has played an important part in helping to shape the design so far. My thanks go to principal Fiona Davies; past principal Myra Wearne, who led a lot of this; former P&C presidents Laurens Liberton and David Bond; and current P&C president Luke McElnea for their dedication in getting this project off the ground.
We are also working with Neutral Bay Public School to complete the planning for that project and I am eager to see funding in this year's budget to progress it. Neutral Bay Public School relies quite heavily on the work of its P&C president, Liz Henry, and on acting principal Victor Tam. I thank them for their work. While the Berejiklian Government is delivering on its commitment to complete significant school upgrades in my local area, it has also responded to the challenges presented to our education system by the COVID‑19 pandemic. As part of the Government's economic response to the pandemic, it is rolling out a school COVID stimulus program. The $120 million Metro Renewal Program is providing government co‑contributions of between 50 and 80 per cent for school infrastructure programs in high priority schools in Sydney. A number of my local schools have received funding.
Mosman Public School received funding to upgrade its learning spaces in the first round of the program. Seven schools in my local area will benefit from the second round of funding. Mosman High School will upgrade its science labs, on top of the upcoming major upgrade to other parts of the school. North Sydney Demonstration School will upgrade the staff room and staff toilets before it kicks off its major upgrade. Beauty Point Public School will install a hard surface covered outdoor learning area. Cammeraygal High School's junior campus will improve shade in the playground area. Middle Harbour Public School will upgrade its toilets. North Sydney Girls High School will upgrade its science labs and North Sydney Boys High School will upgrade its kitchen, prep room and store room for food technology classes. Those projects will improve our local schools' capacity to deliver quality education and learning experiences for our kids.
The focus of the program is to ensure that students can thrive in their learning environment, no matter where they live or what their circumstances may be. That means access to quality school facilities. The projects will be undertaken in the next 18 months and will deliver not only enhanced school infrastructure but also a boost for the local economy by supporting jobs. My own experience has taught me that education can transform lives and disrupt cycles of poverty and disadvantage. That is why I strongly support access to quality public education for all children across our State. We need to give our kids the best start in life, and that is made possible by the Government's investment in new and upgraded schools and facilities. I thank the Berejiklian Government and the Minister for Education and Early Childhood Learning, the Hon. Sarah Mitchell, for their continued investment in our schools and for delivering on the Government's commitment to offer the highest quality education to our kids.