The Queensland Government has announced plans to build two new schools in inner-city Brisbane – the first since 1963 – and the expansion of a third, in a push for better education for Queensland students.
Premier, Annastacia Palaszczuk, said the State Budget would include a $500 million Building Future Schools Fund to build new schools, secure land in Queensland’s fastest growing regions, and create 1500 jobs over five years to deliver the initiative.
Ms Palaszczuk said the State Government was investing record funding to build new schools and classrooms where they were needed most across Queensland.
“We want every child to benefit from a quality education no matter where they live. That’s why we are investing $500 million over five years to help deliver world class education facilities where they are needed most,” Ms Palaszczuk said.
“We will always build new schools and new classrooms to cater for enrolments in our growing state.
“We will build first new high school in inner Brisbane since 1963.”
Ms Palaszczuk said through the fund, the Advancing Inner City Schools initiative will:
- Deliver a new state secondary school at the former Fortitude Valley State School site in partnership with Queensland University of Technology
- Establish a new high school in the inner-south working with the University of Queensland to take enrolment pressure off Brisbane State High School
- Support the expansion of West End State School to meet enrolment demand
Minister for Education, Kate Jones, said the Advancing Inner City Schools initiative would help alleviate enrolment pressures in Brisbane’s inner city.
The new schools complement the Queensland Government’s plans already underway for new state high schools in other growth areas across Queensland, including Mt Low in Townsville, North Lakes/Mango Hill north of Brisbane, Calliope near Gladstone, and Yarrabilba in South Logan.
Deputy Premier, Minister for Infrastructure and Planning and Member for South Brisbane, Jackie Trad, said over the last 50 years, Brisbane used all available land to expand existing school sites but there is a limit to how much can be expanded.
“In the last decade we have seen more than 5000 extra students join state schools in and around the Brisbane CBD,” Ms Trad said.
“This growth is set to continue with more than 3,000 extra students expected to move into inner-Brisbane in the next five years.
“It’s been more than 50 years since we built a new state high school in the inner Brisbane area, and with growth set to continue our $500 million Building Future Schools Fund will help address enrolment growth.”
Ms Jones said the Queensland Government was delivering a record investment to build new classrooms and schools throughout the state.
“We have already built a new special school in Cairns and opened three new schools this year – Bellbird Park State Secondary College, Pumicestone State School and Fernbrooke State School,” Ms Jones said.
“This year we’re building four new primary schools in Yarrabilba, Coomera, Caloundra South and Burdell (Townsville) – they will open first day of school in 2018.
“We’ve also announced a new secondary school for Calliope for 2020, and the final Public Private Partnership school will be built in Springfield for 2019.
“We will continue to build new schools in growth areas.
“We need to continue to act to meet the increasing demands for student enrolments and plan ahead for next generation learning needs.”
Ms Jones said the Department of Education would work with school communities over coming months to identify the best local solutions for each school.