21 June 2017
Tamara Smith, Greens Education spokesperson and Member for Ballina today welcomed the NSW Budget announcement of $4.2 billion spending on education infrastructure.
“The Budget funding includes money for finally upgrading Byron Bay Public School, an issue that the Greens and I campaigned on and which is badly needed by the Byron Bay community,” said Ms Smith.
The funding aims to provide 1,500 new classrooms and 32,000 student places. More than 120 schools will be built or upgraded, including upgrades to Lennox Head Public School and to Byron Bay Public School.
“The $100 annual ‘Active Kids rebate’ vouchers to be introduced from 1 January 2018 will also be very welcome for parents of school-aged children, to help pay for the cost of after school and weekend sport.”
“Sadly there was very little about the environment or climate change in this Budget.”
“The Greens would have preferred to have seen a commitment to clean energy and funding to continue to encourage the growth of solar power in particular with better rates for people who generate clean energy.
“While the government is giving an extra $800,000 to koala conservation projects, many more koalas have been put at risk through the government’s recent land clearing legislation that could lead to massive habitat loss for koalas.
“That is why the Greens will introduce a bill to repeal the Local Land Services Amendment Bill 2016 and the Biodiversity Conservation Act 2016. The bill will seek to roll back the land clearing laws and put the Native Vegetation act system back in place,” said Ms Smith.