EDUCATION was one of the major issues candidates for the upcoming state election were asked to address on Thursday.
Four of Bathurst's six election hopefuls appeared at the Combined Pensioners and Superannuates Association (CPSA) candidate forum, which aimed to bring community members face-to-face with the people who want their votes.
Each candidate was allocated time to address the crowd about themselves, but the main focus of the event was the opportunity to put questions to the candidates.
The questions covered a broad spectrum of areas, including the sale of assets and health services, but there was emphasis on addressing the need for better education facilities in Bathurst.
Candidates were asked about their plans for demountable classrooms and what each one's position was on developing a third public high school in Bathurst.
Country Labor's Beau Riley said his party had already put forward plans to replace 1000 demountable classrooms within the next four years and said that a new high school was a must to solve crowding issues.
"My job would be to jump up and down, fight, talk, argue and scratch if I have to to get a new high school, and that would be a priority for me if elected," he said.
"A new high school for a growing Bathurst is a must. It's not discussed. We've heard plenty of talk about new roads, a new track - all worthwhile - but the students at the schools are going to suffer unless we open that school."
Both Mr Riley and Sustainable Australia candidate Michael Begg used the Denison College Bathurst campus as an example of a school "bursting at the seams".
"My daughter is in Year 11 at Bathurst High. The school is bursting at the seams, there is a lot of demountables," Mr Begg said.
"With Bathurst's growth approaching 40,000-odd, it is really high time we got a third high school so kids can have a quality education in a good environment."
Nationals Party candidate, and current state member, Paul Toole expressed his concern for schools nearing capacity and said the Department of Education was already closely monitoring enrollments at multiple schools in the electorate.
Also on education, Mr Riley pressured Mr Toole to confirm whether the land behind Eglinton Public School would be purchased to set aside for future expansion.
Mr Toole reaffirmed that there were discussions occurring between the Department of Education and the owner of the land.
"The owner has to sell it. You can't buy something that he doesn't actually sell, but they are talking to him about buying the land," he said.
Shooters, Fishers and Farmers candidate Brenden May took issue with Mr Toole saying discussions were occurring, saying there needed to be a resolution now.
"The reality is that education is one of our biggest assets, kids are our biggest assets," he said.