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Thursday, 24 June 2004
Page: 31785

Mr MOSSFIELD (12:40 PM) —I want to speak about schools in my electorate of Greenway and about education in general. I think it is generally recognised that Greenway is the educational capital of Western Sydney, due to its vast educational facilities. I do not expect you to totally agree with that view, Mr Deputy Speaker Price, but we do have many excellent schools in my electorate across the whole range of services, such as the public system, the Catholic system and other Christian schools such as Church of England schools.

I would like to see more cooperation between all sectors of education so that we can produce a good educational outcome—the best educational outcome—for the students of Greenway. We do have that in a number of areas, particularly in the educational precinct of Narimba, where we have Terra Sancta College and Wyndham College working hand in hand and sharing facilities. We also have the University of Western Sydney. A university is a jewel in the crown of any electorate in relation to education. I know that not all government members necessarily agree with that, but the member for Chifley and I certainly agree that the University of Western Sydney is a great asset to the area, not only for the students going to that university but also because of the products that come from universities, such as economic development and research that benefit industry in the area. I am very pleased to have that university in my electorate and I support the necessary funding to enable the university to operate effectively. We also have a TAFE college in the Narimba complex, so we have all facets of education there, and that is a great advantage.

The other thing is to see the outcome, the students that come from these educational facilities. I am very proud from time to time to welcome to this parliament many students from my electorate. It is always said that students from Western Sydney are among the best behaved students who come to this parliament. Also, their comments are quite enlightening. They ask many interesting questions. One that is asked from time to time is: do you have to be intelligent to be a member of parliament? I tell them no. They certainly take a great interest.

To the naked eye, it would appear that some schools have better resources than others. That cannot be denied. This unfortunately creates a feeling of inferiority and resentment amongst those that feel disadvantaged. So I would like to draw to the attention of the parliament some of the concerns that have been expressed to me this week by teachers from schools in my electorate who have visited me. They have drawn to my attention the need for additional facilities, which I fully support. I have a whole list of concerns, but I will mention the schools initially before I go to the items that they are concerned about. The schools whose representatives have visited me are the William Rose School, the Metella Road Public School, Lynwood Park Public School, Blacktown West Public School, Quakers Hill Public School, Hamilton Public School and Lalor Park Public School. These are the schools in my electorate where the teachers feel additional resources are needed.

The William Rose school is a special needs school. It has put to me that it needs a wheelchair bus; a sensory garden; a wheelchair swing; wheelchairs; speech therapy; an increase in physio and occupational therapy; computer upgrades—both software and hardware; a school hall; library books in Braille; large print and audio books; additional teachers' aids and a hydrotherapy pool. Metella Road Public School has also put to me that it needs specialised teachers for struggling students who need one-on-one assistance; more teachers to reduce class sizes; and logistic support for teachers, particularly in maths and science. The school community has funded airconditioning in some classrooms but more is needed. It says it needs counsellors and support staff. Lynwood Park Public School has raised with me the need for carpets in at least five classrooms and the library. Lynwood Park needs airconditioning. As you would know, Mr Deputy Speaker Price, airconditioning is very important in the summer months in our part of Western Sydney. The school also needs computer furniture in the computer room; covered walkways; returfing of the sports field and it needs a retaining wall. It needs security fencing; new blinds in the hall and some classrooms; an electricity upgrade; and more teachers' aids.

There is white ant damage to some buildings at Lynwood Park school that needs attention. I should draw to the attention of the Main Committee that many of the schools are older schools and this sort of problem does exist in them. Lynwood Park also needs hot water in the staff toilets; an upgrade of student toilets; more resources for teachers such as reading books; and smaller class sizes. Thank you, Mr Deputy Speaker, for your indulgence in allowing me to expand on the needs of the public schools in my electorate.

The DEPUTY SPEAKER (Hon. L.R.S. Price)—It is a courtesy that the honourable member for Greenway thoroughly deserves. Before I put the question, I would like to draw to the attention of members that during the adjournment debate matters were raised that were directly being debated in the House. House of Representatives Practice is unclear on that matter. I propose to take that matter up with the Deputy Speaker and seek clarification.