Residents throughout the Bathurst region are calling for more education funding, and at Thursday’s Combined Pensioners and Superannuates Association (CPSA) candidate forum, Labor’s Beau Riley promised to deliver.
If elected, Mr Riley has promised to replace 1000 demountable classrooms over the next four years.
He has also made suggestions of the possible expansion of both primary and secondary schools throughout the Bathurst region, as schools continue to head towards enrolment capacity.
Speaking at the forum, which brought Bathurst residents a chance to question their candidates, Mr Riley addressed concerns Bathurst’s rapidly increasing population is creating an overcrowding issue in local schools.
He has promised a new high school in the Bathurst region will be a priority, if he wins the local election.
“A new high school for a growing Bathurst is a must. It’s not discussed. We’ve heard plenty of talk about new roads, a new track – all worthwhile – but the students at the schools are going to suffer unless we open that school,” he said.
Also present at the forum, Sustainable Australia candidate Michael Begg and Shooters, Fishers and Farmers candidate Brenden May joined Mr Riley in pressuring current member for Bathurst Paul Toole on local education issues.
Mr Begg whose daughter goes to Bathurst High said: “With Bathurst’s growth approaching 40,000-odd, it is really high time we got a third high school so kids can have a quality education in a good environment.”
Mr Riley’s other election pledges include lower electricity prices, increased support for working families, and the prevention of cuts to health services.
The Country Labor candidate has made education a key focus of his election campaign, promising to invest more into local schools and Tafe.