It's been a long wait for a school in Murrumbateman for Kathryn Olsen, mother to eight-year-old Lucy, seven-year-old twins Jayne and Sophia, and three-year-old Samuel.
Every day her daughters catch a bus to Yass where they study at Berinba Public. Son Samuel goes to a Murrumbateman preschool and is due to start kindergarten in 2022.
"I have been campaigning for a school in Murrumbateman since my eldest daughter Lucy was three years old," Mrs Olsen said.
"My hope was to have a school started while they were still in primary school and possibly one for my son to start in 2022.
"It's been three years since they started planning and we are still at the stage of surveys and choosing sites.
"I have no hope that my youngest will be able to go to school in town."
Mrs Olsen had been trying options to work in Yass Valley to be closer to school and home, rather than her permanent job in Canberra.
"Working in Canberra and having children in Yass schools is a big challenge and relies on using buses, after-school care in Yass or Murrumbateman, and local community support," Mrs Olsen said.
"If only our community in Murrumbateman could experience what Yass schools have: where children go to school with their neighbours and friends, many can walk to school, and the locals have greater chance to be involved with their children's educational experience.
"We'd also have less tired children with all the unnecessary travel."
The community has recognised the need for a school in Murrumbateman for a long time.
Former Goulburn MP Pru Goward announced in June 2018 funding to be allocated to commence planning for a school in Murrumbateman.
A month later, the Murrumbateman School Working Group was established by the NSW Department of Education.
Yass Valley Council proposed a site it owned on Merryville Drive for the school and regular discussions about the site were held.
The council proposed a site owned by it on Merryville Drive for the school and regular discussions about the site were held.
In December 2019, the education department advised that other sites were being considered.
Last month, Education advised that "an alternative site is being considered and the department is taking its due diligent assessment."
Yass Valley councillor Mike Reid, who resides in the village of Murrumbateman, has been campaigning for a school for a long time.
"Murrumbateman and Yass are growing as people are relocating from the ACT because of the rural and semi-rural lifestyle," Cr Reid said.
"During the school holidays, the schools open up their gates and turn into community spaces. Murrumbateman misses out twice-fold because they don't have those resources here."
Still in early planning phase" DoE
The Department of Education has said planning for school is still in the early phase, "which involves investigations into the number of students expected to live in the area," a spokesperson said.
"A variety of factors are considered during planning: demographic profile, educational requirements, relationships with other schools and facilities in the catchment area, catchment boundaries, site characteristics, transport links and community use opportunities.
"The Department ... will keep the community up to date as the project progresses. This will include community consultation."
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