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Labor vows to build high school at North Rothbury


Cessnock state MP Clayton Barr described Labor’s vow to build a high school in North Rothbury as a “common sense” decision.

With thousands of people descending upon the region, as well as the continuing growth of the Hunter’s newest suburb Huntlee, the party declared on Friday 17 February it would start work on the educational facility, if it prevails at next month’s NSW Election.

Voters will head to the polls on 25 March.

The new high school would cater for the communities of Branxton, North Rothbury and surrounds. 

Mr Barr, who accompanied Shadow Minister for Education Prue Car and Labor candidate for Upper Hunter Peree Watson for the announcement, said it was a no-brainer to construct the academic amenity in the Lower Hunter.

“With Huntlee set to be home to 20,000 people, a similar size to Singleton, it’s vital we have local schools delivered, starting with a public high school and then a primary school,” he said.

“We know land has been set aside.

“But, the NSW Government’s failed to commit to a local high school.

“Labor will secure the site and start work without further delay.”

Ms Car said the party was determined to provide a fresh start for education in NSW.

“Without a local high school, students will continue to spend hours each week on buses to schools further afield, which are already overcapacity,” she explained.

“Labor believes an investment in education is an investment in our state’s future.

“That’s why we’ll begin work on a new high school for Branxton and North Rothbury.

“We know it won’t be delivered overnight, however we’re committed to making it happen.

“We’re aware the local community has been calling out for a public high school, so it’s important the planning starts – and the site is secured now.”

Ms Watson thanked residents for their strong advocacy.

“I’m committed to ensuring our children have the best opportunities close to home,” she said.

“However, there’s a clear choice at the next election when it comes to education in NSW.”

Labor’s plan includes:

  • New co-located preschools, with 100 new public pre-schools and 50 new and expanded pre-schools at Catholic and Independent schools;
  • Converting 10,000 casual teachers to permanent positions to reduce the reliance on temporary teachers;
  • Cutting admin hours for teachers by five hours per week;
  • Banning the use of mobile phones in all NSW public schools to reduce distraction, cyberbullying and improve education outcomes; 
  • Ending the failed overseas recruitment program and redirecting resources towards recruiting NSW teaching students into schools; and
  • Labor’s Growth Areas Schools Plan, which will deliver new and upgraded schools in growing areas across NSW

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