Federal Labor Richmond MP Justine Elliot and state upper house ALP spokesperson for the north coast yesterday called on education minister Adrian Piccoli to commit to a timetable to the building of the long awaited Pottsville High School.
Tomorrow night Mr Piccoli will address a meeting of the Tweed Chamber of Commerce at the Tweed Heads Bowls Club and the MPs say it would be an opportune time to finally place a plan for the school on the drawing board.
In February Metricon, developer of Pottsville’s Seabreeze estate, sought permission from Tweed Shire Council to convert the high school site, which it was obliged to retain when it received planning permission for the development, into housing blocks.
Council refused the request, citing growing pressure on surrounding high schools and increasing population in the town.
Pottsville community members have been trying to meet with the minister for two years to discuss the possibility of a high school on the site but he has yet to agree to a meeting.
The two MPs said in a joint statement yesterday, ‘Now that the O’Farrell government has finally agreed to talk to the Pottsville community, it is the duty of the local Tweed MP and the minister to spell out a timetable for the construction of a high school’.
The fast growing Tweed coast from Fingal to Pottsville is currently serviced by one high school at Kingscliff and students are travelling great distances.
But the education department has said that high school enrolment demand for students in the Pottsville area ‘has been relatively stable in recent years and shows there is not enough demographic demand to require another government secondary school on the Tweed coast’.
Mrs Elliot and Mr Secord say they have been raising the matter of Pottsville High School with the state government for several years. They also met a delegation of parents in Pottsville.
In October 2011, Mr Secord asked a question without notice in the parliament and, last June, he tabled a petition in the NSW parliament calling for a high school at Pottsville that is set to be tabled in parliament.