It’s officially ‘b-day’ for New South Wales – that is, budget day.
Our local member Kevin Anderson’s identified roads and education as being top of his wishlist for the Tamworth electorate.
Seems he’s going to get his wish on education at least.
Tamworth Public School and Farrer Memorial Agricultural High School will share in this latest windfall.
The state government is investing $4.2 billion to upgrade and build new schools over the next four years.
With new classrooms and learning centres on the agenda locally, there’ll be smiles all round.
With all the hoopla over Gonski 2.0 at a federal level – it’s nice to see some positive reinforcement.
It’s hard to see the wood for the trees over funding for school maintenance backlogs – successive governments will have to bear that cross – but at least there seems to be a genuine attempt to make a difference.
The recent announcement of $5.4 million to address some of the backlog at our local schools couldn’t have come at a better time – well, it could have come sooner – but still.
The government says it’s planning for an additional 164,000 students in our state’s schools by 2031, including growth in regional areas.
Tamworth will no doubt play its part.
At Tamworth Public School alone there’s already almost a thousand students.
So it’s no surprise there’s a desperate need for more permanent teaching spaces.
The news for Farrer is just as good – where money will be spent on a new technology unit – and dorms will be upgraded.
The work – according to Principal Clint Gallagher – a long time coming.
Sarah Mitchell, the Assistant Minister for Education probably summed it up best when she said: “This isn’t just an investment in bricks and mortar, this is an investment in the next generation and the generations to come”.
She’s right of course, we can’t afford to drop the ball on this.
As for whatever else the budget might contain this time around, affordable housing, health, and law and order have all emerged as ‘usual suspects’.
So despite all the pre-budget reveals – there’s probably a nice little surprise in there somewhere – good or bad!
Guess we’ll just have to wait and see what today brings.