Labor promises Medowie a high school

CONFIDENT: Opposition leader Luke Foley with Labor candidate for Port Stephens Kate Washington at a press conference in Medowie on March 4. Picture: Ellie-Marie Watts
CONFIDENT: Opposition leader Luke Foley with Labor candidate for Port Stephens Kate Washington at a press conference in Medowie on March 4. Picture: Ellie-Marie Watts

MEDOWIE would get its first state high school under a newly elected Labor government, says Opposition Leader Luke Foley.

In a major announcement last week, Mr Foley revealed a new Labor government would build a $40 million high school on land in Ferodale Road, adjacent to Wirreanda Public.

He said if elected on March 28, a comprehensive year 7-12 high school would be delivered by Labor in the first term of government.

"The four primary schools in this area between them now host 1555 students. There's been a 12 per cent increase in primary school enrolments in the last five years. I believe the case has been proved beyond doubt that Medowie needs a high school."

Mr Foley said the $40 million will be needed to build modern education precincts that cater to working families and incorporate childcare or before and after-hours childcare.

"The high school that will be built here will cater to around 1000 students from Medowie."

The campaign for a public high school in Medowie has been a high priority for Labor candidate for Port Stephens Kate Washington.

Ms Washington said that the Medowie community had the student numbers to sustain a high school and Department of Education land had been available since 1983.

"Latest figures state there are up to 1000 high school students leaving Medowie every day . . . that number doubles when you include outlying areas such as Karuah, Salt Ash and Tanilba Bay," she said.

"Medowie students travel in all directions to go to high school - Newcastle, Raymond Terrace, Maitland and Nelson Bay.

"They travel long distances, over long hours, on buses without seatbelts, and for parents of children with disabilities or health issues, the absence of a local public high school really takes its toll."

Susan Patten is the mother of nine-year-old Nickolas, a year 4 student at Wirreanda Public.

"This is fantastic news. I had one son go through Wirreanda and onto Lambton high. The travelling time is atrocious," she said.

"Hopefully it will be up and running within two and a half years so Nickolas will one of the first to enrol in year 7."

Ms Washington said prior to the 2011 election the Liberal government had identified Medowie's need for a high school, committing to start the planning stage.

"This never happened. A new high school will happen under a Labor government."

Comments