Medowie mum gives evidence at Medowie Public High School Parliamentary Inquiry

Local mum, Marnie Coates, appearing before the Inquiry. Photo: supplied.

LOCAL mother and Medowie resident Marnie Coates has appeared before a NSW Parliamentary Inquiry this week to advocate for a desperately-needed public high school in Medowie.

Ms Coates, a chemical engineer and a member of the campaign for public education in Medowie since 2014, told the inquiry she was a passionate advocate for public education, and a proud product of public education herself.

Tomaree Breast Cancer Support Group IncAdvertise with News of The Area today.
It’s worth it for your business.
Message us.
Phone us – (02) 4981 8882.
Email us –

In her evidence to the committee, Ms Coates said the current situation was unfair for local students and families.

“We bus over a thousand students out of our suburbs to high school every day, and some of them are travelling over two hours per day on buses to get to school,” she said.

Ms Coates also raised the rapidly growing population in Medowie.

“There’s a thousand properties currently approved and under construction, and the Council predicts that by 2036, there’ll be an additional 7000 dwellings in Medowie,” she said.

“Besides that, the surrounding satellite suburbs that would logically be zoned for a Medowie High School are also rapidly expanding.

“The land has been purchased…we’ve had various promises, but nothing’s been delivered to date,” said Ms Coates.

MLC Courtney Houssos, a member of the parliamentary committee, told the hearing the Catholic school system and the independent system had acknowledged there’s a need, but the public school system wasn’t providing local options for parents.

“You have a clear need, you have a site, you’ve had consistent promises from the government, but they’ve completely failed to deliver,” said Mrs Houssos.

Local MP Kate Washington praised Ms Coates for her appearance before the inquiry and her written submission.

“It’s not often that local residents are willing to appear before a parliamentary inquiry and fight for their local community – but that’s exactly what Marnie has done today, and she made us all proud,” she said.

“The current situation is not fair, and Marnie was speaking for thousands of families across Medowie, the Tilligerry Peninsula, Karuah, Williamtown and Salt Ash, who desperately want a public school in Medowie,” said Ms Washington.

During her testimony, Ms Coates rejected the government’s plan to expand the two public high schools at Raymond Terrace instead of building a high school in Medowie.

“Any expansion won’t even meet the current projected growth, so we’re going to end up with a bad situation for our kids,” she said.

“I can only assume, from a financial perspective, that it’s cheaper for the government to stick a few more classrooms onto those schools than it is to properly plan the infrastructure that’s needed for Medowie.

“For other parents like myself, the years of campaigning are a drain on family life and mental health, and generally, once our children reach high-school age, we no longer have any fight left.

“Please do not let our pleas continue to go unheard,” Ms Coates said.


Leave a Reply