MEDIA RELEASE - Aitchison renews calls for Gillieston Public School upgrade

State Member for Maitland, Jenny Aitchison MP, moved a Notice of Motion in the NSW Parliament last week calling on the Liberal National Government to invest in school infrastructure and provide an urgent upgrade for Gillieston Public School.

Ms Aitchison recently invited Shadow Minister for Education, Prue Car to the electorate to see first-hand the significant pressure on local primary schools in Maitland due to the lack of investment despite rapidly growing housing developments.

"It simply is not good enough that over 200 local Maitland children are learning in a school with only two permanent buildings. It’s just not unacceptable,” Ms Aitchison said.

“They deserve to be learning in 21st-century permanent, flexible and innovative learning spaces.”

In July, Ms Aitchison visited Gillieston Public School with NSW Labor Leader Jodi McKay MP (pictured) to call on the Berejiklian/Barilaro Government to deliver an urgent upgrade.

Ms Aitchison continues to receive feedback and correspondence from concerned parents who are desperate for upgrades to the school.

“The Gillieston Heights area is one of the fastest-growing areas in Maitland yet its primary school is suffering serious neglect at the hands of the Liberal National Government,” Ms Aitchison said.

Ms Aitchison acknowledged her Notice of Motion two weeks ago had been successful in getting the Government to commit to start the Rutherford Public School library. The project, which was supposed to be completed with the rest of the upgrade, has been on hold as the Government failed to provide funding.

After meeting with P&C President Todd O’Mahoney and Secretary Nicholas Delaney the Government responded to Ms Aitchison’s call and advised that the project will now be delivered during 2021.

“It is farcical that the Government thinks it is acceptable to leave a big empty void in the school where the library was supposed to go, because they can’t commit the funding,” Ms Aitchison said. “With COVID-19 leaving so many people without work, the Government should be investing in shovel- ready projects like this right now to keep jobs in our region, and provide the infrastructure that students and teachers need.

“At least we have a 2021 date for Rutherford Public School’s Library, and I will continue to push for the Gillieston Public School upgrade.”

Ms Aitchison said she hopes her Notices of Motions will trigger Parliamentary debates in November to encourage the Government to do more to provide much needed infrastructure for Maitland schools.