Upgrades for Irrawang and Hunter River High Funded by NSW Government

A concerned Kate Washington believes that the wishes of the community are being ignored by not budgeting for a public High School at Medowie. Photo: Marian Sampson.

 

THE NSW Government has committed to upgrades at both Hunter River High, Irrawang High School and the Newcastle Education Campus this week.

Taylor Martin MLC for the Hunter said “said the budget is part of the Liberals & Nationals Government ongoing commitment to education.

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“These three school upgrades will be an incredible asset for the entire community ensuring high-quality education facilities for students and teachers,” Mr Martin said.

A Spokesperson for the NSW Department of Education said, “The NSW Government is increasing its investment in new and upgraded schools, with funding for 44 new and upgraded school projects announced as part of the NSW 2021/22 Budget.

“This includes upgrades of both Hunter River and Irrawang High Schools which will deliver additional permanent teaching spaces and core facilities to support the growing population of Port Stephens.

“Further information on the upgrades of Hunter River and Irrawang High Schools will be released as the project progresses.

“The full budget will be handed down on 22 June where the full scale of investment in education in NSW will be realised.”

There have long been calls for a Public High School at Medowie to cater to the growing population however this announcement shows that the current government is committed to increasing capacity at the existing high schools.

The spokesperson went on to say, “The NSW Government is committed to providing school infrastructure for a growing student population, which includes planning to cater for growth in the Medowie area.

“Planning projections indicate that the best investment in school infrastructure for the area is to upgrade both Irrawang and Hunter River High School.

“The Department of Education has started early planning for upgrades to these schools, including early design works and preparing a business case.

“There is a regular school bus service between Medowie and its designated high school, Irrawang High School, which has accommodation for enrolments from its catchment.”

Member for Port Stephens Kate Washington has released the following statement in response to the funded upgrades, she said, “The NSW Liberal Government has to come clean with our community.

“The Education Minister should visit Medowie, look frustrated families in the face and explain why their children don’t deserve a local public high school.

“Irrawang High School and Hunter River High School desperately need upgrades and I support those upgrades.

“But the government’s secret plan is to squeeze more and more high school students into Raymond Terrace schools so they never have to deliver a public high school in Medowie.

“The Government has ignored the wishes of an entire community.

“They’ve refused to listen, and now they want congratulations for a plan aimed entirely at denying Medowie a public high school.

“While these school upgrades are welcome, the underlying expansion plans are not because they will lock in an unfair situation for years to come,” said Ms Washington.

 

By Marian SAMPSON

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