House debates

Monday, 10 September 2018

Statements by Members

Grayndler Electorate: Globe Wilkins Preschool

4:29 pm

Photo of Anthony AlbaneseAnthony Albanese (Grayndler, Australian Labor Party, Shadow Minister for Tourism) Share this | | Hansard source

I rise to express my solidarity with the more than 500 inner-west residents who gathered yesterday to protest against the New South Wales government's decision to close Globe Wilkins Preschool, located in my electorate. The school's been operating for over 20 years, from dedicated classrooms on the grounds of Wilkins Public School in Marrickville. It's one of only 20 preschools right across Australia to hold an Excellent rating awarded by the Australian Children's Education and Care Quality Authority.

There is a national perspective for this, because Globe kindergarten was relocated after the third runway was built, because it was deemed to be inappropriate to have a childcare school right under the flight path in its location in Marrickville. I've been informed that the level of care and quality of teaching at Globe Wilkins is second to none. The team of educators at the preschool are highly valued by children and parents for their dedication to their work and to the community.

The New South Wales education department has told them that, when the lease of their premises expires in 2019, Wilkins Public School will require the classrooms to return to school use during the day, which will result in the preschool's closure. Ironically, the New South Wales government has announced in its budget a commitment to increasing preschool numbers. You don't support early childhood education if you're closing a vital local community facility. The New South Wales government must reverse this decision.