Pambula Preschool’s future appears more secure after Bega MP Andrew Constance ruled out the potential of the land going to public tender.
The preschool’s 40-year Crown lease expired in 2013, causing frustrations for the volunteer committee who have been seeking a new lease offer, and concerns new Crown land legislation passing through NSW parliament in recent weeks would further hinder their claim.
Preschool committee spokesman Glenn Merrick said the preschool had lodged all required paperwork in 2013 prior to the lease expiry which had since been stuck in a “legal limbo”.
“The committee was continually advised the paperwork was being reviewed, the five year delay certainly has not been due to failure on behalf of the preschool,” Mr Merrick said.
Earlier this year, Mr Merrick said the preschool had been advised of new Crown lease procedures, which meant they had to then re-lodge paperwork.
However, following Merimbula News Weekly’s report on the issue last week, Mr Constance said the preschool’s paperwork for a new lease would be given a priority and there would not be an open tender.
“I understand the community angst surrounding this matter and while it has taken time to rectify, it is progressing positively,” Mr Constance said.
“I would like to make clear that there will not be an open tender for this land, it will continue to be available only for the preschool, which I trust will give the committee and community certainty over its operation.”
The committee said they have appreciated the support from local politicians and the wider community.
Mr Merrick said the committee hoped to further secure the facility’s future by establishing a more permanent lease agreement.
“For the committee a good outcome would be a permanent solution so that future committees don’t have the same issue to deal with,” he said.
“We are keen to look at ideas such as setting up a committee of land management or transferring of the Crown land to council management.