NORTHERN RIVERS SCHOOL LAND FIRE EXPOSED BY LIBS/NATS

NORTHERN RIVERS SCHOOL LAND FIRE EXPOSED BY LIBS/NATS

16 July 2009

Acting NSW Opposition Leader Andrew Stoner and Thomas George MP today exposed the Rees Labor Government’s consideration of plans for a desperate fire sale of school land right across the State, including many throughout the Northern Rivers Region.

Documents obtained under Freedom of Information laws by the NSW Liberals & Nationals reveal that a staggering 690 public school sites are deemed as being larger than is required and therefore ready for possible sale by the State Government.

This figure equates to more than a quarter of the 2240 public schools in NSW and includes Barkers Vale Public School, Bonalbo Central School, Kadina High School, Lismore Public School, Murwillumbah East Public School, Murwillumbah High School, Richmond River High School, Wollumbin High School and Wyrallah Road Public School.

Working documents from the Department of Education and Training obtained through the Parliament have said that any public school site larger than three hectares and any high school site larger than six hectares is “deemed to be surplus” and ready for possible sale.

** CLICK HERE TO SEE THE FULL LIST OF SCHOOLS WITH ‘SURPLUS’ LAND **

Education Minister Verity Firth has today said she was unaware of the Departmental plans but has refused to rule out the sale of school land. She has not contested the fact the State Government is seeking more than $200 million in school land sales.

“Education Minister Verity Firth has failed to rule out that a lot of this land is going to be sold,” Mr George said.

“Verity Firth has tried to deny knowledge of these plans, but the fact is it was her own Department that created the plans to sell off large quantities of school land.

“Regions including the Lismore Electorate will not be spared, with over a quarter of NSW public schools having land deemed ‘surplus to requirements’.

“Nathan Rees must explain to the community why he has allowed the budget to slide into such a state that he needs to consider selling off school land in Port Macquarie,” Mrs Pavey said.

“Residents in the Northern Rivers deserve better than a secret plan for a fire sale of public school land to prop up the ailing State budget,” Mr George said.

Lismore Contact Details:

Office: 55 Carrington Street  LISMORE
Postal: PO Box 52  LISMORE  NSW  2480
Telephone: 02 6621 3624
Facsimile: 02 6622 1403
Email: lismore@parliament.nsw.gov.au

Murwillumbah Contact Details:

Telephone: 02 6672 7577