By NSW Premier Mike Baird @MikeBairdMP
I officially opened the Spring Farm Public School in Sydney’s south west – my second school visit in as many weeks as the Government continues to invest in the state’s public education sector.
I was at Georges River Secondary College at Peakhurst during Education Week to talk to high school students about the changes we’re making to the Higher School Certificate, which will come into effect for students who will be in Year 12 in 2019.
This week, I was at Spring Farm Public, which is fitted with the latest technology, including interactive whiteboards and a wireless network to give teachers the resources they need to provide a high-quality teaching experience for students. The school cost $15 million and caters for up to 500 students, including those needing additional learning support. Those students will have access to four special education support classrooms.
We’re investing in new schools and classrooms to cater for population growth in newly developed suburbs such as Spring Farm. Families are choosing the region as the place to raise their children and we’re supporting that by investing in local schools and amenities.
In other news, a new education centre will be built at Taronga Zoo after receiving planning approval from the Department of Planning and Environment.
The zoo’s existing education facility will be demolished to make way for the new, three-storey Taronga Institute of Science and Learning, which will allow it to build on its world-leading education and research programs.
The $30 million institute will be built within the zoo and will support a range of learning programs for students of all ages, from kindergarten to PhD level, as well as visitors. It will be equipped with laboratories for research into animal welfare and conservation science, as well as themed classrooms to give school children a unique learning experience when they visit the zoo on school excursions.
When it opens in 2018, the institute will work closely with more than 10 universities to allow Taronga to increase its ability to undertake research that will benefit wildlife programs around the world. Construction work is scheduled to start in October this year.
Finally, part of the Luna Park site will be returned to the public and turned into a park after the Government reacquired the prominent waterfront site.
The clifftop site offers uninterrupted views of Sydney Harbour and will be converted into a public park for everyone to enjoy. The Government paid $3.2 million to reacquire the site from the operator of Luna Park, Luna Park Sydney.
Returning the site to the people of New South Wales will encourage more people to the area and allow them to enjoy new views of the harbour.
Property NSW will start development and planning work for the site, in consultation with Luna Park Sydney, and a development application is expected to be lodged in the coming months.