Parents meet with Camden MP to fight for promised Gregory Hills Public School

Several parents attended Monday's meetingwith Camden MP Peter Sidgreaves despite the poor weather. Picture: Supplied
Several parents attended Monday's meetingwith Camden MP Peter Sidgreaves despite the poor weather. Picture: Supplied

Parents were hoping for some concrete answers from Camden MP Peter Sidgreaves about Gregory Hills Public School earlier this week.

However, after meeting with Mr Sidgreaves on Monday afternoon parents say they are no closer to a date for the long-awaited school to be built.

Gledswood Hills resident Hanna Braga organised the meeting.

She said Mr Sidgreaves told attendees that there would be 'no timeline' for the school until funds could be allocated in a budget.

"The 20/21 budget will be announced in three months so our best hopes is that it will appear then," Ms Braga said.

"He said once there is an allocation of budget we might have an idea of what type of school they could build and a timeline.

"It could be a permanent structure done in a few stages or modular like Leppington and Catherine Park.

"If it's modular it could essentially be fast-tracked and built within 12 months but we won't know anything until it is announced in the budget."

Mr Sidgreaves said the meeting gave him an opportunity to listen to the concerns and frustrations of parents and reassure them of his support and how important it was for this school to be built.

"In the past I have repeatedly raised my concerns regarding Gregory Hills Public School, including making representations to the Minister for Education and meeting with the Premier," he said on Tuesday.

"After listening to the parents at the meeting yesterday I will be speaking in Parliament in support of Gregory Hills Public school being delivered as a matter of priority."

Ms Braga said residents also handed Mr Sidgreaves a petition signed by more than 700 locals asking for the school to be built.

"We mentioned his statement from December 2020, that he doesn't believe there is an overcrowding problem in our schools, he said that the statement was out of context; and he doesn't believe that in terms of the number of children in a classroom and the recreational space in the schools that there is an overcrowding problem," she said.

"We brought up the fact that Gledswood Hills Public School sent home a note asking permission for the children to use the local reserves and grassed areas of the country club due to the lack of green space.

"This is something he was not aware of and asked to be forwarded the letter."

Gledswood Hills Public School has 12 demountables to cope with the influx of sudents.

The school is set to undergo upgrades which are expected to be completed in 2024.

"We asked what the plan is for next year at Gledswood Hills with two year 6 classes graduating, and an additional 250 kindy students starting," Ms Braga said.

"He said that they will be looking into how to accommodate more students next year."

Mr Sidgreaves said he had done "everything that is available to any Member of Parliament to secure funding for Gregory Hills Public School" at this time.

"The delivery of Gregory Hills Public School is one of my highest priorities," he said.

"I have also made representations to the minister for education relating highlighting the need for a high school in the growth area of Leppington, Denham Court, Gledswood Hills and Gregory Hills."

Ms Braga said she hoped to organise additional meetings with Mr Sidgreaves in future.