Generic School crossing
Generic School crossing

School building blitz could provide jobs in region: Saffin

THERE’S no time like the present to launch a major school building blitz to provide economic stimulus and create local jobs across Lismore, according to MP Janelle Saffin.

The previous Labor Federal Government implemented a program of building school halls during the Global Financial Crisis about a decade ago as part of its economic stimulus package.

“I encourage a bipartisan approach; that the NSW Coalition Government consider the NSW Labor Opposition’s project – Building Schools Creates Jobs – to kickstart construction of long overdue school upgrades – mainly extra demountable classrooms — in the Lismore Electorate,” Ms Saffin.

“Local school communities have been waiting years for these promised upgrades and now is the perfect time for the Government to finally start delivering, particularly with New South Wales in recession due to COVID-19.

“Hundreds of thousands of people are out of work or facing reduced hours or pay cuts, and we know the construction industry within months will be needing an economic stimulus to ride out this recession. Building new schools or upgrading existing ones is a no-brainer.”

Ms Saffin said she continued to push for construction start dates for two major upgrades:

  • Bexhill Public School (2019 election promise) – five new demountables.
  • Murwillumbah East Public School (2017-18 promise) – four replacement classrooms and a replacement library.

Other schools needing demountables include: Afterlee Public School 1, Caniaba Public School 1, Dorroughby Environmental Education Centre 1, The Rivers Secondary College Richmond River High Campus 2, The Rivers Secondary College Lismore High Campus 2, Wilson Park School Lismore 1, Woodenbong Central School 1, Wyrallah Public School 1, and Wyrallah Road Public School 3.

The government could also fast track promised air-conditioning upgrades for local schools under the Cooler Classrooms Program, with installation completed this winter in preparation for the summer months, Ms Saffin suggested.

Member for Lismore Janelle Saffin.
Member for Lismore Janelle Saffin.

Ms Saffin said by bringing forward these projects, the NSW Government could address overcrowding in the classroom, create local trades jobs in the short term, more teaching jobs in the long term, and offer better learning environments for students.

Meanwhile, Ms Saffin welcomed the NSW Government’s announcement that it will bring forward its promise of hiring 300 new crossing supervisors at schools across NSW following Opposition and community pressure through the NSW School Safety Survey.

Her office is contacting principals of local infants and primary schools to let them know that they can now apply for the remaining number of crossing supervisors under the NSW Centre for Road Safety’s School Crossing Supervisors Program.

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