Labor commits to two new schools in Maitland
It’s a big ticket item that has been high on the Labor agenda for several years, and the promise to build two new public schools in Maitland has come – should the party be elected to government.
Opposition Leader Michael Daley made the announcement outside Maitland Grossmann High School on Wednesday afternoon with incumbent Jenny Aitchison, committing $65 million to have construction underway within the parliamentary term.
It reaffirms a commitment made during the 2015 election campaign with one small change – the site of the primary school could be anywhere in the electorate, rather than the specific suburb selection of Rutherford at that time.
“With the growth that we’ve had over the last four years we have to look at it again because obviously the demographics change, so we want to make sure we’ve got it in the right place,” Ms Aitchison said.
“Back then that [Rutherford] probably was the right space, [but] we’re growing everywhere in Maitland.”
No particular locations have been scouted for either school, but with strong housing development occurring across the breadth of the city, including Lochinvar, Gillieston Heights and Thornton North, which are contributing to Maitland’s 15 per cent growth rate, Mr Daley said the schools will include room for expansion.
“We’ll find the site, we’ll work with the community, and work out where the best demographics are because this is one of the fastest growing areas in New South Wales,” he said.
“It will cater for not being full on day one, it will have some expansion capabilities to accommodate growth in the future.”
The funding will be drawn from money redirected from the Sydney stadium rebuilds.
Upgrades are currently underway at Rutherford and Bolwarra Public Schools, and Rutherford Technology High School welcomed almost $20 million of work in 2016.