NSW’s $6 billion schools investment overrun by immigration ponzi

By Leith van Onselen

NSW Education Minister, Rob Stokes, has talked-up the State Government’s $6 billion investment in NSW schools, which has been labelled woefully inadequate by an education expert and the Labor opposition. From The ABC:

Students across New South Wales head back to school in the next two weeks and about 9,000 of them will be walking into brand new schools and classrooms.

The six new and 11 renovated or upgraded schools are part of the NSW Government’s multi-billion-dollar strategy to ease the squeeze in overcrowded schools.

Education Minister Rob Stokes said the strategy is about future-proofing schools.

“We’re talking about a $6 billion spend over the next four years — bigger than we’ve ever seen in NSW,” he said.

“It provides a pipeline of new schools and upgrades right across NSW and it’s calibrated to where we know the growth is going to occur.

“These 17 projects … will add around 9,000 places for students across NSW and provide more than 400 new permanent classrooms.”

The Government’s total school infrastructure plan aims to eventually build 2,000 new classrooms across the state and create places for an additional 43,500 students.

But education policy analyst Blaise Joseph said the Government’s plan was “a very small step towards solving the long-term problem”.

“There’s going to be a massive increase in students going into public schools in NSW, especially in Sydney, and the problem needs to be solved soon otherwise there’s going to be lots of kids who can’t find schools,” said Mr Joseph, from the Centre for Independent Studies…

Labor Opposition spokesman, Jihad Dib, said the Government had failed NSW school students.

“In 2016 the Minister promised that he would deliver 12 new schools a year, in 2018 they opened two,” he said…

“As kids return to school next week there will still be a record number of kids sitting in demountables — more than we’ve ever had before.”

In 2016, the Grattan Institute estimated that NSW would require 213 new schools by 2026 to cope with a projected 175,000 (14%) surge in students:

ScreenHunter_11161 Jan. 22 08.29

Moreover, this schools requirement is only the tip of the iceberg given the ABS’ latest medium (Panel B) population projections have Sydney’s population ballooning by 94,000 people a year to 9.7 million people by 2066 – driven entirely by mass immigration:

Remember, Infrastructure Australia’s modelling shows that access to schools let alone hospitals, jobs, roads and green space will all decline as Sydney’s population balloons to a projected 7.4 million people by 2046 (let alone 9.7 million people by 2066, as projected by the ABS), irrespective of how Sydney builds-out:

All of this, yet again, highlights Australia’s dysfunctional population ponzi in action.

The federal government’s mass immigration ‘Big Australia’ policy has committed to a turbo-charged migrant intake ad infinitum:

And states like NSW and VIC – which take the lion’s share of migrants – are left to deal with the fallout, with residents’ amenity destroyed.

Former NSW Treasury boss, Percy Allen, had the right idea when he noted the following last April:

The Australian government is fiscally broke.  It’s running a huge budget deficit that is adding to its interest bill…

To alleviate demand pressure on social services, education and health the government should halve the permanent immigration intake.

To avoid any racist overtones the humanitarian component should be expanded. Significantly slowing Australia’s population growth would also reduce pressure on house prices, city congestion and stagnant wages.

Exactly. The NSW Government and Opposition must step-up pressure on the federal government and demand that it lower the immigration intake.

It must seek to remove the demand pressures causing the overcrowding in the first place.

[email protected]


Unconventional Economist
Latest posts by Unconventional Economist (see all)


  1. With the rapidly increasing automation in our society we are unlikely to need as many warm bodies for jobs.

    Mines, trucks, cars, taxis, coffee making, fast food will all be automated and more.

    The population ponzi is looking like madness on a grand scale with projections created by our prehistoric leaders. We are in desperate need of huge change.

    • The employment situation was dire in 2007. The fake Greens have simply imported unemployment since then. All foreign “students” should be deported within 12 months of graduating unless they get a $130k/year salary.

  2. “…To avoid any racist overtones the humanitarian component should be expanded..”

    No it shouldn’t.
    The Australian government have been running an imposed massive Asianisation immigration program into a European society for the past 40 odd years. That’s racist.
    It’s insane that we should increase the racism inherent in the total immigration program, by disproportionately increasing the Humanitarian program so we avoid being racist.
    The Humanitarian program consists approximately of 50% overseas resettlement places. ie.refugees from overseas camps.
    This part of the Humanitarian program, should be abandoned.
    The money spent on a ‘gold plated’ resettlement program here, would assist 6 times more refugees overseas, than the fawning, virtue signalling exercise of bringing them here.

