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Monday, 21 February 2011
Page: 738

Ms ROWLAND (10:33 AM) —I wish to raise some important issues currently being experienced by residents in the suburb of Kellyville Ridge in my electorate of Greenway. Kellyville Ridge forms part of the important growth area in the northern region of Greenway, a landscape which I grew up knowing as little more than farmland and bush, adjacent to other new and near-new suburbs of The Ponds and Stanhope Gardens. It now comprises nearly 2,000 households and over 4,000 residents and continues to expand, bringing with it an increasing emphasis on access to essential services.

However, as I listen to local residents, they consistently highlight their frustration at the inability to secure two basic yet vitally important services—a local high school for their children and high-speed broadband services. The latter I have raised many times in this place as a real-life case study for the benefit of the National Broadband Network. Only a few weeks ago I held a mobile office in Kellyville Ridge on a Friday afternoon and, despite temperatures of over 35 degrees, scores of local residents turned up to discuss these important issues with me.

I share the concerns of Kellyville Ridge residents about the lack of a local high school. For many parents who settled in the suburbs 10 years ago, their children have now reached or are approaching high school age. The local primary schools—John Palmer Public School and Kellyville Ridge Public School—feed into Glenwood High School. This would not be a concern—it is an excellent high school—except for the fact that it has at least five other feeder primary schools. Last year over 1,300 students were enrolled at Glenwood High, and this number will only continue to grow as more children reach high school age and these suburbs expand.

I also appreciate the grievances of local parents in Kellyville Ridge on another level. They recall that when the land was first released, and for many years thereafter, a parcel of land was set aside for a high school and was signposted as the future site of a Kellyville Ridge high school. The reality is that many residents moved into Kellyville Ridge and its surrounding suburbs expecting that a high school would be built locally. I have been contacted by a huge number of discouraged parents who have tried to enrol their children in several other high schools. However, they tell me they have not been successful because they live outside the catchment areas of these schools. That is why I will assist local residents to make the case for the New South Wales government to build a new high school in Kellyville Ridge. I believe it is a very strong case, as demonstrated by the degree of community support. It is not an issue that I am prepared to brush aside as purely a state government matter and therefore not my problem. That is because it goes to the heart of what residents in west and north-west Sydney expect and deserve—quality service delivery from their local representatives who put the needs of their constituents first. That is what I am committed to doing on this issue for the people of Kellyville Ridge.