Friday, July 26, 2024

Bungendore High School back on drawing board

The NSW Government says it has committed to the delivery of a permanent high school for Bungendore, with the amended State Significant Development (SSD) application now lodged and on public exhibition for community feedback.

The proposal, which the Department of Education (the Department) submitted to the Department of Planning, Housing and Infrastructure (DPHI) identifies the Majara / Gibraltar Streets Precinct as the preferred location, the same site put forward in the original SSD application lodged in September 2021.

In parallel, the Department is also considering alternative site locations as part of due diligence work to ensure a new high school for the Bungendore community can be delivered as quickly as possible.

“The NSW Labor Government is committed to delivering a permanent public high school in Bungendore to provide world-class learning facilities close to home,” said Minister for Education and Early Learning, Prue Car.

“After the Liberals and Nationals’ poor planning let this community down, we are looking at everything we can do to deliver the permanent high school as quickly as possible.

“This will ensure the best possible outcomes for students, staff, families, and the broader Bungendore community.”

While the Majara / Gibraltar Streets Precinct remains the preferred site for the new school, the Department will undertake a due diligence review on alternative locations to validate that the Majara / Gibraltar Streets Precinct remains the fastest and most viable location, the Government said in a statement.

In addition, the Department is continuing to review its analysis of projected demand to ensure community needs can be met, it said.

Australian Bureau of Statistics data from 2021 shows about 1,000 school-aged children lived in the town.

The Department continues to work alongside the Queanbeyan-Palerang Regional Council (QPRC) to consider how the features of the project that are on Crown Land, and excluded from the amended SSD, can be delivered for the Bungendore community.

“Families in the Bungendore community deserve to have a permanent high school to send their kids to, but legal battles around this project have caused too much uncertainty around when this school will be built,” said Member for Monaro, Steve Whan.

“I recognise the huge frustration this gives to many people who want to see the school built and I recognise the division this project has caused in the community.

“I have urged the Department to look at alternative sites to validate that the current site remains the fastest and most viable location, and I am pleased that this process is underway.

“Given the time lost, it is imperative that further analysis on enrolment projections is underway to ensure the school is the right size for the community now and into the future.

“We will continue to work to deliver a permanent Bungendore High School for our local families as soon as possible.”

The amended SSD application includes plans to deliver modern facilities to accommodate approximately 450 students, with options for future expansion to accommodate enrolment growth.

The community is encouraged to have their say on the amended SSD application from Tuesday 25 June until Monday 22 July 2024.

Find out more about the SSD application and make a formal submission 

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