Scot MacDonald
Op-Ed on Medowie High School
7th Aug 2017

Scot MacDonald Parliamentary Secretary for the Hunter

Newcastle Sunday 

6th August 2017

 

Parents, school children, educators and the community of Port Stephens deserve frank advice and honest representation regarding the prospects of a public Medowie High School. They are not receiving that from their local MP.

After advocacy from local P&Cs and the State Liberal MPs in the region, the then Labor Government commissioned a Working Party Report in 2009 to look at the case for a new high school in Medowie.

The report was very clear in its assessment public school enrolment numbers in West Port Stephens could not justify a school. The report went on to say “the establishment of a secondary facility at Medowie would significantly and negatively impact on the educational viability of the existing two secondary schools (Irrawang HS and Hunter River HS) currently servicing the Raymond Terrace, Tilligerry and Medowie area.” The report did study likely housing development in Port Stephens. It did acknowledge the population and enrolment trends should continue to be monitored. Since that report collective enrolment numbers in these two High Schools have decreased and the Catholic Education system is proposing to build a senior school at Medowie.

Ms Washington MP was made aware of the draft report in her role on a P&C and since her election has been repeatedly advised of the lack of evidence for a Medowie High School.

For too long the people of the Hunter have been misled by ill-considered, un-costed  promises that are unlikely to be ever delivered. Equally I will not be party to a course of action that will divert resources and educational expertise away from Irrawang High School and Hunter River High  School. For her political goals, Ms Washington MP is demonstrating she is willing to undermine the prospects of high school students across Port Stephens.