Lifestyle

Pottsville school push boosted

THE push for a high school at Pottsville has been boosted with state Labor MP Walt Secord tabling a petition in the NSW Parliament.

Concerned parents and local residents have been fighting to have a high school built in the area for years and are calling on Tweed MP Geoff Provest to make it happen.

According to residents, the closest public high school at Kingscliff is already full and sending children to other schools in Tweed Heads and Murwillumbah will mean students spend up to two hours a day on public transport.

They are concerned population growth forecasts will only exacerbate the problem with new estates such as Seabreeze filling up on the outskirts of the town.

Mr Secord met with residents last month after Mr Provest fell short on a promise to bring education minister Adrian Piccoli to the town before Christmas 2011.

"The community has strong views and I believe they have a strong case for a high school," Mr Secord said.

"It is time that Tweed MP Geoff Provest honoured his promise to build a high school.

"It is time he stopped the excuses and started to act."

The petition requests the Department of Education complete a thorough investigation into the need for a high school in the Cabarita and Pottsville school catchment area, taking into account the 2011 census data, accurate high school and primary school enrolment figures and population growth forecasts.

Mr Provest has responded saying Mr Secord's comments indicate he is well and truly "behind the eight ball."

He said Tweed education forums chaired by Kingscliff High School principal Alan Tolley were due to begin soon with input from senior members of the education department and local P&Cs.

"He (Mr Secord) is not aware of what's happening in the area," Mr Provest said.

"I will get the time frame tomorrow for these education forums so we can have a look at education across the whole shire to see what is needed."

Mr Provest acknowledged a slight dip in first year enrolments this year which he attributed to "leakage to private schools."

He said long waiting lists for pre-schools in Kingscliff and Pottsville showed the dip in enrolments was not an indicator of future demand for high schools.

Topics:  education, geoff provest, high school, pottsville, walt secord


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