    • Making sure everything going into a country is from ethical sources (i.e. not from slave labour, child labour, sustainable sources) would probably have a far greater impact that moving and rehousing.

      But we all know that is never going to happen, even the Australian government won’t stop money laundering into Australian real estate by including real estate agents, accountants and lawyers in the anti money laundering laws.

      Band aid solutions it is, while we all think we are so great, when really the root cause is far worse because so many things we use cause immense pain and suffering to those who can least afford anything like clean water, proper food and shelter.

    • Correct. We are only obliged to offer temporary protection. Those can apply for PR in a competitive manner based on English, professional skills and employment success in Australia.

  3. Are schools really that difficult to build?
    Do the buildings require technically advanced engineering that must be custom developed for each school?
    Do the fields require some sort of specially cultivated grass species
    Surely the cost per sqm for classrooms must be lower than the cost per sqm for houses? (if not why not?)
    So if we can afford to build houses to house all these new arrivals than why are we having problems creating the local infrastructure? (schools, hospitals, fire/police, roads….)
    I suspect the answer lies in our approach to the problem (intention to fail) and out-sized/privatized profits that flow from public infrastructure failure.

    • building schools for government is a job you want to keep – like Goose That Laid the Golden Eggs

    • Ronin8317MEMBER

      Over 300 million for a 17 storey high rise high school, taking 3 years to build. Not harder, just more lucrative for the builder.

      During the Rudd years, remember the Build the Education stimulus package? Schools get 1.1 million dollar plus to upgrade their buildings, those who did it themselves were able to upgrade school halls and build more classrooms. Public schools in NSW must go through the education department, and they got some demountable for their 1.1 million.

      • Exactly the profit is built into the process and is guaranteed to flow to the right pockets.
        Now what was the problem again

  4. in some high density inner city parts of sydney kids have much longer commutes (sometimes even travel more kms) to the school (even primary schools) than many kids living on farms in regional areas

    unbelievable – third world country style

    • Like the closure of our local high school in the Ryde area (Marsden High, set on a nice open land parcel with plenty of trees) so they can be battery farmed in Meadowbank probably 30min away at peak time.
      Hardly high rise area, but then I’m sure that’s whats going to happen to the land or the present water front netball fields that are supposed to be replacing it. Yep knocking down a highschool for netball fields….

      • Yeah, it’s kinda like I suggested above: Without a problem to solve there’d be no political value in solving this problem and absolutely no interest from the likes of Rob Stokes….just out of curiosity what ministerial position did he hold before becoming minister for Education? (ah googled it …Minister for Planning hmmm whodathunkit)
        know the enemy!

  5. There would not be such a problem if they had not sold off so many prime school sites a decade or so ago. Said they were “surplus”. Total unmitigated madness and the politicians responsible should be named and shamed. Here’s looking at you, China Bob.

    • Bob Carr, helping out his developer mates.
      From 2003
      “A few days out from election day in NSW, the chairman of Visy, billionaire Richard Pratt, said this: “I’m a capitalist. Capitalists can’t vote for Labor [but] I think voting for Bob Carr is a vote for industry and a vote for big business.”

      Bob Carr fronts a Government which has nothing to do with traditional Labor – the proof of which is the huge big business war chest of $12 million Labor used to promote its figurehead, Bob Carr, and Labor’s failure to deliver on transport, health and education for ordinary citizens. And big business, especially the developers who bankrolled Labor’s victory, will want results.”

  6. Labor Opposition spokesman, Jihad Dib…

    When the Labor Party appoints a spokesman named “Jihad” FFS, you know that we’re all stuffed.

  7. The NSW also needs to take responsibility for the ponzi. They can turn off the tap for free education for temporary migrants – or jack up the cost.

    They run the universities in NSW – they can cap foreign student numbers. (And probably at the same time mandate fingerprint scanning for all exams and assessments to weed out *some* of the cheats).

    They need to take accountability for what they can do rather than just play the COAG blame game.

  8. SchillersMEMBER

    NSWs population is expected to grow to 8 million by the end of this year. There are currently 1,488 schools in Sydney and 3,136 in total in NSW. With the state’s population increasing by approximately 110,000 every year, an increase of services, infrastructure and facilities of magnitude is required. 6 new and 11 renovated/upgraded schools is a complete joke and will barely touch the sides. With that level of population growth they need 40+ new schools (or the equivalent) each and every year. Plus a similar increase in the amount of parks, ovals and sporting stadiums and facilities.
    Anything less just diminishes the existing assets through more people.

  9. And what about the hospitals – ambulatory / outpatients, community, allied and associated executive / corporate / IT