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Minister Firth ignores the needs of Nepean High

After meeting with parents and students from Nepean High School this morning, Liberal Member for Penrith Stuart Ayres and Shadow Minister for Education Adrian Piccoli have slammed the Keneally Labor Government for ignoring the school’s needs as a creative and performing arts high school.

\”It is quite clear that the state government is ashamed of how they have underfunded the performing arts needs of Nepean High School.\” Mr Ayres said today.

\”The Education Minister was more than happy to spruik the achievements of various performing arts high schools during question time last week but not once did she mention Nepean High[1].

\”The Keneally Labor Government have forgotten our region and the commitment they made only two years ago to set up and properly equip this school with performing arts facilities.[2]

\”It seems as if nothing has changed since we were promised a creative and performing arts high school. This is another case of lights, camera and no action from the Keneally Labor Government.

\”Under this government our needs are being ignored. The only way to get a better deal for Penrith and the lower mountains is by changing the government.\” Mr Ayres said

Mr Piccoli said the Minister’s decision not to mention Nepean High School was symptomatic of her approach to schools in the Penrith region.

“After 15 years of Labor neglect, Penrith schools have been left behind on basic infrastructure such as permanent classrooms, flashing lights and appropriate fencing.

  • There are still 58 demountable classrooms across the Penrith and Mulgoa state electorates.[3]
  • 10 schools in the Penrith electorate still lack modern security fencing.[4]
  • There are NO flashing lights for pedestrian safety at any public school in the Penrith electorate bar Penrith South Public School.[5]

“And with the bungled announcement from the Education Minister to replace unflued school gas heaters, the fight for basic school maintenance funding will become all the more difficult.\”

\”Labor is too busy running from scandal to scandal to look after the running of government services. The only way to make smart investments in our schools is to change the government.\”

[1]Hansard, Wednesday 1 August 2010 http://bulletin/prod/parlment/hansart.nsf/V3Key/LA20100901030

[2] Media Release, Nathan Rees, Stage set for new creative and performing arts high schools, 4 Sept 09

[3] Legislative Council Questions and Answers No. 110- Tuesday 1 September, *3250 Education and Training – Demountable classrooms in Penrith and Mulgoa (Ficarra)$file/Q0900901.110.pdf

[4] Legislative Council Questions and Answers No. 110- Tuesday 1 September, *3251 Education and Training – Security Fences in Penrith and Mulgoa Schools (Ficarra)

[5] List of schools with flashing lights warning systems as on 2 July 2010 RTA Centre for Road Safety.


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Stuart Ayres - Member for Penrith

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