Googong parent Candice Cox has already enrolled her son in a school at Queanbeyan on the assumption that the proposed new Googong Primary School won’t be opened as promised in term one of 2022.
Ms Cox said she is concerned by the wording of the latest media release from NSW Deputy Premier and Member for Monaro John Barilaro on Tuesday (15 September) regarding the delivery of the 33-classroom primary school by its projected timeline.
Ms Cox, who is also the president of the Googong Residents’ Association, told Region Media the wording of Mr Barilaro’s media release was ambiguous given there had been no consultation with the association regarding its repeated attempts to get assurances the school would be ready to open for term one in 2022.
“The next steps for the new school include the development of design, planning approval, and tenders for builders and delivery phase consultants, which will begin before the end of the year,” according to Mr Barilaro’s media release.
Ms Cox said it sounds like there is too much to be done in that timeframe, let alone having the school built and ready to open by 2022.
“I have a son due to start school in 2022 but have already enrolled him in Queanbeyan based on the assumption that Googong would not be open. I’m just hoping for the best at this point and that the Department of Education can work miracles that I’m not used to seeing with the speed of these projects,” Ms Cox said.
The initial plan for the school was made public in June 2018 when the NSW Government announced the approval and planning of a public primary school at Googong.
Googong’s developers Peet and Mirvac have also said there would be 1000 primary school-aged children ready to fill the school in 2020.
“We just need the tender to be released so that we can have some assurance the school will be ready on time,” Ms Cox said.
“The community really needs this school and it’s been in planning for two years now. We’re not confident the projected timeline will be met as they haven’t responded to our requests for information.
“The Googong Residents’ Association is really keen to hear some further detail around the timeline for this project as the community is really keen to see it built by 2022.”
Mr Barilaro said the new primary school will be delivered as part of the NSW Government’s job creation stimulus package, designed to boost economic activity across the state.
“This is an exciting project for Googong and surrounding communities – the new school will benefit generations of young students and help them reach their full potential,” Mr Barilaro said.
“Recently we undertook a community survey, where more than 390 locals took part. We’ve taken your feedback on board as we move ahead with the next step.
“I’m excited that we’re getting on and delivering this important project while providing a much-needed economic boost during these challenging times.”
Early works for the new primary school, which is being constructed at a site on Gorman Drive, next to the Googong North Village Centre car park, began earlier this year and the concept design has been completed.
Education Minister Sarah Mitchell also welcomed the news that the new Googong Primary School had been included in the stimulus package.
“I want every child in NSW, no matter where they live, to have access to excellent schools. I’m delighted to see the progress at Googong,” Ms Mitchell said.
The NSW Government is investing $6.7 billion over four years to deliver more than 190 new and upgraded schools to support communities across NSW, including a proposed high school at Bungendore.