The new school promised to the inner city community has been thrown into doubt after the NSW Department of Education and Communities (DEC) withdrew the offer to purchase land from the City of Sydney for the school.
DEC advised City staff on 25 November that the department had come to the position that they won't be proceeding with the purchase of the Fig and Wattle Street site in Ultimo for a primary school. DEC informed the City that they had meetings with NSW Treasury the day before and decided the site did not represent a value property for the DEC.
The Lord Mayor, Clover Moore said: "For many months, the City negotiated in good faith over the sale of the land so that the community would be provided with a new school. The City and State Government agreed on the value for the land, an in-kind contribution for an 80-place childcare facility and were finalising negotiations on the outstanding issue of remediation costs.
"On 13 November, I met with the Minister for Education to progress negotiations. I made it clear that the City is committed to working with DEC until this matter is resolved and the Minister seemed committed to concluding an agreement. My letter of 17 November to the Minister restated this and urged a swift conclusion of negotiations. The City expected that the meeting of 25 November would succeed in finalising such an agreement.
"The Minister for Education must now explain to the local community what plans he has to provide a new school in the area given the NSW Government has abandoned the Fig and Wattle St site.
"On 26 November I wrote to the Minister for Education expressing my concern at the actions of his department and asked him to explain what he will do now to honour his commitment to the local community and provide them with the school they need".
The Lord Mayor's letters of 17 November and 25 November are available on request.
Ben Pearson | 0424 575 111 | firstname.lastname@example.org