Labor condemns NSW government's "ghost schools"

Oran Park High School opened at the beginning of this year after many years of planning. Picture: Simon Bennett
Oran Park High School opened at the beginning of this year after many years of planning. Picture: Simon Bennett

The state opposition has accused the Berejiklian government of failing parents and students by not building schools promised to Camden voters at the 2019 state election.

Catherine Fields Public School, Leppington Public School and Gledswood Hills Public School are among 116 schools yet to built by the NSW Government.

The Liberal government promised the proposed facilities to Camden voters during the 2019 state election.

The state government has not yet allocated any funds to build these schools; however, Camden MP Peter Sidgreaves says parents have nothing to be concerned about.

NSW Labor Leader Jodi McKay said the 116 "ghost schools" promised by the Liberals and Nationals still have no funding in the budget.

"[Premier] Gladys Berejiklian has failed parents and she's failed students," Ms McKay said.

"She can't let this race to the bottom in our schools continue.

"Gladys Berejiklian needs to set out a plan to rescue our schools from her failed leadership.

"It's bad enough that she's letting our students' results fall behind the rest of the world, that she has failed to deliver air-conditioning, and that there are 116 new schools and upgrades she promised that are nowhere to be seen."

Camden MP Peter Sidgreaves said he "completely rejects the statement referring to 'ghost schools'."

"Funding of projects are not allocated until the completion of the tender process and a contract is awarded," he said.

"This is done to ensure a competitive tender process is established.

"I would have thought the NSW [Labor] Leader and [opposition spokeswoman] for education would have known this or at least understood why these school projects do not have a dollar allocation in the budget."

The government originally promised Leppington and Catherine Fields public schools would be built back in the 2017 budget.

Mr Sidgreaves said the state government was committed to providing new and upgraded schools in Camden.

"This is evidenced by a new school (Yandelora) that opened in 2019, two new schools (Oran Park High School and Gledswood Hills Public School) and an upgraded school that opened this year, and current plans to build three new schools and upgrade another school over the next few years," he said.

"I understand that some parents and guardians may be frustrated that schools have not opened in the local area.

"I would like to reassure parents and guardians that the NSW Government has delivered new schools and will continue to do so over the next few years in Catherine Fields, Leppington and Gregory Hills as well as upgrading Harrington Park Public School.

"I will continue to ensure that these schools are progressing and further school locations are considered to ensure there are enough schools to cater the forecasted growth."

Catherine Fields Public School and the new Leppington Public School are expected to be completed in 2022.

The upgrade of Harrington Park Public School is also expected to be finished in early 2022.