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Tweed Shire Council objects to Murwillumbah mega-school plan
The Tweed Shire Council has formally objected to the development application for the controversial Murwillumbah Education Campus.
In October 2020, the State Government announced the closure of two primary schools and two high schools to be replaced by a mega-school on the existing Murwillumbah High School site.
NSW Teachers Federation Deputy President Henry Rajendra said the union is vehemently opposed to the closure and amalgamation of Murwillumbah’s public schools for this ill-thought-out project.
“We have rejected this misguided government plan from the day it was first proposed.
“Now, a new Tweed Shire Council report has said that there is a serious lack of detail and even ‘flouting’ of Council requirements in the mega-school's development application,” he said.
Some of the issues identified include inadequate playing fields and indoor sporting facilities; a lack of shading for students; a 90 space shortfall in car parking spaces, which would put serious pressure on surrounding streets; an incomplete bushfire management plan; and a flood impact assessment with vague wording.
“The issues raised by the Council are in addition to the staffing cuts that will result when the schools are amalgamated. Primary school provision will, at a minimum, lose a classroom teacher, up to two assistant principal positions, a principal position and a reduction in teacher-librarian staffing,” said Mr Rajendra.
“The situation is far worse for high-school staffing. It is predicted that at least 16 positions, 20 per cent of the teacher staffing entitlement, will be cut including classroom, head teacher, teacher-librarian, careers adviser and principal positions.
“Ultimately, this will narrow the curriculum, leave students with fewer subjects to consider, and increase class sizes and the workload of teachers.
“The public education provision for the citizens of Murwillumbah is under attack,” added Mr Rajendra.
“We call on the NSW Government to bring this whole matter to an immediate halt and engage with local parents and teachers and permanently protect the staffing entitlement for the existing schools. It would be the decent and respectful thing to do. Our children deserve better treatment than this,” he said.
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