Tag Archives: Tebbutt

NO WAY RTA M5 rally a success despite rain

Tempe residents rally against the M5 expansion

Greens Councillor Olive (centre) joins Tempe residents to oppose the expansion of the M5

Many Tempe and other Marrickville residents came out with their umbrellas, raincoats and gum boots to show their opposition to the proposed extension of the M5 motorway through Tempe Reserve to Campbell Road.

Marrickville Council will discuss and vote on its submission to the M5 expansion consultation process this Tuesday, starting from 6.30pm.  Council meetings are held on level 3 or the Council Administration Building,  2 Fisher Street Petersham.

The RTA wants to spend $4 billion widening the M5, building additional tunnels, and a ‘Southern Sydney Extension’ that would dump up to 1,800 vehicles an hour on Campbell Road.  This plan only makes sense when combined with the RTA and state government’s long standing plans to extend the M4 East and connect the M5 via a tunnel under the Marrickville local government area.  There have also been long standing plans to build an F6 south from Tempe to Sutherland.

A video of the event is now on YouTube and photos are on this flickr page.

Video courtesy of  Tempe 2020, a community group set up to provide a positive vision for Tempe.

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.

Enmore School sold for $2.8million

by Max Phillips

Audio of Enmore School being sold at auction.  Shame Labor Shame!

The state Labor government has flogged off another public asset.  Enmore High School was sold this morning at auction for $2.8 million.

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

Enmore school was opened in 1887 and has been a public education institution in various guises ever since.  Now the hopeless Labor state government has sold it so a developer can convert it into 15 apartments.

The community group, Save Our School, and local Greens were out the front of the auction handing out information to potential bidders.

The auctioneer said the property was “a potential goldmine”, and that a developer could “make a squillion dollars”.

The auction room packed for the sale of Enmore School

The auction room packed for the sale of Enmore School. Four bidders drove the price to $2.8 million.

Bidding started at $1.3 million, with four bidders driving the price up to $2.8 million.  Not a lot for such a large building.  The people of NSW, and in particular the Inner West, have lost a precious public asset and heritage building for a song!

The successful bidder was an older man whose identity is unknown at this stage.

The local member, Carmel Tebbutt should be ashamed at her government’s behaviour.  As should Education Minister Verity Firth, under whose watch this school has been sold.  How useless is the Labor Left if they are instrumental in flogging off public education assets to developers!

Read Green Councillor Cathy Peters press release on the sale of Enmore School.

Carmel Tebbutt has taken some media flack for her temper tantrum last Friday.  The Sydney Morning Herald has run this on the back page Diary:


It could be the pressure of holding down a marginal seat and the deputy premiership, but Carmel Tebbutt put on a turn fit for the bearpit when confronted by a group of local activists at Australia Street Infants School in Newtown. The Marrickville MP, whose seat is under attack by the Greens, had patiently listened to concerns about the proposed sale of Enmore Public School site last week, when she appeared to suffer a brain explosion. Having extricated herself from the throng relatively unscathed, Tebbutt suddenly stormed back to demand that the activists remove a modest collection of petitions tied to the school fence. “You are using this school for political purposes – it’s disgraceful,” a red-faced Tebbutt said. The outburst only served to incite the citizenry, one of whom proceeded to follow Tebbutt down the road for some 20 metres, while returning fire.

The letters & petitions that annoyed Carmel Tebbutt.  Perhaps she doesn't want to know what the community actually thinks?

Some of the letters & petitions that annoyed Carmel Tebbutt. Perhaps she doesn't want to know what the community actually thinks?

While the Inner West Courier ran a front page story on the same incident (will post when it is online).

Read all about Enmore School here.

Enmore School  - Metropolitan Road, Enmore NSW

Enmore School - Metropolitan Road, Enmore NSW

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

Protest of Enmore School Sale

Live reporting from my iPhone.

Today Carmel Tebbutt came to the Australia Street Infants school to inspect work on the sand stone.

Unfortunately, her government is busy selling off an even older school on Metropolitan Street Enmore. They want to flog it so a developer can build apartments.

A small band of residents attended to protest the sale and hand over 1200 letters from locals who are opposed to the sale.

The Residents confronted the Minister about the fact that the department is relying on figures dating back to 1986 to justify the sale. More recent figures show a baby boom in the inner west and a rising need for educational and community space.

They also questioned her about the government wanting 4000 extra dwellings in the area, but selling off public educational land.

Carmel was very defensive and said she had ‘passed on the concerns’ to the Minister, but the sale, scheduled for next week would proceed.

She then left only to return in a fury having seen the 1200 letters and petitions tied to the school fence. She got all rightious about using a school fence for political protest. Protestors snapped back that it is totally valid to protect public education.

Max Phillips

Click here for more info on the sale of Enmore School.

Sale of Enmore School is a Scandal – Daily Telegraph

Today’s Daily Telegraph has an opinion piece about the sale of Enmore Schooltele logo

Maralyn Parker – 24 June 2009

The planned auction of Enmore Public School grounds next month has mobilised a range of inner city locals from parents of pre-schoolers to TAFE teachers and students. It is another great example of how to stir up a local community.
Carmel wrecking ball

And the debacle highlights one great edifying achievement in education by the NSW Labor government. It has managed to convert many parents of school age children into political activists over the past ten years.

