Member for Coffs Harbour, Andrew Fraser, said he had today written to the Minister for Education, the Hon Andrew Picolli MP, requesting him to ensure that the demountable classroom at Lowanna Public School remains.
Mr Fraser said that Lowanna School had received a new classroom under BER funding and as a result of this the Department of Education is about to remove a second demountable from the school.
“Having spoken with members of the school community at Lowanna I believe that it is imperative that this demountable is kept for the purposes of a classroom. It could also serve as a further classroom should the school expand into the future, which is highly likely. I was advised today that the school had a new enrolment today, which brings the total number of enrolled pupils to 25, which is one short of enabling the school to obtain another teacher,” Mr Fraser said.
“The cost of removing the classroom to the ‘demountable graveyard’ in Sydney would, in my opinion, be an absolute waste of money and the taxpayers of NSW would be better served if the classroom was retained.
“One of the greatest wastes of money I have seen under the previous Labor Government was the removal of demountable classrooms from schools when numbers fell, only for these demountables to be held in a paddock in Sydney. When pupil numbers increased a replacement classroom had to be found, usually sometime later, which created cramped conditions in these small schools in the meantime.
“The classrooms that have been removed are now in a state of disrepair which makes it uneconomical for them to be used at other schools.
“Currently, at Lowanna Public School the infants are in a very small room and if the demountable could be retained it could be utilised it for an infants classroom. With today’s additional enrolment, if another family with young children moves to the area in the near future, the school will definitely need another classroom.
“I would hope that the new Minister would instigate a fully investigation into the use and re-use of demountables to ensure that taxpayers are not further burdened with inappropriate management of State property,” Mr Fraser concluded.