New Sorell school plans

A new Catholic school for Sorell is a step closer with a 10 hectare parcel of land being identified as a possible location.

Sorell Council and Catholic Education Tasmania recently held discussions about the availability of land and zoning.

Mayor Kerry Vincent said the land parcel was east of the planned Sorell township bypass on up to four privately owned titles.

Mr Vincent said the land was classed as ‘’rural’’ and would require rezoning as it was east of the existing urban growth boundary.

If the site is agreed to by Catholic Education Tasmania, the rezoning would need to go through the Tasmanian Planning Commission – the body which assesses planning schemes and amendments.

An indicative concept master plan for Sorell’s eastern corridor – the orange section is the proposed land for the new Catholic school.

In 2018, Archbishop Julian Porteous commissioned The Greater Hobart Region Catholic Education Review which resulted in the release of the Archbishop’s vision for Catholic education in the greater Hobart region late last year.

The Review acknowledged growth in the Sorell Local Government Area (Eastern sub-region) and recommended provision of a Catholic school at some stage in the future.

Catholic Education Tasmania Executive Director John Mula said it was still early days, “but we have met with Sorell Council and had an amicable discussion on the potential sites for a Catholic school in the Sorell Local Government Area.’’

“As soon as a suitable site has been identified, a timetable for delivery of a Catholic school in Sorell will be released to respective communities,’’ Mr Mula said.

The Review detailed the formation of four geographical sub-regions of Catholic Schools within the greater Hobart area, comprising a Southern sub-region, Central sub-region, Northern sub-region, and an Eastern sub-region.

It acknowledged growth in the Sorell Local Government Area (Eastern sub-region) and recommended provision of a Catholic school at some stage in the future.

In addition, three Catholic Colleges have begun planning an implementation strategy for the provision of Years 11 and 12 at their existing campuses: MacKillop Catholic College (Mornington), St Aloysius Catholic College (Huntingfield), and St Virgil’s College (Austins Ferry).

Archbishop Julian Porteous commissioned The Greater Hobart Region Catholic Education Review in 2018 which recommended the provision of a Catholic school in Sorell at some stage in the future.

Archbishop Porteous said at the time of the release of the Catholic School blueprint that they needed to ensure Catholic education operated more cohesively into the future, and acted on areas of new opportunity where there was currently unmet demand.

“In developing these plans what remained in the forefront of my mind was to meet the future needs of students, offer a range of options for parents seeking a Catholic education for their children, and provide ongoing consultation with school communities,’’ Archbishop Porteous said.

With residential growth in the Sorell Local Government area up to seven times faster than the State’s average, demand for services will only grow stronger.

Mr Vincent said the proposed new Catholic school would complement Council’s strategy to encourage more core services to be based in the Sorell area, which in turn would reduce transport pressure.

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