Schools’ grounds for concern

Swan View Primary School principal Margaret Dove and her students do not want a liquor store to replace a fruit and vegetable shop at a nearby shopping centre. Picture: Joel Kelly
Swan View Primary School principal Margaret Dove and her students do not want a liquor store to replace a fruit and vegetable shop at a nearby shopping centre. Picture: Joel Kelly

Shire deputy president Darrell Jones said at a council meeting on Tuesday night that more than 60 landowners, as well as the principals at schools near the Swan View shopping centre, were notified of the application, which was ‘standard practice.’

But when the Hills Gazette contacted Swan View primary and high schools, and Kids Inn Childcare, which are within 500m of the proposed liquor store, just one had received official notification from the Shire.

Swan View Primary School principal Margaret Dove said after receiving notification about the application, she put a notice in the school newsletter two weeks ago to raise parent awareness.

‘I made mention of it in the newsletter with the hope that parents would jump up and down about it,’ she said.

‘We were notified of the application, but I did not know until later about the fruit and vegetable shop going.’

Ms Dove said she had worried about a liquor shop being in such close proximity to the school.

‘Next year, we will have students in high school who will be 18 years old. Why would we want a liquor outlet so close to a high school?

‘I am gravely concerned.’

Ms Dove said a petition had circulated around the school to have the liquor store plan stopped.

Swan View High School principal Melesha Sands said she had not received official notification from the shire.

‘I heard about it from a parent from another school, but I also had our head boy and head girl approach me because they wanted to start a petition against the application,’ she said.

Greenmount Primary School deputy principal Natalie Astle also said the school had not received notification and Kids Inn Child Care, on Morrison Road, also had not been notified.

Residents have been up in arms since news broke that fruit and vegetable shop owners Mohammad Alizhhdeh and his son Matt may face eviction after being told their lease would not be renewed.

Members of the public launched a petition that now has more than 5000 signatures.

About 20 ratepayers turned out at this week’s shire council meeting to express their dissatisfaction about the liquor store plan, even though it was not on the agenda.

Cr Jones fielded questions from members of the public about the application.