ANXIOUS WAIT: Pottsville’s future high school students with campaigner Korinne Szandala.
ANXIOUS WAIT: Pottsville’s future high school students with campaigner Korinne Szandala. Nolan Verheij-Full

Stats unlikely to back Pottsville High calls, Provest warns

AS DEMOGRAPHERS pour over the most recent data from Tweed Shire school enrolments, Tweed MP Geoff Provest remains confident Pottsville will not have the numbers to warrant a new school.

This is despite consistent lobbying by Pottsville parents for a more conveniently located school, with some residents having to make a 45 minute trip to Kingscliff or Murwillumbah High Schools.

"I am waiting for the demographer to send back the report to the concerned people," Mr Provest said.

"(The demographer) was quite candid about the report and said it will probably not back up (the) argument (of campaigners)," he said.

The sentiment was echoed by NSW Education Minister Adrian Piccoli on August 31 when NSW Shadow North Coast Minister Walt Secord questioned the minister on the high school, in parliament.

Mr Piccoli refused to reconsider building a high school at Pottsville.

"What would make you change your position?" Mr Secord asked.

"The advice to me from the department is that enrolment numbers in the neighbouring high schools are not sufficient to warrant the construction of a new high school," Mr Piccoli responded.

"I would have to check, but I know about the request from parents having visited Pottsville Beach Public School a couple of times and met with the Parents and Citizens.

"They told me this issue had been raised and the member for Tweed, Geoff Provest, has raised it with me a number of times."

Mr Secord later accused Mr Provest of letting the Tweed community down.

"The residents of Pottsville and the Tweed put their faith in Nationals MP Geoff Provest and he has let them down time and time again.

"With a housing estate of more than 4,000 homes approved recently, Pottsville is in desperate need of a high school.

"Some school kids have to travel for more than two hours on bus to get to school in Murwillumbah, Kingscliff or Banora Point, yet Geoff Provest still thinks we don't need a school."

In response, Mr Provest said Mr Secord had taken up a "populist" issue.

He said the demographers full report will be available to the Tweed Daily News and Pottsville parents in the coming weeks.

"Whether (Pottsville parents) are going to be happy with that I don't know," Mr Provest said.

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