Do we need a fortress on the riverfront?

The community that worked long and hard to save Hunters Hill High school from closure is shocked by the high handed approach that the High School has taken towards its local community.

The Department has built 2100mm fencing around most its site, including the shoreline and the Three Patriot’s walk in the apparent belief that this will make the school and students more secure, when security will actually come from building connectedness, respect and community engagement.

This eysore divides the school from the community that supports it and also contravenes Council’s standards and guidelines as well as the Sydney Regional Environment Plan (Sydney Harbour Catchment) 2005, which is supposed to ensure the protection of the harbour: “as an outstanding natural asset, and as a public asset of national and heritage significance for existing and future generations.”

The school’s P & C President is lobbying parents to write to our State MP Anthony Roberts in defence of the fence.  Please support the HH Trust and HH Council in their efforts to have the fence replaced with one that conforms with Council’s fencing policy.  Tell Anthony Roberts, MP  your views about the value of the HH riverfront:  Bookmark permalink. Post a comment.

8 Comments

  1. Posted September 6, 2011 at 12:55 pm | Permalink

    What a distorted piece of rubbish, when presenting and argument you should state the truth not what you want it insite a very distorted point of view.
    Unfortunately for HHH those dogs or residents should not be on school grounds anyway with permission, it is private property of the state, just like another govt school in this state. Try going into ST Agnasis with your dog and without permission and see what happens.
    Also it is not the residents that damage the school and the property it is vandals who jump the low fence to get in, then we all pay for the damage.

    Peter Warren

    Vice President HHH P & C

  2. Posted September 6, 2011 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

    The article titled “High school fortress on the waterfront” and article titled “high School Fence” by Tony Coote in the April edition of the Hunters Hill Trust juornal totally ignores the core reason for the support being given by the HHH P&C and by the hundreds of parents who have signed a petition to retain the fence as is. Over the last few years there have been a number of incidents at the school including the burning down of the old school hall, fires lit in the Cloa, building rubbish dumped on the playground, and the assault of a teacher while defending a student. These are more than adequate reasons for the construction of a security fence around the school perimeter. For clarification, the definition of a “security fence” by both the DET and the Fencing Contractors Association requires that it be made of metal, 2100mm high, with pointed tops. This is what has been installed by the DET which has followed all the correct legal procedures (including notification to Council which raised no objection) before it commenced construction. To suggest that this fence is unacceptable is to tatally ignore the security of the school property and the safety of its students and teachers. As a parent of 2 students at this wonderful school I am 100% in favour of retaining the fence without any modification. All that I think is required is for Council to soften the line of the fence along the waterfront section by appropriate planting of the verge between the fence and the Three Patriots Walk.

  3. Posted September 6, 2011 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

    Hunters Hill High School would like to thank all of those who protested to keep the school and its grounds open several years ago for the students in the area. It is just a pity most of the students come from surrounding areas and these current students have more pride and more respect for the school than local residents and vested interests.
    The school is the private property of the state government and like all private property has the right to ask others to seek permission to enter the grounds, just like our homes. If you do not have permission it is the schools legal right to ask the offenders to leave including dogs.
    It is also the right to protect the property and those in it at the time of use, also when the school is not being used by teachers and students. This is the time vandals manage to scale the low foreshore fence and get into the school starting fires, graffiti all over the walls, destroy gardens and the four legged animals leave barkers eggs behind because the owners are to lazy to pick up the mess. It seems they think it is for the students to play in when they use the oval for school activities.
    If the fence is the issue, have a look around at the private schools in the area, go and take your pooch for a walk on their ovals if you can get in because they have fences around them too. They may be polite enough not to have you hit with a fine for trespass being on private grounds, or worse call the police and have you removed.
    So which bit did the Historical Society protest for, the school or the oval. With what I have seen so far in this so call one sided debate, it must have been the oval and a potential for public open space?
    Peter Warren
    Vice President Hunters Hill High School

  4. Posted September 6, 2011 at 4:06 pm | Permalink

    I have assumed these opinions are approved by the trust membership but they seem to be the opinions of one person. The comments you write are incorrect and the conclusions are therfore wrong. The land to the high water mark is owned by the DET for education purposes and is not a public park, the fence is standard fencing for NSW schools, the fence is funded by DET not from the school budget, the fence was approved by Council and DET after public consultation. Public School grounds are NOT for private use and that includes dog walking. in fact dogs are not allowed on school grounds without DET approval. The fence is that high to deter people jumping the fence and causing vandalism of public school buildings and property. I take it that if school buildings are vanalised that the hunters hill trust would be forthcomig in funding repairs because the school unlike private schools does not have a large maintenance budget. The school tries to spend all its scarce funds delivering education to local students including Hunters hill residents children. This article also incorrectly assumes that hunters hill trust pays for the removal of dog poo that is left on school grounds. Before writing such ill considered opionated nonsense why not first find out facts why the school requires the fencing and include that in your article/website. Better still why not meet the school principal and raise your (groups) issues and understand the reasons for the fence.

  5. Posted September 7, 2011 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

    The fence is an eyesore and does nothing to improve security. It detracts from the landscape and removes the school from the community. The school is on the old Hunters Hill Pleasure Grounds which had a beautiful connection to the river. With this eyesore, the school has lost its connection to the river which is now viewed through thick black bars.

  6. Posted September 15, 2011 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

    OMG. You people are sad. Kiddies safety or letting your dog walk. The school is the community – not your very small histerical group. Fortress , what are you talking about. My kids feel safer now the fence is there. And the school has never allowed people to use the oval without permission, Get a life – 400 of you? In your dreams. Have another nana nap.The fence is here to stay

  7. Posted September 18, 2011 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

    Hi Marlyn, you are absolutely right – I do feel sad.
    Sad about the eyesore that’s been built along the school side of the wonderful walkway along the Lane Cove River that so many of us fought to achieve as a bicentenary project.
    Sad that the school feels the need to build a 2.1m high security fence around its grounds.
    Sad that it went ahead with this without proper consultation with the wider community of Hunters Hill and without consideration of Hunters Hill Council’s planning controls for such a significant site in its Conservation Area No 1.
    Sad that the school, unlike a number of other local institutions, feels the needs to exclude locals from its grounds.
    And sad that your kiddies felt insecure for all the time that the fence wasn’t in place. Although I’m somewhat bemused that they should now feel safer given that the fence still hasn’t got gates and given that during school hours the gates would be open anyway. I’d be interested to know what they were afraid of in the first place and how what’s there now makes them feel safer.
    LOL at the nana nap reference. I was reminded of the old joke: “How many bananas does it take to make a nana nap?”

  8. Posted January 8, 2012 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

    I’ve seen the fence has been scaled by kids using an old towel on top of the spikes already.

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