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Byron Shire
May 22, 2024

Murwillumbah mega-school merger public meeting on Monday

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Murwillumbah High School, which was built in 1929, will morph into a mega-school combining two primary and the two local high schools onto the one site under the current Liberal-National government. File photo

Opposition to the merger of the four Murwillumbah Schools, which includes two primary and two high schools, remains strong. Monday will see Leader of the NSW opposition MP Chris Minns and local MP Janelle Saffin joining concerned parents, students and community members at a town hall meeting in Murwillumbah on Monday at 5.30pm to 7pm at the Murwillumbah Services Club, 10 Wollumbin Street, Murwillumbah. 

‘Our community remains committed to the fight to keep our schools open,’ said local parent and Murwillumbah East Public School (MEPS) P&C President Kylie Rose. 

‘We have been very vocal in our opposition to the forced closure and merger of our schools. We have spoken up and spoken out. Our children have spoken out. Our teachers, through the federation, have spoken out. All three levels of government have spoken out.’

‘The truth is the current government do not care what we have to say, in fact they have repeatedly refused calls to come here and listen to us.

‘It is abundantly clear that we can not change the government’s mind, so I guess, if we want to save our schools, we are just going to have to change the government,’ she said. 

NSW Labor have committed to listening to the community and not merging the four schools if they get in at the next election. With Ms Saffin further reaffirmed ‘NSW Labor’s commitment to keep Murwillumbah East Public School (MEPS), Wollumbin High School, Murwillumbah Public School and Murwillumbah High School open for the community into the future.’

DA fail

Ms Saffin has previously commented on the planning failures that are apparent in the mega-school merger, especially in relation to the Department of Education development application (DA). 

Ms Saffin said ‘Tweed Shire Council’s damning submission and formal objection to the Murwillumbah Education Campus development application, combined with the school communities’ concerns, should be enough for NSW Education Minister Sarah Mitchell to scrap the Government’s ill-advised plan and heavily invest in existing schools instead.

‘Some issues identified by Council include inadequate playing fields; indoor halls too small to be used as shared community spaces; a lack of shading for students; a 90-space shortfall in car parking spaces (which would put serious pressure on surrounding streets); and an incomplete bushfire management plan.

‘It all adds up to a half-baked plan which sells the local community short, prompting Tweed Mayor Cr Chris Cherry to say the State Government should be a ‘model applicant, but is flouting all of our requirements and at this stage is being anything but’.’

Government change needed

Ms Rose has pointed out that to keep their schools there needs to be a change of government. 

‘I commend Janelle Saffin and Chris Minns for giving our community this opportunity to come forward and have our views heard. I would urge our community to come forward, because the only way to save our schools is if Chris Minns becomes Premier of NSW next March.’


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4 COMMENTS

  1. This issue of the incumbent government not listening to the wishes of the community is so similar to the campaign waged for a decade & more to save the railway line for the shire’s future transport needs. Do politicians become hard of hearing when they are elected? Or are they only listening to the lobbyists who greased their palms? This merger of four schools into one mega-campus makes no sense. As Mayor Chris Cherry says it’s a half-baked plan. As is the rail trail project. On Monday this week in Burringbar, the community met with council staff representatives who could offer no answers to questions put to them regarding safety & security of private properties that the trail traverses. At this late stage in the project and they haven’t got all the details ironed out??? Another half-baked plan!

  2. It has really now become like a noxious weed or cane toad eradication program. Australia now finally united together against LNP Govt negligence and policy failure everywhere has said, “Enough is enough, no more on our watch”!The coming NSW State election will see the final extinction of the last remaining LNP Govt on mainland Australia, Everyone should seriously think about why this extinction event has happened? Not one Mainland State or federally will stand for any LNP Govt what so ever, lets all hope for everyones sake, especially our children, it’s permanent?

  3. What a lot of hogwash!
    The worst thing about the political activists is that it upsets and confuses all the students by shining a negative light on the school. They write negative stuff on Facebook for students to read too.
    I wish this community shared and looked at the positives for the sake of our childrens experience and beliefs, as they are the ones going through the change.
    I vote for labor but I can see through this BS.
    I also come from Shepparton VIC where labor had a shock announcement to close down 4 schools and to merge into one school. So Labor is no different!
    Come on community… share the positive stories and encouragement for the childrens sake.

  4. Simply abolish public schooling. It doesn’t work and having both parents working reduces wages. Home Schooling is the way of the future. It’s easier now than ever.

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