Murwillumbah High School year seven students Eva Tiffen, 12, and Jazmin Harris, 13, with Ben Franklin MLC and Education Minister Sarah Mitchell. Photo: Jessica Lamb
Murwillumbah High School year seven students Eva Tiffen, 12, and Jazmin Harris, 13, with Ben Franklin MLC and Education Minister Sarah Mitchell. Photo: Jessica Lamb

$100M super school ‘certain doom’ for education

TWEED SHIRE'S deputy mayor has wasted no time condemning the merger of four Murwillumbah schools to create a $100M super school.

The State Government revealed a four-year redevelopment plan yesterday to combine two local primary schools and two high schools in Murwillumbah on the 15-acre Murwillumbah High School campus.

Working quickly, the deputy mayor Cr Reece Byrnes submitted a motion to the council to try and reverse the decision.

He called the move "devastating for students, parents and teachers in the community" and claimed it would spell "certain doom for children's education in our shire".

<<READ MORE: BREAKING: $100M plan to combine education campuses>>

Cr Byrnes drew a line in the sand vowing any councillor who did not support the motion would "need to explain to the parents, students and teachers "why they support these cuts and closures".

If passed, the motion would mean the council condemned "in the strongest terms" the decision to "close all four schools in Murwillumbah and force them into one location" and write to the State Government to advocate for reversing the decision immediately.

Tweed MP Geoff Provest said misinformation about job losses and land sales was being spread despite assurances from the deputy premier and education Minister this was not the case.

<<READ MORE: Shock development plan raises questions about jobs, land>>

"No full time permanent staff will be losing their jobs and temporary school roles are dependant on the number of enrolments which I would envisage would increase in this new 21st century facility," he said.

"The deputy premier has committed to not selling the land and for a number of years we have been looking for an alternative site for the SES in Murwillumbah … and the council has been unsuccessful in locating another site so I would view a potential use would be a brand new SES headquarters."

Mr Provest also responded to statements from the Shadow Minister the North Coast.

"Now we know why the premier and the National Party have been stalling on replacing the library and classrooms lost at Murwillumbah East Public School in the floods," Adam Searle MLC said.

Mr Provest claimed talks between the school principal and the education department had been ongoing about whether it was appropriate to rebuild in the flood prone area for some time and the result was "about the best possible outcome for the students".

"Other schools' buildings are in need of repair and modernisation as well," Mr Provest added.