Tuesday 08 March, 2016

Mr TARZIA (Hartley) (16:59): I rise today to speak about a specific issue in my electorate, namely East Marden Primary School. In the past I have brought this house's attention to the state of some of the facilities at East Marden Primary School in Campbelltown in my electorate. East Marden primary is an outstanding school. It has an excellent culture, it has exceptional results and, not only that, a supportive teaching group and a tireless governing council in support as well.

In regard to the enrolment numbers at the school, I have been recently advised that, as at early March 2016, the school had official enrolment number figures of 685, including 321 in the junior primary and 364 in the primary years. It is also expected that more enrolments will follow this year. I note that the school continues to have inquiries from parents regarding future available places.

The state Labor government has not delivered East Marden Primary School with the facilities that it needs to give our students the best learning environment possible. Why do I say that? Current enrolments display a sharp increase from previous years for many reasons, and I have the figures here in front of me. Obviously, the popularity of the school is a part of these reasons; however, there are also other factors. One only has to look at the increased density being pushed by this government in Campbelltown and nearby areas. With the increased demand for schooling, the state government must—and it has a clear obligation to—increase funding to this school for what are badly needed facility improvements.

This school has many functional needs. It is doing an exceptional job with the facilities that it has but this government has a clear responsibility to this school to improve these facilities and improve these facilities fast. Extra classrooms must be given to East Marden Primary School. Extra toilets must also be given to East Marden Primary School. With the growth that the school has experienced, it goes without saying that more buildings and improved faculties are needed. Not only this, but greater space is also required for the administration of the school.

With the growth that the school has experienced, this is certainly needed. Currently, staff, parents and students do not have enough space and they require more space and they require more buildings. When you look at the size of the school and the size of the gym, it also goes without saying that this school requires a much larger gym to address the rapid increase in enrolments. Obviously a gym would serve many functions, not only for sport but also for music, performances and hosting functions when students and parents cannot meet outside because of weather, for example.

There are many buildings on site—and the government has had notice of this—where asbestos is present. Where those asbestos buildings are present, and they are dated, these buildings must be upgraded and replaced with state-of-the-art buildings. As the member for Hartley, I will continue to advocate for improved educational facilities to ensure that every child has the best learning opportunities possible in our local area.