Note: Where available, the PDF/Word icon below is provided to view the complete and fully formatted document
 Download Current HansardDownload Current Hansard    View Or Save XMLView/Save XML

Previous Fragment    Next Fragment
Thursday, 14 August 2003
Page: 18617

Mr LLOYD (4:44 PM) —I rise tonight to indicate my support for the establishment of a high school in the suburb of Kariong in my electorate on the Central Coast. Kariong is a vibrant and strong community, a rapidly growing community mainly of young families and first home buyers. The public school, Kariong Primary School, which visited parliament this week, has almost 900 students. It is a school that was actually designed and built for approximately 400 students, so it really shows that there is a very strong and growing young population in that area. Of course, at this stage all the students when they enter high school have to travel some distance into Gosford to other high schools.

This is something which has been an issue for the community for a very long time and which was of course an issue at the last state election. The Liberal candidate for Peats, Deborah Wales, and the Liberal opposition promised the establishment of a high school if they were elected, but they unfortunately were not elected at the last state election. The Carr government have seemed not to have embraced this proposal at all. In fact, they have put roadblocks in the way constantly, saying that there was no land available in the area to establish a high school. They have now committed to undertaking more community consultations. The community have had enough consultations—they want some action.

You have to understand that often the state government say that they do not have the money to build new high schools. This is absolutely rubbish. The Commonwealth government has increased its funding support right across Australia for students attending government schools. In fact, there are 2.27 million students attending government schools. That represents 69 per cent of students in school education. The state governments put in about 84 per cent of the funding, four per cent of funding comes from the hard work and sacrifices of the parents through the cake stalls and raffles and about 12 per cent of funding for state government schools comes from the Commonwealth. That funding has been increased by 5.7 per cent this year.

In addition, of course, the state government in New South Wales is receiving a windfall from stamp duty from the sale of houses. The New South Wales Carr government this year will receive an almost $3 billion—that is, $3,000 million—windfall this financial year from stamp duty on home sales. As I said, the Kariong area is a new and growing area, a first home buyers area, and of course they have many home sales in the area. So, much of this $3,000 million from stamp duty comes directly from the residents of the Kariong suburb. It is about time that Mr Carr returned some of that money to the people of Kariong by allowing a high school to be built.

I know that the Kariong Public School P&C Association is meeting next Monday night, 18 August, to discuss this issue. I was invited to attend the meeting, but obviously, as parliament is sitting, I will not be able to be there. But I wanted to take the opportunity to pledge my support to the community in doing everything I can to force the New South Wales government to establish a high school in Kariong. In fact, I have to praise the P&C for the efforts that they have made in organising the push for a high school at Kariong. I understand they have even secured a donation of land which we believe would be suitable for the establishment of the high school. So much for the Carr government saying that there was not land available in the Kariong area for a high school! The Kariong students and families in that area deserve a high school. They need a high school. They are sick of community consultation, and the Carr government needs to act now to provide the services that the Kariong residents need and deserve in our area.