Jo Haylen MP, Member for Summer Hill, has expressed outrage that the West Street Petersham TAFE site has been left virtually empty following delays from the Department of Education in moving Open High School to the site.
The contentious consolidation of Petersham TAFE and the transfer of the site to Open High School was announced last year.
The relocation of Open High School from its current location at Randwick Primary School to Petersham was due to be completed by mid-2017.
Delays in moving to the site will result in:
- Open High School students being forced to deal with relocation in the middle of their HSC trials;
- An extended crush at Randwick Public School where Open High School is currently located; as well as
- The Petersham TAFE site being left underutilised despite surging enrolments at nearby schools, including neighbouring Petersham Public School which is at capacity.
Gallingly, a childcare centre was moved on from the site, leaving parents and kids without vital care. The centre has remained empty since and the Department has failed to commit to handing the childcare site over to Open High School as educational space when it does finally relocate.
$1.5 million has been allocated in this year’s budget for consolidation at the site, sparking questions from Ms Haylen about the delay.
Comments attributable to Jo Haylen MP, Member for Summer Hill:
“The closure of this campus was all about cost cutting, but it seems local families and residents are paying the price.
“An invaluable local education asset has been left empty while schools and child-care centres are at breaking point, with surging enrolments.
“Open High School was meant to have been established at the new site by mid-2017 and now the Minister needs to come clean about the reasons for the delay.
“It is completely unjustified that a child-care centre would have been closed and classrooms left vacant whilst the Department twiddles its thumbs.
“This is terrible planning that fails the people of the inner west, as well as students and staff from Open High School.”