Labor is demanding the NSW Government abandon its plan to close four schools at Murwillumbah, forcing them into one location, a decision that’s angered the Far North Coast community.
The NSW Labor Leader Jodi McKay today visited Murwillumbah with Lismore MP Janelle Saffin and Richmond MP Justine Elliot. They met concerned staff and parents who said they weren’t consulted.
Under the Government’s plan, Murwillumbah Public School, Murwillumbah East Public School and Wollumbin High School will be forced to close and move into a single campus at Murwillumbah High School.
Department of Education documents reveal the amalgamation of the four schools in 2024 will change the staffing allocation and potentially displace dozens of teaching and support staff.
The closure of Murwillumbah East Public School also means the Government is dumping its election promise to upgrade the site.
Ms McKay said the Government is robbing future generations of quality public education by forcing four schools into one American-style mega-school.
“Labor wants to build schools and create jobs but the Government wants to close them and slash staff. This decision is a betrayal to this community and must be reversed,” Ms McKay said.
“I am here today to let the Murwillumbah community know that Labor is with you, we will fight this.”
Ms Saffin said: “The Murwillumbah community has been blindsided by a cruel cost-cutting decision. Building one mega school will impact on the quality of education, increase travel times and reduce green space. There is also a big question about what it will mean for local jobs.
“The Government must show some respect and halt the project until local parents and teachers are properly engaged. I am also seeking a guarantee that all current staff will be retained.”
Ms Elliot said: “These secret school closures are a shameful act by the Premier Gladys Berejiklian– she is selling out our children and selling out our community.
“North Coast Nationals MPs Geoff Provest and Ben Franklin have been plotting for months to forcibly close four local schools, cram students into one location and sell the other school sites. Our community wants the Government to scrap this proposal.”
The Shadow Minister for Education Prue Car added: “This plan was deliberately hatched in secret with absolutely no community consultation. The Government is breaking an election commitment and closing down beloved local schools against the community’s wishes.”