There’s no doubt that a whole range of infrastructure is needed for the northern suburbs, but the big question that nobody wants to answer is why has it all taken so long?
People in Estella have been asking for a school for years and it’s easy to see why. If you’re not putting your kids on a bus, you’re driving them over the Gobba Bridge twice a day, or going “over, under, around and through” the North Wagga rat-run.
So the Department of Education’s announcement that they’ll have a school up and running within three years is a great thing. But again, we return to the question of why it’s taken so long. And more importantly: What’s with all the secrecy.
You’d think politicians and bureaucrats would be falling all over themselves to make an announcement and earn some brownie points with the community. One can only imagine the timing of our continued pestering on the matter – in between election cycles – won’t deliver the most bang for the government’s buck.
According to several sources, the school will go next to Peter Hastie Oval at Charles Sturt University, so perhaps there are still details to be worked out before the location can be officially announced.
Still, with council’s approval of residential lots up on Cartwrights Hill last year and rumours of another 8000 residential lots planned for the other side of Coolamon Road, we might find ourselves with a full school before this one even opens.
Council’s tipping Wagga will have more than 80,000 residents within the next 20 years and the majority of them are likely to move in around the Estella area. An area, incidentally, that already has major issues with roads, not to mention the lack of a basic corner shop where you can buy a loaf of bread.
One would hope the powers-that-be would learn from Sydney’s growing pains and put us ahead of the curve before we get even bigger, because time is quickly running out for infrastructure to be upgraded before we’ll need more of it again. If the school goes in on Estella Road, you can be sure that Farrer Road and Pine Gully Road will both cop a lot more traffic, increasing the load on literally crumbling roads.
For years people in the north have been wondering when the old country roads around them will get treated like the significant arterial roads they’ve become. For years they’ve patiently waited for a supermarket. Now they wait for their school as well.