Pottsville Beach Public School has been promised a major $5 million upgrade to cater for up to 1,000 students if the coalition government is re-elected.
During a visit to the Tweed yesterday, education minister Adrian Piccoli visited the school with Tweed MP Geoff Provest to announce the commitment which to build a new multi-storey building with 10 classrooms, a library, a special programs room, sports stores and other student facilities.
Under the plan, the existing library will be converted into two classrooms and the administration block will be extended to provide extra staff facilities and a number of demountables will be removed from the site.
Mr Piccoli said the upgrade would help the school keep pace with increasing demand and boasted that its ‘investment at Pottsville alone is close to what Labor intends to spend replacing demountables across the entire state in one year’.
But Labor candidate for Tweed Ron Goodman slammed the announcement as a ‘stunt’ which ’will do nothing to distract focus away from the eight years of broken promises made by Geoff Provest to the residents and families of the Tweed Coast on the important issue of getting a high school built at Pottsville’.
Mr Goodman said the decision by the coalition to ‘instead spend $40m for a new high school in Ballina when that community has publicly rejected the need for one makes Geoff Provest’s betrayal of every family across our area even worse’.
Mr Provest said the coalition government had ‘invested over $9.1 million in public school capital works and maintenance in the Tweed electorate over the last four years’.
‘NSW was the first state to sign up to the Gonski reforms, an agreement which directs $5 billion to schools in NSW to support quality teaching and learning in classrooms across the state,’ Mr Provest said.
‘In 2015 alone, schools in the Ballina electorate have received $3.8 million in needs-based funding, which supports teaching and learning in every classroom,’ he said.
Mr Piccoli said his government has also announced funding for ‘694 additional permanent classroom spaces, reducing the need for demountables’.
It’s just ridiculous. Mr Provest plans to cater for 1000 kids at this one primary school in the vicinity, but refuses to even discuss a high school for the area? This issue has been dragging on almost two decades and the community is fed up. Pottsville is still a beautiful community but it’s no longer a sleepy tourist village. It is simply unethical to facilitate substantial development in the area and refuse to service it with basic infrastructure.