School with huge debt needs funds

TIME is running out for Shear- water Steiner School to save itself from liquidation.

Parents met last Thursday night to hear how efforts were progressing to save the Mullumbimby school.

“The school has been asking for money left right and centre,” said one parent, who wished to remain anonymous.

Donations and fundraising have raised $350,000 so far, the meeting was told, and it is believed two parents have committed to matching that dollar-for-dollar.

But it is still a long way from the $2 million figure the school was told it needs to keep running.

Voluntary administrators PPB were reported to have told the school that if it got such a sum together, it would have several more weeks before a decision was made.

But a second creditors’ meeting next Tuesday could seal the school’s fate.

Ironically, the day has been chosen as Steiner School’s Stand Together International Day of Action – a plea for Steiner schools the world over to donate at least $5 towards saving Shearwater.

If the school goes into liquidation, the name and assets will be sold to the highest bidder.

A corporate lawyer commented that if this happened, ‘all the unsecured creditors will get nil return’.

Unsecured creditors, including many local traders, some fairly small, are owed well over $5 million.

There are further debts to secured creditors, including the bank and one parent, of $5 million.

It is understood Lindisfarne Anglican College, in Tweed Heads, is a possible buyer of Shearwater.

The meeting was told the school had made a commitment to parents who had given money to the school that they would be repaid.

On Sunday, parents, teachers and the community were invited to a barbecue at Torakina, Brunswick Heads, ‘to come together as the colourful and creative community that we are’.

“Dress for a celebration,” the website invitation said.

The NSW Education Department said it would ensure that any students wishing to enrol at a local government school would be offered a place.

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