Hurlstone Agricultural High School to remain in Glenfield, receive upgrades

People power: Former Macquarie Fields MP Dr Andrew MacDonald (left), current Macquarie Fields MP Anoulack Chanthivong and former Hurlstone Principal John Norris all opposed the relocation.
People power: Former Macquarie Fields MP Dr Andrew MacDonald (left), current Macquarie Fields MP Anoulack Chanthivong and former Hurlstone Principal John Norris all opposed the relocation.

Controversial plans to move Hurlstone Agricultural High School out of Glenfield have officially been scrapped.

The Department of Education confirmed that it would no longer be pursuing a plan to move the selective school to a campus in Hawkesbury, and rename the existing school Roy Watts High.

Macquarie Fields MP Anoulack Chanthivong has been a vocal opponent of the plan, which was first announced in late 2015, and has lobbied strongly through the 'Hands Off Hurlstone' campaign.

He is delighted that people power has won out.

"I want to thank every single resident who joined my Hands Off Hurlstone campaign over the last four years to keep Hurlstone at its rightful home in Glenfield," he said.

"It has been a long and hard-fought campaign but we didn't back down and I look forward to Hurlstone maintaining its strong and proud tradition at Glenfield."

The decision to move the school was originally made so the government could sell off and develop land at the site.

A Department of Education spokesman said this was still the case, despite the school staying in place.

"Hurlstone Agricultural High School will remain at Glenfield," he said.

"The Hurstlone Agricultural High School is part of the Glenfield-Macarthur urban renewal precinct that is being masterplanned for a range of future uses.

"As part of this, some land withing the high school's grounds is being rezoned for alternative uses, including residential, public open space and commercial uses that will then be available for future sale.

"The Department of Education will continue to consult with the local community on any future plans for the site."

Mr Chanthivong said the long period of uncertainty surrounding the school's future was a strain on the community.

"This whole process has been a colossal waste of time and money in addition to the unnecessary stress and uncertainty heaped upon the school community," he said.

"Rest assured there will be a forensic hunt for just how many millions of dollars have been wasted on this unnecessary relocation plan.

"More green open space will be swallowed up as part of a greedy land grab that is typical of this government's obsession with over-development."

The Department spokesman said there were plans to update some of the school's facilities.

"An upgrade to boarding facilities is planned and the dairy facilities will be retained," he said.

"The project is currently in design and a new business case will be prepared early in 2020.

"This announcement will not alter the project to upgrade Ajuga, Campbell House and Glenfield Park Schools."

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