Budget provides $40 million for local NQ schools

Education Minister Grace Grace has visited three local schools with Townsville MP Scott Stewart, Mundingburra MP Coralee O’Rourke and Thuringowa MP Aaron Harper.

Ms Grace visited Vincent State School, Railway Estate State School and Heatley State Secondary College today, touring classrooms and talking to staff and students.

All three schools received funding in the Budget, which includes a record $1.46 billion in state school infrastructure across Queensland.

“It was fantastic to see $40 million injected into local schools across North Queensland in the 2019-20 State Budget, including new projects and upgrades to facilities like playgrounds, classrooms, science labs and sports courts,” Ms Grace said.

“The projects will support 116 local jobs which is a great boost for the North Queensland economy.”

Ms Grace and Ms O’Rourke met children and staff at Vincent State School’s Early Childhood Development Centre (ECDP) this morning, a service supporting children with disabilities and impairments aged 0-5.

“The Vincent ECDP is the third biggest in Queensland with 86 children registered, so it was important to see first-hand how important this service is for a child’s transition to school,” she said.

“The Vincent ECDP is among the 102 centres across Queensland which will continue to be funded over the next four years, thanks to the Palaszczuk Government’s $63 million investment in the Budget.”

Ms O’Rourke said she was thrilled with the outcome.

“I wrote to the Minister earlier this year, advocating for Townsville’s four ECDPs to continue operating because of their crucial role in preparing our most vulnerable children for school,” Ms O’Rourke said.

“The funding in the Budget to continue these services is a huge win for our community.

“I’m also happy to see projects like a refurbishment to a teaching block at Cranbrook State School included in the Budget for Mundingburra, making up a total of $1.8 million being spent in my electorate.”

Ms Grace and Mr Stewart inspected where a new playground will be built at Railway Estate State School, after a $100,000 boost in the Budget.

“I’ve been lobbying for a new playground for the school after the old one was destroyed by termites and the floods,” Mr Stewart said.

“The Student Council has raised $10,000 over the last five years to replace the playground, so I’m over the moon that the Budget includes the money needed to build a new one.

“It’s also pleasing to see a total of $2.4 million in the Budget for projects across my electorate, such as a new covered sports courts at Pimlico State High and $550,000 to refurbish Block A at Bwgcolman Community School.”

Mr Harper said he was thrilled with the $14.4 million invested in Thuringowa, including $11.3 million for Heatley State Secondary College.

“Schools in the Thuringowa Electorate are the winners in the Budget, especially Heatley Secondary College which is receiving a big boost as part of the Renewing Our Schools Program,” Mr Harper said.

“Over $11 million will be spent on new covered walkways and refurbishing and repurposing several classroom spaces into a performing arts centre, Special Education Unit staff centre, art centre and senior teaching kitchen.

“This will see a big improvement to the school, also supporting 33 jobs during construction.”

Ms Grace said $13.7 million has been allocated for schools in the Hinchinbrook electorate and $8.6 million for Burdekin, including $7 million to finish construction of the new North Shore State School.

“There’s also $2.3 million for eight new classrooms at Northern Beaches State High School in Hinchinbrook and over $100,000 for a prep precinct upgrade at East Ayr State School,” she said.

“The Palaszczuk Government wants every Queensland child, wherever they live, to get a great start to life by receiving a world-class education.”

Ms Grace also said the budget would include increased funding of $100 million over four years for priority state school air conditioning projects which, including existing investment, will bring total funding to $191 million over five years.

“This will include urgent replacement of air-conditioning units in schools in the Cooler Schools Zone and other priority school air-conditioning projects as identified through a review of state school air-conditioning needs,” she said.

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