Hurlstone’s Land Fight Gets Some Clout

The battle to save the farm and land at Hurlstone Agricultural High School (my alma mater) from property developers just got tougher: politicians representing the region having returned from their ‘community consultations’ with a clear message – Hurlstone’s farm is not for sale.

The Four Labor MPs- Andrew McDonald (Macquarie Fields), Graham West (Campbelltown), Geoff Corrigan (Camden) and Phil Costa (Wollondilly) are now on record saying they will join the fight and speak directly with Nathan Rees voicing their opposition to the proposal.

Stay tuned, sports fans – there are irresistible forces and immovable objects at play now. In the red corner, the Department of Education already decided that the sale is crucial to local services and has already planned to spend the money they make on the land sale on police, health and education. Team Macarthur leaps the rope to joins the fight in the blue corner, carrying the weight of 2 government ministers, shouting to the crowd as one that the farm ‘should not be sold’.

The opposition to the sale is now so overwhelming that it appears the only people in support of the sale are the bean-counters in the NSW DET and Treasury. If caucus members can’t be convinced of the merits of the sale, is there any more cause to proceed?

The government no doubt is waiting for the outcome of the current inquiry into the sale so they can save some face. It’s up to those who support the continuation of Hurlstone as a practical agricultural education to contribute their submissions to the inquiry and make it obvious to the Powers That Be.

Here’s hoping that the strength of opposition to this insane decision is enough to keep this off the political agenda for another 15 years, at least. As Tiff Spears said in the press – if Team Macarthur can’t change the government’s mind, what good are they?

It’ll be an fascinating test of whether grass-roots democratic process is still important to Labor.