Planning for the proposed Bungendore high school site needs to be paused and the threat of compulsory acquisition lifted while a more suitable site is identified, The Greens said today.

The local community has overwhelmingly opposed the proposed site through the NSW process, for a number of valid reasons and now the council faces the prospect of insufficient funds from the land transfer to replace the swimming pool, community centre and a council office.

There is a perfect opportunity with the resignation of the Member for Monaro, John Barilaro, who had championed the site, for a pause and re-set, Greens lead candidate for Queanbeyan-Palerang Regional Council (QPRC), Katrina Willis said.

“A high school for Bungendore has broad community support but it is senseless to rush headlong into building something that isn’t big enough and will deprive the community of full access to the much-loved Bungendore town park and common,” Ms Willis said.

“The latest move by the Department of Education advising QPRC it intends to compulsorily acquire council property and Crown land is untenable. The Crown land in question was vested for the long-term use of and benefit for the community.

“Council should not be forced to borrow to replace important assets and facilities because the NSW Government has done a poor job in providing an essential facility for a growing town.

“Neither Jerrabomberra nor Googong communities are being treated in such a high-handed manner as is Bungendore in the provision of a high school and primary school respectively.

“We’re calling on the NSW Government to pause the process and go back to the drawing board for a better location. While this will mean a delay in an opening date, no doubt disappointing families that hoped to use the school from 2023, it is preferable to the situation in which we now find ourselves.”

Media Contact: Katrina Willis 0431 184 717