Edmondson park planning outrage

Call for urgent action: Macquarie Fields Anoulack Chanthivong, parents and children call for better infrastructure and more schools. Picture: Simon Bennett
Call for urgent action: Macquarie Fields Anoulack Chanthivong, parents and children call for better infrastructure and more schools. Picture: Simon Bennett

Residents are rallying for better family-friendly infrastructure at Edmondson Park with Macquarie Fields MP Anoulack Chanthivong calling for change.

More than six mothers have complained about infrastructure and were particularly concerned about the shortage of schools in the area.

“I’m upset with the planning by the government. They’re happy to get money from the people but when it comes to delivering the services they’re on the back benches,” mother of two, Chivani Singh said.

“They’re saying it’s a big project and will take time, but how about the students? Should they just skip five years of schooling and let the mothers take care of them at home or drop them seven kilometres from their home? Do they want us to depend on Centrelink too? When we don’t work we have to depend on the Centrelink. If they are creating new suburbs then they should also do something about the community.”

Mrs Singh and her family moved to the area two months ago but soon realised things were going to be difficult.

“We do not have swimming pools, schools, a community centre or even a library. They’ve named it Edmondson Park but there is no park. I’m new to the suburb but we find it difficult. My eldest is four-and-a-half and the youngest is one. The eldest is enrolled in school now but we couldn’t get her into any of the public schools so she ended up at a Catholic school which is a two-minute walk from my house. So it’s convenient but I’m not Catholic and not everyone can afford it. We’re Hindu and we’re open minded, but it wasn’t our ideal choice. My main point is the Government should provide the services.”

Another mother said she also felt she had little choice and enrolled her child in a private Catholic school, despite being Muslim. “I have two children – one in high school, one in primary. While there’s a private Catholic school we don’t mind but they told us our children will be learning about the Bible and I’m not Catholic,” Musfikar Rahman said.

“I have a job, my husband has a job and I have to put them in a childcare centre which costs more money. Then I have to pick them up so it takes a long time. It’s not enough for us and the homes in Edmondson Park are not cheap, they’re still very expensive. Day by day developers are increasing prices but they’re not providing services. We have one shopping centre but it’s closed at 6pm. It’s not very family-friendly.”

MP Mr Chanthivong has called on the Liberal Government to act urgently to fix these probllems in one of the fastest growing suburbs of Sydney where around 6000 new homes are earmarked for the suburb.

He said despite the suburb’s enormous growth, there is currently no public primary school or public high school to cater for the growing number of families moving to Edmondson Park each day and it will be years until local public schools open.

“Here are young families paying thousands of dollars in stamp duty to the Government only to find that when they move to Edmondson Park there are no local public schools. It’s typical of this Liberal Government to put greedy developers before the educational needs of residents in south west Sydney,” he said.

“Hurlstone Agricultural High School is another example, where we are set to lose one of our best schools and one of the only functioning urban farms in south west Sydney – all because of this Liberal Government’s love-affair with developers.

He said, adding to parents’ frustration is the fact that often the closest local public schools are deemed ‘out of area’ and parents have been told to enroll their children elsewhere – in some cases seven kilometres away.

“Parents are furious that local public schools did not form part of the early planning stages for Edmondson Park as the suburb takes shape. It’s reprehensible that many families are left scrambling to find a school when clearly this is a failure of the Liberal Government to plan for growth suburbs such as Edmondson Park.

“I call on the Government to act urgently to fix the schools crisis and put schools before stadiums.”


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