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Gazette Article

Abbott Lane - an ongoing divisive issue



Artarmon continues to be hopelessly divided over Abbott Lane. The rift is not only between Artarmon Public School parents who want to see the lane closed and the Barton Road residents who rely on the lane to give them any easy, level access to the Artarmon shops and the station but APS parents, many of whom prefer the lane to stay open, are also split over the issue.

The majority of the 60 or so residents who turned up at a public meeting on November 30 last year heaved a collective sigh of relief over the compromise agreement NSW Department of Education and Training and Willoughby City Council reached to leave the paved area open to the public, while APS takes over the grassy area next to it. DET regional school education director Dean White told the meeting the department and WCC would develop a plan for the lane, which would be distributed in March for comment, to be followed by another public meeting in April 2011.

Following the November meeting, White met with 30 school parents who were unhappy about the decision and who handed him a petition of 150 signatures for its closure. The parents claim the lane is unsafe, citing an incident involving a young student who was allegedly accosted and sexually propositioned. The parents' protest was published in The North Shore Times, on December 17, triggering heated debate and confusion over the lane's future.

However, Artarmon Gazette understands that, according to the latest feedback from White's office, DET has had no reported incidents in the laneway and is continuing to work with council on a plan for the laneway. To follow the issue or voice your opinion, join Artarmon Progress Association on Facebook.

by Wiland, Artarmon Gazette editor

Courtesy of Gazette February 2011
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