Image: A ‘vertical school’ in Melbourne – the emerging concept throughout Australia to deliver more educational institutions without requiring vast amounts of land. Courtesy Hayball.
Two new schools will open in the inner-city in Brisbane and another significantly expanded as the Palaszczuk Government committed $500 million to the Building Future Schools Fund.
The fund’s purposes centres around building new schools, securing land in Queensland’s fastest growing regions and creating the necessary jobs to accomplish the projects in place.
“We will build the first new high school in inner Brisbane since 1963,” Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said.
“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,” she said.
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.
The Palaszczuk Government also claimed to have 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 she said you can only expand so much.
“In the last decade we have seen more than 5000 extra students join state schools in and around the Brisbane CBD,” she 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.”
The ABC reported that Queensland Opposition Leader Tim Nicholls said the new high schools would be built in vulnerable government seats.
“Half a billion dollars for two high schools is a heck of a lot of money to fight off the Greens in two of Labor’s marginal seats,” he said to the ABC.
“Is it really going to deliver the services that are needed?
“What planning has gone into it or is this just a last gasp measure to fight off the Greens in inner-city Brisbane?” he said.