Independent Member for Murray Mrs Helen Dalton joined staff and students at Yanco Agricultural High School last week to celebrate what has been a long and hard fought battle, the start of works for the girls dorm upgrades at the school.
“For two decades the National Party did nothing about this issue allowing boarders to live in a sub-standard, Nauru-like detention centre like conditions,” she said.
“It’s a big win for students, staff and the community.”
Mrs Dalton has been a fierce advocate for the upgrade of the dangerous, cramped and run down dorms that had been neglected for 27 years.
She determinedly pursued former Minister for Education Sarah Mitchell to upgrade or replace the second hand demountables arguing they were not fit for purpose.
“It’s shameful that the former Education Minister did nothing about this for so long,” she said.
Immediately following this year’s March election, Mrs Dalton took the matter to the incoming Minister for Education Prue Car, who working with the Department of Education, has now delivered on Mrs Dalton’s commitment to rectify the problem.
“Yanco Agricultural High School is a fabulous school with great staff and students, they have long deserved better treatment and facilities than what they had,” she said.
Bulk earthworks, in-ground service works and tower crane installation in preparation for the construction of the new facilities has now begun.
The upgrade involves the construction of new accommodation facilities and improvements to existing buildings.
“A school that focuses on one of the key drivers of our economy, agriculture is vital,” Mrs Dalton said.
“Yanco is a standout when it comes to equipping our next generation of rural leaders and now with improved dormitory facilities it will make boarding a little less stressful and the learning process even better.
“It just shows how the power vote in rural NSW can motivate a Sydney government,” she added.
This article appeared in the Narrandera Argus, 13 July 2023.