Fighting to stop the sale of school grounds by pollies looking for easy cash can do that to you.

I have seen hundreds of normally mild mannered mums and dads discover their secret inner ratbag this way. Enmore parents now know all about it.

Those budding activists should keep in mind some parents do win. Thriving schools at Erskineville and Hunters Hill can attest to this – as can the still intact, though in remission during an inquiry, Hurlstone Agricultural High School farm.

The Enmore school is on prime real estate in trendy Metropolitan Road. It has not been used as a school for years. Its last incarnation was an adult learning centre and since 2003 it has been left to decay as the local community continued the fight to save it from being sold off.

And that is probably the most despicable part of the decision to go ahead with the sale in 2009. Since 2003 many things have changed in Enmore. The most obvious is the local baby boom.

According to convener of the community action group Save Our School, Alan Crocker, the number of “birthing age adults’’, that is 25 to 39 year olds, in the area is now 10 per cent higher than the Sydney average.

Childcare centres and pre-schools are full. One mother I spoke to yesterday has had to put her four children into three different pre-schools over the past few years and she is grateful even for that.

It is such a problem the federal government has identified the inner city of Sydney as one of 11 high priority areas of NSW in need of an Early Learning Care Centre and there has been a quest to find a school to house the centre.

But follow this – a NSW education department spokesman told me on Tuesday no suitable site had been found so at the beginning of June it ran an advertisement seeking proposals to establish a centre.

It is outrageous that the Enmore site has been ignored. It has 14 classrooms and other areas that, refurbished and upgraded, could be a brilliantly located child care centre and more.

Nearby Stanmore Public School is full – enrolling only strictly local children. But it has classrooms currently being used to house the Distance Education Unit. This unit could easily be moved to Enmore to free up space.

Other inner city primary schools such as Forest Lodge and Ultimo are also full.

And if we need yet another reason to keep this public property for public use, the TAFE college just 250 metres down the road needs room to expand. The Design Centre Enmore is part of this TAFE and demand is high and increasing for its arts based courses. The spillover could be accommodated on the old school site.

According to Alan Croker, who is an architect, the Enmore site could cater for all three of these suggested educational facilities and would be great to reopen as a primary school or small inner city high school in the future.

So selling it off is worse than short sighted it is verging on bloody mindedness. And that makes me wonder what else is going on here.

The school is in deputy premier Carmel Tebbutt’s electorate of Marrickville, Nearby Balmain, another inner city electorate, is held by Education Minister Verity Firth. Both electorates are under threat from the Greens.

The Greens have been the most politically supportive in trying to save the site. Action by Marrickville Council, lead by Greens councillor Cathy Peters, blocked the sale until former planning minister Frank Sartor orchestrated the go-ahead to sell the site. And Greens Education spokesman MLC John Kaye as well MLC Sylvia Hale have pursued the government in parliament over disposal of the site.

If the school is saved the Greens would rightly take some credit.

Surely the government and Carmel Tebutt in particular would not put a win over the Greens above doing what is best for education and the children of NSW.

Politics can be nasty but that would be just too contemptible.

Read it and write a comment on the Daily Telegraph’s website.

Enmore School Blind sell-off

Media Release                June 22, 2009

State Ministers unaware of Federal early learning priority in Inner West

Meetings last week with Carmel Tebbutt and an advisor from Verity Firth’s office confirmed that both Ministers are unaware of the Federal government’s listing of the Inner West as a high priority location for an Early Learning and Care Centre.  Enmore School for sale image 1

Local Greens Councillor Cathy Peters and State Greens MLC Sylvia Hale joined Save Our School representatives in Parliament House  seeking a postponement of the forthcoming auction of the former Enmore School building in Metropolitan Road., Enmore until details about the basis for this decision were released and other possibilities were explored.

They were surprised to learn from Verity Firth’s advisor, that the NSW Dept of Education was unaware that the Inner West was one ofthe 11 priority locations in NSW identified for funding of up to $1.6 million for an Early Learning and Care Centre. These centres are designed to provide high quality and affordable integrated early learning and care in a long day care setting that that takes into account the specific requirements of the local community.  The State Government has already provided land on 5 Primary School sites in NSW for these centres  but nothing in the Inner West.

“It’s a pity that our local State politicians aren’t able to see that a centre like this is ideally suited for location in the former Enmore School building. With our local preschools booked to capacity and unable to service local families, it makes great sense to use this building and refurbish it with the funds that the Federal government is offering to set up an Early Learning and Care Centre in the Inner West”,  says Councillor Peters.

“It’s a no brainer  – the building is there , the demand is there and there’s Federal funding available to set up the facility “ says Clr Peters, “how is it that both Verity Firth and Carmel Tebbutt are so unresponsive to this win win situation?”

“The NSW Education Dept has been shown to have been totally wrong about selling off Erskineville Public School and will again be shown to be wrong with the Enmore School sell off – the community needs this facility now and will need it even more in coming years.”

“Decisions like this cannot be made using out-of-date demographics.  The Federal government has identified the Inner West as a priority area for early education – how is it that the State government and local Ministers aren’t able to see this as well?”

Contact: Councillor Cathy Peters 0419 444 974

[ Read more about the Enmore School sell-off here]

« Older Entries