Save date for April’s march

Tari JeffersManjimup-Bridgetown Times

The Lower South West community needs to take part in a march next month in a bid to stop the closure of six of the State’s camp schools, according to Warren Blackwood MLA Terry Redman.

The April 20 protest will be held in Bunbury and the shires of Manjimup and Bridgetown-Greenbushes have already shown support by providing buses to the event.

Bridgetown and Pemberton camp schools are set to be closed at the end of the year.

The protest march will be held from 10.30am and is aimed at being a “very visual” display of the local concerns for the decisions, according to Mr Redman.

“There will be a few speeches up there and maybe even a barbecue afterwards,” he said.

“Hopefully, we can be a good support to, again, send a very strong signal to Government that this is unacceptable.”

Pemberton resident Tracy Leigh wrote a letter to the State Government expressing her concerns for the camp school’s future and its effect on the community, following a call out from the State School Teachers Union of WA.

“The Pemberton Camp School has been an icon of our small town and has brought much needed revenue into the community,” she said.

“Our children deserve the highest quality access to public education and I feel that the decisions you have made around the cuts to education have compromised that access.”

Union president Pat Byrne said schools should not have to be subjected to further education cuts while being expected to continue delivering quality services.

Mr Redman was at the Warren District Agricultural Show on Saturday with petitions to save the schools and promote the march.

“I’m really buoyed by the amount of support here today at the show, of people wanting to put their support behind keeping the camp schools open,” he said.

“Nearly 2000 kids a year go through each of the Bridgetown and Pemberton camp schools, so it’s not insignificant.”

The petitions to save the camp schools will be in Parliament at both the Legislative Council and the Legislative Assembly.

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