ST JOHN'S Primary School principal Marian Bell has organised a public meeting tonight to discuss the future of Riverstone.
She said concern for the dwindling number of enrolments at the school sparked the project, with about 60 fewer enrolments in the past five years.
"The statistics are telling us that there are more primary school aged children living in Riverstone than attend the Riverstone schools, so I contacted my state colleagues and had a chat about that.
"They're finding the same things, particularly at Vineyard and Marsden Park which are at the edges of Riverstone.
"Why are people looking outside of the area for education? When I started to talk to some of the community members it just gained momentum."
Mrs Bell said conversations with local business people revealed concern at how quiet the suburb had become and fears the planned overpass at Garfield Road would add to the problem.
"We know there is going to be a lot of infrastructure change [with the] police station and the overpass, and where that's going is controversial," she said.
"The essence of the meeting is what can we do as a community to promote Riverstone in the meantime."
"People started saying 'You know what? I'm a hairdresser. People don't come to me, they go to Rouse Hill, which is an appealing new suburb with a beautiful new shopping centre' or 'Yep, I'm an accountant and I'm also losing business to the newer areas'.
"The butcher is on board, the dentist, the doctor, the pharmacists," she said.
" I think the catch cry is 'How can we make Riverstone the suburb of choice in north-western Sydney?'
Mrs Bell said she hoped a working party would be formed after the meeting.
"I think that we all need to take responsibility rather than set the blame at local, state and federal government level," she said. "As a community there has got to be ways to invite and include people.
"The people who are coming to this meeting are the everyday people . . . who have lived here all their lives and love the township and are now looking at the deterioration of the suburb.
"There are pockets of Riverstone that are lovely. Why can't we make all of Riverstone lovely?"
The meeting is at St John's Primary School hall, 5 McCulloch Street, Riverstone, at 7.15pm. Details: firstname.lastname@example.org.