DRUMMOYNE BOYS HIGH SCHOOL SITE
Mr J. H. MURRAY
(Drummoyne) [6.0]: I draw the attention of the House to a complete waste of taxpayers' money on a classic example of the failure of this Government's schools closure program, which has developed into a fiasco in the Drummoyne area. Honourable members will recall my protests in the past two and a half years against the Government's plans to close Drummoyne Boys High School. Unfortunately my pleas fell on deaf ears. Towards the end of 1989 it was announced that Drummoyne Boys High School would close at the end of 1990. At that time the proposed closure of the correspondence school and the decision to decentralise distance education was announced. As a former teacher I accepted those decisions. During that time a pamphlet entitled "Delivery Distance Education - New strategies to help children in New South Wales," which promoted the needs of country children and the benefits of distance eduction, was circulated. It was also announced that the
Open High School and the Learning Materials Production Centre would be relocated to the Drummoyne site.
The LMPC produces the leaflets used for distance education teaching and the Open High School offers students at both State and private schools throughout New South Wales the opportunity to study by correspondence a subject not available to them at their own schools. Drummoyne Boys High School was an excellent site for the relocation of these two entities because of its close proximity to public transport. Towards the end of 1990 Telecom began to install telephone cables at the site. The Public Works Department commenced its internal alterations. Obviously a large sum of money would have been spent arranging to let tenders for the work involved in providing communications and the general requirements to conduct distance education. Plans were also prepared, obviously at a significant cost because builders sheds and compounds were erected in the playground area of the high school. Preliminary work was undertaken prior to commencing work on building alterations and refurbishment. However, plans for the LMPC and the OHS were put on hold in late 1991. This month an announcement was made that both the LMPC and the OHS would not be located at Drummoyne Boys High School but instead would be relocated to a site at Smalls Road, Ryde, which I understand is currently the Curriculum Resource Centre - formally Ryde High School. The Drummoyne site would be a more accessible and perfect site.
My purpose in raising this matter is to inform the House and the people of Drummoyne that vast sums of money have been wasted on a project which involved the closure of Drummoyne Boys High School and the proposed relocation of the correspondence school to this particular site. The Government has now applied to Drummoyne council to have the site rezoned medium and high density. The Government is seeking to rezone a 2A area, which has a high school located within it, to a high-rise medium-density area, which is environmentally and aesthetically inappropriate. To its credit, the Liberal-controlled council rejected this proposal outright. It was rejected by all factions of the council. The council is echoing the wishes of local residents. To that end I have been approached to contact the Teachers Federation which has indicated that it will, through the Labor Council, place a green ban on the site. I support that proposal because that public asset should be used for education.
Mr ACTING-SPEAKER (Mr Tink):
Order! The honourable member has exhausted his time for speaking.
Private members' statements noted.
[Mr Acting-Speaker (Mr Tink) left the chair at 6.5 p.m. The House resumed at 7.30 p.m