The inner west desperately needs a new P-12 school. This is something I’ve been hearing from local residents since before I was elected. Rapid development and densification in the area has meant that many local schools are experiencing severe overcrowding.
This is impacting on the wellbeing of students, parents and the local community. Capacity is quickly being outstripped by enrolments, with P&C members estimating they will need significant numbers of new buildings next year to accommodate growth. Demountable classrooms are being erected on school ovals, encroaching on students’ already limited play area. Before and after school care services are particularly overcrowded, with long wait lists placing enormous pressures on working parents especially.
I believe we need long term solutions and planning for future growth, and that’s why I’ve been calling for a new school or schools for the inner west. With limited space, one solution could be a vertical school, similar to the one due to open in Fortitude Valley in 2020. I’ve put it to local residents whether they’d support this option, so please complete my Autumn Community Survey to have your say.
My office and I have been looking into a number of possible locations for a new school, and have a few sites in mind. Taringa seems to be the obvious choice, given its population is growing quickly, it’s relatively accessible via public transport, and it still doesn’t have a school. Closing the old Taringa State School in 1996 and selling off this valuable land was a huge mistake.
Instead of making sure property developers pay their fair share, past governments have let development carry on without the necessary public infrastructure like schools, public transport and green space.
I’ve been raising this issue repeatedly in the media and in Parliament. On 3 April 2019 the Minister for Education gave a promising answer to my question about a new school, indicating that “all options are on the table”. Now we need to make sure the Minister understands how urgently the inner west needs a new school.
How can you take action?
- Sign my petition asking the Queensland government for a new school and ask your friends and family to sign too. This will help demonstrate the urgent need to the Government.
- Write to the Minister for Education, Grace Grace, via firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Let your local school Principal and P&C know this issue is important to you.
If you have specific thoughts about a location, or other ideas or concerns, please contact my office directly via email@example.com or 3737 4100.
PETITION to the Minister for Education and the Queensland State Government:
Rapid development in the inner west has left our local schools severely overcrowded. While the State government is addressing some immediate concerns with upgrades to existing schools, this can only ever be a short term stop-gap. We need long term solutions and planning for the inevitable continued growth in the area. We urgently need a new school or schools catering to students from Prep to Year 12.
Your petitioners, therefore, request that the government:
- Urgently undertake a full analysis of current primary and secondary enrolments and projected growth in the inner west; and
- Commit to a new school or schools covering Prep to Year 12, starting with identifying and acquiring a new site in the inner west.