Northlands appeal in Supreme Court

Issue 

Northlands appeal in Supreme Court

By Geoff Spencer

MELBOURNE — The vindictiveness of the Kennett government will be on display again on January 30, when the Supreme Court hears an appeal against the reopening of Northlands Secondary College.

The Equal Opportunity Board on December 15 found the closure of Northlands to be discriminatory against Koori students. The board ruled that Northlands should be reopened as a school to compensate for past discrimination and to avert it in the future.

Kennett has stated that the school is a crucial test of his government's right to rule. After the board's decision, the government asked the Supreme Court for a stay, which was granted. The stay has prevented volunteer building workers, organised by the Construction, Forestry, Mining and Energy Union, from starting renovations to the school.

Northland parent Gary Foley said that education minister Don Haywood and Directorate of Schools Eduction boss Geoff Spring should "accept the umpire's decision, especially as this new Equal Opportunity Board's umpire was appointed by the Kennett government to replace the previous EOB chairperson who found in our favour a year ago!". Northlands has won two decisions in the EOB and one before the Supreme Court.

Supporters of Northlands are also concerned about the status of the land on the site. Foley said he believed the site had been sold.