The Guardian May 16, 2001

NSW Education: "Bungling the future"

Plans by the NSW Carr Labor Government to close five high schools and 
three primary schools in Sydney's inner suburbs, outlined in its "Building 
the Future" document, are running up against increasing teacher and 
community opposition. Last Saturday there was another rally and protest 
involving students, parents and teachers, this time beginning at Foley Park 
in the inner suburb of Glebe, and marching to the office of local MP Sandra 

Speakers included Beverly Baker, President of the Parents and Citizens' 
Association, Maree O'Halloran, Senior Vice-President of the NSW Teachers' 
Federation and Kelvin McQueen representing POPE (Promotion of Public 

Rick Beehag, Glebe P&C member, said: "We have organised a march and rally 
to express our opposition to changes planned by Minister for Massacres, 
Aquilina. Education in general, and our excellent local public high schools 
 Glebe, Balmain and Leichhardt  need and deserve our support.

"The State Government knows the answer to the current problems in inner 
city public schools but they put privatisation, real estate and support for 
private schools higher on the agenda."

The campaign against the planned closures includes rallies and strike 
action, Hunters Hill teachers were on strike on April 30, and weekly public 

Parent Tom Gaunt told the April 30 protest, in front of the head office of 
the Department of Education, that the "Bungling the Future" document 
sounded the end of choice.

"We're going from four comprehensive high schools to none." Hunters Hill 
school is located on prime waterfront land along the Lane Cove River.

Building unions have promised they will not demolish the school or assist 
in redevelopment of the site.

A joint parent-teacher rally is planned for May 29 outside Parliament House 
will demand that the Government:

Fund public schools, not close them; undertake real consultations, at the 
end of which a new draft proposal reflecting school and community 
submissions be circulated prior to any final decision.

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