Published Wednesday, 15 March, 2023 at 11:11 AM
Minister for Education, Minister for Industrial Relations and Minister for Racing
The Honourable Grace Grace
The Palaszczuk Government is continuing to deliver good jobs and better services for Queensland’s fastest growing communities under the $3 billion Building Future Schools Program, with 25 new schools opened since 2015 and more to come.
Two new schools will open in 2024 – Redland Bay primary and Bellbird Park primary. These schools alone represent an investment of $160 million and will support 80 local jobs.
Stabilising enrolments in some areas means other schools initially planned for 2024 now will not be needed until 2025 and beyond.
In 2025 six new schools will open. Five new primary schools will open in Park Ridge, Caboolture West, Caloundra South, Ripley Valley, and Greater Flagstone. A new secondary school will open in Collingwood Park, and there will be additional new classrooms and facilities for Springfield Central SHS.
Changes to federal laws protecting koalas mean the land earmarked for a new secondary school in Park Ridge can no longer be built on. The Department is in the process of selecting a new site, but in the meantime a $13 million new learning centre is already being constructed at Park Ridge State High which will add capacity for 200 students when it opens next term. Loganlea State High School will also receive upgrades.
Unprecedented flooding and further community consultation mean the former Toowong Bowls Club site has been deemed as no longer suitable for a new primary school in Brisbane’s inner west.
Stabilising enrolments mean there is currently capacity for around 600 extra students in the existing local state schools. A new state school is therefore not required as soon as anticipated.
The original pre-COVID business case from 2019 will now be reviewed to determine when and where a new primary school should be built. While this work is underway, school communities at Indooroopilly, Ironside and Toowong State Schools will benefit from new and upgraded facilities including additional student capacity where needed.
Quotes attributable to Education Minister Grace Grace:
“The Palaszczuk Government has a proud record of delivering educational infrastructure when and where it is needed,” Ms Grace said.
“Good governments are constantly reviewing what needs to be done and where, and it’s clear some of our new schools aren’t needed as quickly as was predicted a few years ago.
“Low birth rates from 2017 onwards, as well as a significant reduction in overseas enrolments due to COVID, means enrolments have stabilised and growth pressures have eased in some areas.
“We are prioritising opening new schools where they are needed, and ensuring best value for taxpayers in what is an incredibly challenging construction market impacted by the rising costs and labour shortages we’ve seen since the pandemic.
“We’ve faced curveballs from unprecedented flooding in Brisbane’s inner west and changes to federal koala protection laws. Stabilising enrolments mean we can now take the time to secure more suitable sites in the inner west and Park Ridge, safe in the knowledge that with upgrades – some of which are already taking place – our existing schools have capacity to accommodate students in the meantime.
“We have been able to achieve this because the Palaszczuk Government has worked hard for eight years doing the work the LNP didn’t: opening new schools and expanding existing ones.
“We’ve opened 25 new schools while the LNP closed six and had a hitlist of 50 more.”
Read more about planning for new schools on the Department of Education’s website.
Media contact: Kate Talbot, 0439 803 211
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