19.1 C
Byron Shire
March 7, 2021

Is TAFE NSW planning to build a learning centre on Byron High’s playing fields?

Latest News

Byron carjacker and stolen vehicle still not found

Police say that a man carjacked a 17-year-old in Byron Bay just before midnight on Friday.

Other News

‘Groundhog Day’ shifts Splendour to November

Splendour in the Grass 2021 organisers say that Groundhog Day jokes aside, the festival will be rescheduled for a late spring edition, from Friday 19 to Sunday 21 November.

PM forced

Narelle Rendalls, Ballina With reference to the recent serious sexual assault allegations in Canberra, our Prime Minister has a lot to...

Democracy

Jo Faith, Newtown Thank you all at The Echo for upholding independent journalism. For readers and activists concerned about the demise...

Cartoon of the week – 3 March, 2021

We love to receive letters, but not every letter will be published; the publication of letters is at the discretion of the online and print letters editors.

Brunswick Heads marina berths to increase

Questions remain unanswered around a press release from Nationals MLC Ben Franklin’s office regarding a $2.8 million upgrade to...

Action on Cumbalum Interchange at Ballina?

Following multiple community requests, Cr Phillip Meehan brought a motion to the last Ballina Council meeting calling for additional ramps to be built at the Cumbalum-Pacific Motorway interchange.

Paul Bibby

Parents at Byron High School are concerned that TAFE NSW may be considering building a learning centre on the school’s playing fields if its plan to locate the facility in the Byron Industrial Estate falls through.

The issue emerged at last week’s Byron Council meeting, when the Secretary of the school’s P&C, Sarah Aldridge, spoke during public access.

Byron Bay High School. Photo courtesy Byron Bay High School

‘I believe you’re aware that TAFE is looking at building a connective learning centre on the playing fields at Byron, Ms Aldridge said.’

‘The P&C are yet to find anyone who thinks this is a good idea’.

‘The school and P&C welcome a TAFE in the Shire, and the increase in use facilities. We do not believe, however, that it should be at the expense of the school’s sporting facilities.’

It was more than a year ago when TAFE NSW first expressed an interest in building a Connected Learning Centre – a digitally-focused facility specifically designed for those learning in regional areas.

Previous Council meetings have heard that TAFE’s preferred location for the centre is a piece of Council-owned land in the Byron Industrial Estate known as Lot 12.

It appears that this option remains firmly on the table, as evidenced by a motion in relation to Lot 12 passed by Council at last week’s meeting.

That motion, which formally selected a company as the preferred option for management of Lot 12, made specific reference to TAFE as a future tenant on the site.

It specified that among the issues that Byron Council would enter into negotiation over with the company – Creative Capital Company – prior to signing a deal, was accommodating the delivery of the TAFE facility by 2022.

The motion also requested that ‘a report be brought to the December meeting of Council outlining the process of delivery of the TAFE NSW Connected Learning Centre in the location proposed within the Creative Capital expression of interest, including the details of the proposed lease agreements for approval’.

However, last Thursday’s meeting heard that, in addition to its discussions with Council to build a facility to Lot 12, TAFE NSW has been quietly scouting out the Byron High School site.

‘TAFE has a proposal for the school site,’ Ms Aldrige told the meeting.

‘A couple of weeks ago, they flew a team up from Sydney to continue their plans, including doing a two-day land survey.

‘The head of TAFE is meeting with the principal tomorrow.’

The P&C strongly supports the Lot 12 option, acknowledging the benefits of for youth across the Shire at having such a facility in a central location.

Thursday’s motion, which followed Ms Aldridge’s motion, appeared to be an attempt to shore up the deal with TAFE for the Lot 12 site.

However, the exact motivation remains a mystery, as the discussion which led to this motion was conducted behind closed doors, after councillors voted to move into confidential session.

At least one councillor, independent Basil Cameron, objected to this part of the meeting being closed to the public.

He initiated a debate on the topic of confidentiality, but the live stream of the meeting was terminated prior to this discussion, leaving the public in the dark in terms of what unfolded.


Support The Echo

Keeping the community together and the community voice loud and clear is what The Echo is about. More than ever we need your help to keep this voice alive and thriving in the community.

Like all businesses we are struggling to keep food on the table of all our local and hard working journalists, artists, sales, delivery and drudges who keep the news coming out to you both in the newspaper and online. If you can spare a few dollars a week – or maybe more – we would appreciate all the support you are able to give to keep the voice of independent, local journalism alive.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Man arrested after shots fired in Dunoon

A police report says a 63-year-old man man has been arrested following multiple public place shots fired overnight.

Police operation Billinudgel Nature Reserve

Gary Opit, Brunswick Heads On 22 February residents on Jones Road noticed a major police operation with officers from eight police cars and associated dogs entering...

Thanks David Gile – but on Musk

Robin Harrison, Binna Burra I want to thank David Gilet for his appreciation of the thoughts I’ve shared here. It’s very welcome as I’ve been equally...

Parking permits

Liz Levy, Suffolk Park Why has Byron Shire Council decided to impose a layer of digital tyranny for residents wishing to renew their locals parking permit? Attempting...