14 February 2023

Labor promises one new, one expanded, high school for Googong and Jerrabomberra by 2027

| Claire Fenwicke
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Labor Monaro candidate Terry Campese (right) was joined by Labor Deputy Leader Prue Car (third from left) and excited Jerrabomberra locals to announce their new high school will be expanded within four years if Labor wins the state election. Photo: Claire Fenwicke.

Googong will have a new public high school, while Jerrabomberra will see its new facility expanded, within four years if Labor wins the upcoming state election.

The promises were made by Labor Monaro candidate Terry Campese and Labor Deputy Leader Prue Car on Monday (23 January).

The Opposition has pledged to have those commitments delivered by 2027.

“Googong’s [school has] been estimated at about $80 million and for Jerrabomberra the expansion’s for $40m, so that’s been put aside to deliver in the first term,” Mr Campese said.

Labor’s plan for the Googong High School would see it cater to 700 students originally, and be master-planned to accommodate up to 2000.

It plans to expand the Jerrabomberra High School to cater to 1000 children.

Mr Campese said if he were elected, he would consult School Infrastructure NSW and the Department of Education to ensure school planning and design guidelines matched community expectations.

Ms Car said both projects were important as the Jerrabomberra High School expansion would make it “actually fit for purpose”, while the Googong commitment would finally deliver a public high school to a community that was already eight years old.

“This community will get a Jerrabomberra high school that is big enough for Jerrabomberra, and a Googong high school for a community that has been neglected by this Government and has had to fight for basic services like schools in their own community,” she said.

“It’s the Government’s job to provide for the fact that every child should be able to go to their local public high school in their own town.”

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Community advocates in Googong and Jerrabomberra have welcomed the firm budgetary and timeline commitments from NSW Labor.

Googong Public School P&C president Candice Cox said the land identified by both the Labor and Nationals/Liberal governments for the public high schools had been part of the town’s master plan for the past 10 years.

“Having this actual commitment to build is what’s important,” she said.

“Googong has been absolutely crying out for school infrastructure, so it’s really exciting that the public school is almost complete now, but even more exciting that Labor is committing to build a Googong High School under a Minns Labor government.”

Jerrabomberra Public School P&C president Kylie Prescott said the community had always needed a larger school with the facilities they believed they deserved.

“We expect an expanded school to include more resources and more facilities for our children, we were really surprised to learn that a brand new high school for 500 students would have only one science lab, it just seems crazy,” she said.

“We would expect that the expanded school for up to 1000 students would provide not only more science labs, but more technology and more opportunities for our kids to do the courses that they like that are going to get them ready for jobs of the future.”

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Monaro MP Nichole Overall previously announced the same parcel of Googong land had been earmarked for a public high school.

However, no budget or timeline has been committed to, as the Government is waiting for other processes to be completed first.

“[The land] is not as yet acquired because there is a process that is gone through in order to reach that threshold of certain block lots that have to be released in order to acquire the land. That probably won’t occur until the end of this year,” Ms Overall said.

“Once that has happened, then we can have discussions toward what comes next for the future.

“It’s not just a glib promise about saying that the area needs a new high school, obviously as it continues to develop we know that will be the case, and we will also be looking towards how that will be provided for into the future.”

She also highlighted the $420m in education infrastructure the current State Government had provided to the Monaro region in the past decade, including six new or upgraded schools in the past four years.

“Developing new infrastructure like that, at that sort of rate and that type of investment in our communities, doesn’t come easily, and it hasn’t been easy, it has been a challenge,” Ms Overall said.

“But I’ve done everything I possibly can to make sure that we can see these commitments for our communities realised.”

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