Coonabarabran's business community has joined parents to fight to save the town's only Catholic high school, scheduled for closure due to falling enrolments.
The Bathurst Diocese's board of trustees plans to shut St Lawrence's Secondary School next year, but the decision has been met with protests from parents complaining the lack of Catholic schools close enough for the town's children.
About 50 business people gathered in Coonabarabran yesterday to raise concerns that the whole town will be affected, ABC reported.
Concerned parent Michelle Bolte says if the school closes it is estimated 27 families will move away.
"The average family would generally spend about $500 a week in town and it equates to over $700,000 a year in income for town businesses," she said. "Business people are very concerned about their loss of business and potentially more than likely loss of jobs."
She said the community would seek a meeting with the new Bishop Michael McKenna after he is ordained on Friday.
"We can see hope with the new bishop and we're well aware that the bishop can look at our case and can overturn the decision," she said.
"We're hoping that that will happen and if we can see that glimmer of hope there, we'll keep pushing ahead."
Traders back fight to save Coonabarabran school (ABC)