Labor representatives have hit out at the Minister for Education, Rob Stokes, and Minister for Early Childhood Education, Sarah Mitchell, after it was revealed the Government is pushing ahead with a controversial tender of Globe Wilkins Preschool just weeks before the NSW State election.
The future of the preschool has become a key local election issue, with Jo Haylen and NSW Labor committing to keep the much loved preschool open by building four modular classrooms to accommodate the preschool on the grounds of Wilkins Public School.
The Liberal Government has put down the accelerator on a restricted tender which leaves open the possibility a private operator will be handed public land to operate a private preschool.
The Government’s tender follows a strong community campaign by preschool parents to keep Globe Wilkins open and denies the community an opportunity to vote to save the preschool.
Ms Haylen has written to the Minister for Education demanding that the tender be halted until after the community has a say at the March election, and is calling on the Minister to match Labor’s commitment.
Quotes attributable to Jo Haylen, Member for Summer Hill
“The Government has sold off over $10 billion in public services and assets since 2011 and this decision shows that not even our local public schools are safe from their sell-off.
“It’s an absolute travesty that Rob Stokes would push ahead with a tender for the preschool when there is another viable option on the table that meets the needs of all the parties.
“The Government must stop this tender and let people have a say on the future of the preschool.”
Quotes attributable to Clr Darcy Byrne, Mayor Inner West Council
“This is the privatisation of public school land, pure and simple.
“The terms of the lease that the Government is putting forward are insulting and unworkable - this is all about shutting down the preschool.”
Quotes attributable to Clr Anna York, Inner West Council
“We have had an award-winning preschool operated by council in the best interests of the community for almost two decades - and then this government essentially turf us out - evidently in favour of a private company
“This decision by the Minister is a body blow to parents at Globe Preschool, who just want certainty about the future of their kids’ education.”
Quotes attributable to Clr Sam Iskandar, Inner West Council
“The community want to see our public services thrive, not sold off to the highest bidder behind closed doors.
“Families deserve better than being shut out of the decision about the future of their preschool.”