Barry O’Farrell spruces up Macquarie Street while local schools suffer

Blacktown MPs today demanded Barry O’Farrell cancel a planned $10 million upgrade of Parliament House in the city and re-direct the money to local schools.

It has been revealed that Barry O’Farrell plans to revamp Parliament House in Macquarie Street – building a new office block in a roof top garden at a cost of $10 million.

Greenway MP, Michelle Rowland called on the NSW Liberals to stop spending money on buildings in the city when schools and TAFEs in Western Sydney are suffering massive funding cuts.

“It’s appalling that politicians are spending $10 million to revamp Parliament House when they’re slashing $1.7 billion from schools and TAFEs and taking the axe to local health services,” Ms Rowland said.

“They’ve got their priorities completely wrong.

“That’s why I am calling on Barry O’Farrell to reverse his decision to allow $10 million to be wasted on a new office block for politicians in Macquarie Street and invest that money in local schools.”

Chifley MP, Ed Husic said the $10 million wasted on office buildings in Macquarie Street would pay for:
•         124 teachers;
•         233 teachers’ aides;
•         Almost 4,000 class sets of science text books;
•         3,500 electronic whiteboards;
•         35,000 separate classes undertaking swimming lessons; and
•         5,000 class excursions.

Mr Husic said that these savage cuts to schools were a curtain raiser to what Tony Abbott would do if he was elected.

“State Liberal Government cuts to education could short-change NSW schools stand to lose $650 million over four years from 2014 under current school funding arrangements,” Mr Husic said.

“That’s an average cut of about $580 for every student in NSW.

“The Gillard Labor Government thinks this is unfair.

“We want to change the school funding system so it delivers more funding for NSW schools and students – not less.

“But Tony Abbott and the Liberals are saying no. The Liberals destructive negativity will hurt our local schools.”


** Joint media release
Michelle Rowland MP
Federal Member for Greenway

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Ed Husic MP
Federal Labor Member for Chifley

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