By NSW Premier Mike Baird @MikeBairdMP
This year’s NSW Budget will deliver on the commitments the NSW Liberals & Nationals took to voters three months ago. As the Treasurer makes her final changes we have already announced three new schools will be built in Western Sydney to cater for the region’s growing population.
I can confirm more than $450 million has been committed for NSW public schools in this year’s budget – a 27 per cent funding increase – and the Old Kings School heritage site will become one of three new schools to be built in Parramatta.
The new primary school at the Old Kings School site will cost more than $30 million to build and adds to our plans to redevelop the Arthur Phillip High School and Parramatta Public School sites. The new primary school on the Old Kings School site will provide accommodation for up to 1000 kindergarten to year six students, and all three schools will cater for up to 4000 students.
The reuse of this unique Parramatta heritage site as a new public school will greatly assist in meeting the anticipated growth and future demand around the Parramatta city centre and will comprise 40 classrooms, a library, hall and administration building. It’s proposed that the school hall and the oval will be shared with the local arts group and the public, when not being used for school purposes once it opens in 2017.
Earlier this year we committed $100 million towards two new schools in Parramatta from the $1 billion Rebuilding NSW Schools Fund that will provide up to 1,600 new or refurbished classrooms and learning spaces across NSW.
We’re developing these schools to assist the growing community of Parramatta and ensure the region becomes a key education hub.
Also in Parramatta, I’m pleased to announce the dates of this year’s much-anticipated Parramasala Festival, which attracts more than 50,000 people each year.
This year’s event celebrating Indian and South Asian customs, traditions and cuisines will be held from Friday 16 October to Sunday 18 October in Parramatta and will be celebrated in
conjunction with the inaugural Indian Tourism Week, announced by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his visit to Australia last year.
Mr Modi became the first Indian leader to visit our nation in almost 30 years and we’re delighted to continue strengthening diplomatic relations with India through events that celebrate our cultural ties, such as Parramasala.
In other news, I was very pleased with the signing of the new China Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA) in Canberra this week.
China is our largest trading partner – annual trade between NSW and China is worth more than $30 billion and is growing – and this deal will open up great opportunities for NSW businesses. The relationship between the NSW Government and China has been developing over the past 12 months and this agreement complements our efforts to date. I commend the Commonwealth Government for brokering this deal and look forward to assisting NSW businesses take full advantage of this great opportunity.
Finally, I would like to congratulate all the finalists of this year’s Premier’s Multicultural Media Awards and would like to wish everyone the best of luck on Awards night next week.