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7 November 2001

$2.7 million facilities open at Lightning Ridge Central School

Education and training opportunities in Lightning Ridge are increasing with the multi-million-dollar redevelopment of the town's central school, Education and Training Minister, John Aquilina, said last Thursday, November 1.

Opening the $2.7 million first stage of the Lightning Ridge Central School redevelopment, Mr Aquilina said planning was underway for the $3.9 million second stage, $2 million of which will be spent this financial year.

"The benefit of this major investment in rural education is evidenced by students in the school's first Higher School Certificate class who are currently sitting their exams," Mr Aquilina said. "Facilities like those opened today mean senior students can continue to study in Lightning Ridge without having to travel to bigger towns and cities for their secondary schooling.

"Those studying vocational education and training subjects such as Hospitality and Metals and Engineering for their Higher School Certificate now have access to industry-standard facilities at school.

"The staged redevelopment of Lightning Ridge Central School is part of the Carr Labor Government's commitment to students in isolated areas of the state.

"It is important that rural school students and adult learners have the same education and training opportunities as their city counterparts.

"New Design and Technology, Home Economics and Industrial Arts facilities opened today give Lightning Ridge students and adult learners access to state-of-the-art vocational education facilities."

Many of the school's Year 12 students completed their vocational education studies in the new facilities that were developed in partnership with the TAFE NSW Western Institute to meet industry standards.

"The completion of the first stage of the upgrade is an important time in the development of Lightning Ridge Central School," Mr Aquilina said.

"I thank the people of Lightning Ridge for their enthusiastic support of the school's transition from a primary school to a Kindergarten to Year 12 central school.

"The community's commitment to the project and its fundraising efforts will bring world-class education and training opportunities to the area for years to come." The $3.9 million second stage of the project will provide a permanent library, canteen, gymnasium and staff facilities.

Mr Aquilina congratulated the school on its outstanding music program, and Year 2 students Patrick Small and Callum Thompson, for being selected to perform at the 2001 Schools Spectacular in Sydney earlier this year.

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