The Archbishop of Canberra-Goulburn has blocked an attempt to set up an independent Catholic secondary school at Mount Carmel in Yass, announcing he will not lease land to parents, reports The Canberra Times.
A group of parents had been planning to set up a new year 7 to 12 Catholic school after the archdiocese declared earlier this year that it would close the secondary part of Mount Carmel.
The parents set themselves up as a board and signed a 20-year lease on the old Mount Carmel secondary school buildings with the Yass Parish priest, Fr Mick Burke, in July.
In a statement, the Archdiocese said the parents' announcement in July that they had leased the old buildings was "premature and unauthorised."
On Wednesday, Archbishop Christopher Prowse declared the lease invalid in a meeting with Fr Burke and Paul De Szell, chairman of Mt Carmel College Ltd. The lease had proposed to share the campus with the current and continuing K-6 Mt Carmel School, which is now run by the Catholic Education Office.
"I have decided, after extensive consultation and giving the matter serious reflection, that the proposed campus-sharing arrangement is not viable," the Archbishop said. He said issues around the school's proposed governance were also behind his decision to refuse the lease.
FULL STORY Catholic archdiocese knocks back lease for new Mt Carmel secondary school (The Canberra Times)