Tag Archives: Privatisation

Sale of Enmore School in the Herald

The sale of the Enmore school was reported in today’s Sydney Morning Herald on page 5.

Heritage school sale infuriates residents smh_logo

Paul Bibby Urban Affairs Reporter

July 8, 2009

THE former Enmore Public School was snapped up yesterday by a Sydney property developer who plans to convert it into townhouses.

enmore-boys-school-webRay Newey bought the 112-year-old heritage-listed building for $2.8 million at auction, amid accusations that the state Education Department had ignored regulations for the sale.

The heritage listing prevents Mr Newey from demolishing buildings, but he can renovate them to accommodate 15 townhouses.

“It was never going to be a school again once it was sold – the contract with the Education Department forbade it,” he said. “We’re going to preserve the heritage value as much as possible.”

The sale was a blow for activists and the NSW Greens, who had fought to retain the site for educational purposes. They say the number of children in the region is growing.

The department has consistently claimed that demand for education in the area has been static or falling in recent years. But its own statistics show that between 2003 and 2008 enrolments at five schools within a five kilometre radius of the site had risen by 60 per cent or more…

Read the rest of this story on the Sydney Morning Herald’s website.

Public school property flogged off for bargain basement price

Media Release                         7th July 2009

The NSW Education department today auctioned off the former Enmore School for a mere 2.8 million dollars.

Save Our School members hand out information at the Auction of Enmore School held at The Rocks

Save Our School members hand out information at the Auction of Enmore School held at The Rocks

“This is an appalling result for the community and a disgrace” said Clr Cathy Peters “this valuable property is worth far more than this and to sell it off at this bargain basement price shows the bloody mindedness of  Minister Firth and local member and deputy Premier, Carmel Tebbutt.”

“When the costs of the sale and the refusal of the Government to lease the School over the six it has been vacant are taken into account, the school, a valuable public asset, has effectively been given away.”

“This shortsighted grab for cash has not yielded enough money to build another school in the Enmore / Newtown area or anywhere for that matter, nor does it represent the value of this building for the many young families and TAFE students who need its equivalent now and in the future”.

“Minister Tebbutt was recently praising the sandstone restoration occuring at the Australia Street Infants School and seemed to miss the irony that while she was grandstanding in front of this work, her
government was preparing to sell off the Enmore School site  – an important heritage site that has played a major role in education for over 120 years”.

“All Marrickville Greens councillors condemn this sale and will continue to work actively to stop the Labor government selling off any more public property in the municipality.”

“Thanks to Carmel Tebbutt’s government, this
important public asset has been lost to the local community forever”.

Enquiries:  Clr Cathy Peters – 0419444974

Crikey story on sale of Enmore School

12 . “Freo doctor” blows across Marrickville and Balmain crikeydailymail-header
Alex Mitchell writes:

Community protest is rising in Sydney’s inner-city suburb of Marrickville over the Labor Government’s proposed sale of the former Enmore Superior Public School.

An avalanche of protest letters and signed petitions have been sent to Education Minister Verity Firth in an attempt to halt the auction which is scheduled for July 17.

The Planning Department has sanctioned the conversion of the heritage-listed school, built in 1887, into 19 swish apartments.

The threatened school is in the Marrickville electorate of Deputy Premier Carmel Tebbutt, who is also the Environment Minister, while Ms Firth holds the neighbouring electorate of Balmain.

The sell-off was first proposed by the so-called “Education Premier”, Bob Carr, and his Education Minister John Aquilina using demographic statistics which were cooked by bureaucrats within the Education Department.

To lose the school to private developers in 2009 when the area is expanding and education facilities are at a premium would be a tragedy, according to the local Save Our School protest group.

Marrickville Greens councillor and SOS supporter Cathie Peters said letters, petitions and emails had been sent to Ms Tebbutt and Ms Firth but no response had been forthcoming.

“This is an indication of the systemic problems within the State Labor government where Ministers think they are unaccountable to their constituents and routinely ignore the genuine concerns of local communities,” Cllr Peters said.

She said the area desperately needed space for schools, pre-schools and TAFE now and in the future.

enmore-boys-school-webBoth Ms Tebbutt and Ms Firth are high-profile members of the NSW Labor left. The dominant right-wing faction seems to take vicarious pleasure from conducting civic war in their electorates. Can you imagine State Cabinet agreeing to the sale of a public school in the heartland of one of the right-wing power brokers? It wouldn’t happen and, if it did, it would be rolled at the first opportunity.

Greens councillors hold sway on Marrickville and Leichhardt Councils which are in the state electorates held by Tebbutt and Firth. Both MPs are menaced by the rising influence of the metropolitan Greens, the formidable electoral force which recently stole the WA state seat of Freemantle from the ALP.

The “Freo doctor” is blowing across Marrickville and Balmain and the two vulnerable MPs have decided their best strategy is to pretend not to hear the drumbeats from the jungle.

[Read more about the Enmore School sale here.]

New Save Enmore School page


Enmore School  - Metropolitan Road, Enmore NSW

Enmore School - Metropolitan Road, Enmore NSW

Check out the new Save Enmore School page.  It has a history of Enmore school, video from a recent rally held at the school, and lots of information.

The State Government has been busy trying to flog this property, but local residents and The Greens believe that this important public building should remain a public asset and be used for educational or community purposes.

Will Verity Firth and Carmel Tebbutt do what is right, and save Enmore school?  

Or will they do the bidding of Finance Minister Joe Tripodi and flog it off?

Check out the new Save Enmore School page

Enmore School on the market

Carmel Tebbutt and Verity Firth do not seem to be listening to local residents.  The old Enmore School has been advertised with a real estate agent.  This heritage building and important public asset is about to be privatised and turned into apartments!

Apparently Minister Firth still has not met with those opposed to the sale, despite hundreds of letters from local residents and interest from educational institutions in using the building.