Public to have its say on Islamic school proposal

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Marcus Cornish

Residents will get to have their say on the proposed development of Penrith’s first Islamic School, with Council confirming it will host a public forum.

Raising the matter during general business at Monday night’s Council meeting, Councillor Marcus Cornish said it was “imperative” that Council hold a community meeting to “stem any nastiness”.

“This will be a huge issue,” he said.

“The public should be brought into this.”

Cr Cornish said it needed to happen sooner rather than later and at a time and place suitable to the general public.

He also requested that the end-of-April deadline for written submissions be extended another month, noting the Easter break.

The contentious development application (DA), which was submitted to Council on March 1, proposes a primary and secondary school at the former Penrith Public School site on Henry Street.

Mayor John Thain said regardless of where and when the forum was held, one thing needed to be made “clear”: only residents of the Penrith Local Government Area would be allowed to attend.

Penrith Mayor John Thain

He said this was important to avoid “repeated scenes” from two years ago, when warring parties faced off over the development of a mosque at Kemps Creek, which Penrith City Council ultimately approved.

Executive Manager Environment and City Development, Wayne Mitchell, confirmed public consultation would take place, as was normal practice with DAs of public interest, and that his department had requested additional information required to fully determine the application.

A Council spokesman confirmed the exhibition period has been extended until the end of May. A time for the public meeting has yet to be confirmed.

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  • viv

    can anyone please tell me why the Penrith public school was closed in the first place?
    I think this would be very handy to find out.

  • Sue

    Should have an Islamic School. Nothing to do with the residents. Most of those who protest are on Welfare and in public housing. Schools are now overcrowded and these students will not get preference in their own schools they will all be equal. More discipline than in Public Schools.

    • Nicholas Folkes

      Why should Muslim pupils get preference? Islamic discipline means sexism, FGM, racism and sharia law, do you want this in Penrith?

      • Sue

        They will get preference in State Schools. They just arrive in the country of lot of these people and they say they cannot speak English the next they claim the top the exams. They will Not Get Preference IN their own schools.

  • Penrith Resident

    They need a normal school. With all the development and new suburbs there are so many kids. They are putting up temporary buildings in current schools for a short term fix. Forget Islamic school and help the current residents and our kids.

    • Sue

      Do not have heaps of children if you cannot afford them.

  • Steve

    definitely don’t want muslim school in Penrith, why cant they join our community instead of alienating themselves, this is an Australian community and the majority doesn’t want this school in the district

    • Nicholas Folkes

      Muslims are not here to join the local community. Just ask the former Aussie residents of Auburn and Punchbowl……

      • renay brooke

        Agree, that’s why it needs to be stopped

  • T

    Is there a reason why the Muslim community couldn’t send their children to a multicultural mainstream school ?
    There is no reason why the children from a Muslim background couldn’t attend Muslim teachings on a Saturday. I went to a mainstream school during the week and then attended school of my parent’s heritage on Saturday.

    Will children from multi cultural backgrounds be permitted to attend Muslim schools without having to attend religious teachings ?

  • S

    Disagree with these schools. Why can’t religions be left out of schools. If you want to learn about a religion you have time after school and or on the weekend.

  • Sue

    Well we have Catholic Schools Greek Schools Jewish Schools and other Christian Schools what if they all closed down. They would not fit into State Schools. Muslims will not be getting everything free at Islamic Schools they will have to open their purse the same for excursions like other children at Private Schools.

  • Sven

    Muslims slowly, step by step, like termites, are undercutting Australian style of life ! Council of Penrith already preparing for them easy way, by not admitting common public to debate about building Islamic school in Penrith. Why ? It is a concern of all Australians !