Tweed MP Geoff Provest’s commitment to deliver on a promise for a new high school in Pottsville has been called into question in state parliament.
Labor’s spokesperson for Tweed, Walt Secord, urged the state government to honour its commitment ‘as promised by Mr Provest’ to build a school ‘for the 305 students in Pottsville so that they do not have to travel for more than one hour by bus to attend high school’.
Mr Secord told parliament he had asked the question after the education department had ‘insisted that there was no promise to create a high school at Pottsville’.
‘We are talking about more than 300 students from the Pottsville area who have to travel to Kingscliff to go to high school. The community has strong views and believe they deserve their own high school.
‘It is also putting real pressure on Kingscliff High School. However, the Department of Education has thrown cold water on the plan. It is time for Tweed MP Mr Geoff Provest to stand up to the bureaucrats and start delivering for Pottsville,’ Mr Secord said.
In his pre-election ‘Tweed Action Plan’ Mr Provest made the commitment that the next school built in the Tweed would be a high school in Pottsville.
At a recent Pottsville Community Association meeting, he also promised to bring education minister Adrian Piccoli to Pottsville to meet with residents.
The department maintains that they are ‘constantly reviewing the educational needs of the Tweed’.
But community association member Troy Potter told media that the department should not expect parents to agree to putting their children on a bus for more than an hour to get to school.
Mr Potter said it was pointless waiting till existing schools reached capacity as it would take years to build a new high school.
‘Mr Provest needs to go in to bat for us,’ he said.
Mr Provest is overseas this week on parliamentary duties and could not be contacted for comment but a spokesperson told Echonetdaily he ‘won’t let go’ of the high school issue and was still ‘in discussions’ with the minister over it.
‘He’s also hopeful that the minister will visit here by the end of the year as the high school is on his list of things to get done,’ the spokesperson said.