On Wednesday 3 April 2019 Michael asked the Minister for Education, Grace Grace, about planning for a new school for the west side. The Minister's answer that "all options are on the table" was encouraging, but still a long way from real investment.
Mr BERKMAN: My question today is to the Minister for Education. Schools on Brisbane’s west side are desperately overcrowded. There are now demountables on the oval at Toowong, bursting classrooms and waiting lists for afterschool care at Ironside, Indooroopilly and others. Will the government’s option analysis for the inner west investigate urgently securing a site for a new school before the end of this school year?
Ms GRACE: I thank the member for the question. I know he does have a very keen interest in education, as we all do on this side of the House. I would have loved to have seen more money in the federal budget so we could do all the things we want to do. As I said earlier, there is not a member in this House who does not come to see me about some sort of education funding and spending in their electorate. Every single member has their hand out. Unfortunately, the federal government failed to hand out any additional money for Queensland.
I am taking on the member’s issues in the inner west. The department is well aware that there is growth in the inner city. Through our Building Future Schools Fund we are investing $800 million in schools. We have done master planning in around 30-odd schools in the inner city. This is all part of how we provide the classrooms and how we provide the educational facilities for those schools in the area. Everything is on the table, including new schools in the area. As we know, in the inner city it is very hard to acquire the necessary land to make sure that we have the space for new schools.
I can assure the member for Maiwar that those issues are all on the table. We are looking very closely at delivering a world-class education not only for students in the inner city but students right throughout Queensland. We cannot do it alone. Some $200,000 for a federal electorate where the member for Maiwar is is not going to cut the mustard. It is not even going to deliver a playground. It is not going to deliver a refurbished library in a lot of these schools. It is a cruel hoax and a cruel joke.
We are investing over $1 billion in infrastructure in this state this financial year. We are spending that money where it is needed the most—in the inner-city areas, in the regions and in all the electorates of those opposite.
Mrs Frecklington interjected.
Ms GRACE: I take the interjection from the Leader of the Opposition. Do not come in here complaining about school funding in the electorates of those opposite because there are tens of millions of dollars going to every one of the electorates of those opposite and those on this side of the House as well.
Ms Jones: A new hall.
Ms GRACE: Yes—a new hall in Kingaroy. They called it KPAC. That is how gorgeous it was. The Leader of the Opposition was there cutting the ribbon with me, loving every minute of Labor spending in her electorate, as we do in all the rest.
I can assure the member for Maiwar that the department is very keenly aware of the situation in the inner-city suburbs. I can assure the member for Maiwar that we are investing in the research needed to deliver a fantastic education not only to those students in the gallery but to every student throughout Queensland.