Government’s Hurlstone Farm sell-off to fund education budget shortfall

14 December 2015

The mismanagement of the education budget by the Minister of Education, Adrian Piccoli, has again been highlighted following a damming report which reveals the school maintenance backlog has soared to an average of more than $330,000 for every public school in the Macquarie Fields electorate and across the State.

According to the latest Auditor General report, the school maintenance backlog jumped by $195 million in 2014-2015 to a total $732 million.

Member for Macquarie Fields, Anoulack Chanthivong, said the Government’s proposed sell-off of the entire Hurlstone Farm to housing developers was a blatant cash grab to pay for years of neglect to our State’s public schools.

“Not only do schools throughout the State remain in a state of disrepair as a result of the budget blowout, but this Government is willing to feed into the pockets of greedy developers and destroy the last slice of green open space between Liverpool and Campbelltown. Once the green space is sold off, it will be gone forever,” Mr Chanthivong said.

“This Government also has the audacity to propose moving Hurlstone – an educational icon for our region steeped in heritage and academic merit – to Hawkesbury, robbing our kids of a future agricultural education at one of the best-performing schools in NSW.

“This appalling decision contradicts the Liberals’ own Bill introduced to Parliament back in 2009 to save Hurlstone and to protect its farm. Now, Piccoli is set to sell the Hurlstone Farm in an attempt to cover the Government’s callous cuts to the education budget and the disastrous rollout of its new computer management system.

“The amount of money spent by the Baird Government on the Learning Management Business Reform (LMBR) project continues to spiral out of control. Selling the Hurlstone Farm is not the solution. My campaign to save Hurlstone and protect our valuable green open space has only just begun,” Mr Chanthivong added.