The Palaszczuk Government will invest a record $1.464 billion building new state schools and refurbishing, maintaining and expanding existing state schools right across Queensland.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the 2019-20 Budget would fund the construction of four additional new state schools in some of the fastest-growing communities across the state.
“New primary and special schools will be built at Palmview and a new secondary school will be built at Caloundra South on the Sunshine Coast, and a new primary school will be built at Pimpama on the Gold Coast,” The Premier said.
“These new state schools will enrol students for day 1, 2021 along with the new Inner City South State Secondary College, which we’re delivering in Dutton Park for Brisbane’s inner southern suburbs. “This investment will see the total number of new schools opened by my government since 2015 increase to 26.”
Deputy Premier and Treasurer Jackie Trad said the 2019-20 Budget also included funding for early works on a new secondary school at Palmview, which is forecast to open in 2023.
“Not only does this Budget provide funding for new and enhanced education infrastructure across Queensland, it has the added benefit of driving job creation in the construction industry,” the Treasurer said.
Education Minister Grace Grace said the Palaszczuk Government was committed to delivering the new and enhanced education infrastructure Queensland’s growing state schools needed now and into the future.
“Over the past 12 months, my department has undertaken master planning of 35 inner city schools in Brisbane to ensure they have the infrastructure they need for the future,” Ms Grace said.
“I am pleased that this year’s budget includes funding to start bringing these master plans to fruition at eight schools – Toowong, Newmarket, Brisbane Central, New Farm, Morningside, Ithaca Creek, Windsor and Petrie Terrace state schools.
“This will see new and enhanced classrooms, libraries, canteens and administration areas built at these schools, which will make these great schools even better.
“State schools in regional Queensland are also in line for an infrastructure boost, with the Budget providing funding for a range of projects at schools from the tip of Cape York and West to Mount Isa.”
Ms Grace said the 2019-20 Budget also included 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.
Ms Grace said the Budget also continued to deliver on the Government’s commitment to employ an additional 3,700 teachers over four years.
“This Budget includes additional funding to employ 1000 additional teachers and over 200 extra teacher aides to cater for increased enrolments in our Queensland state schools, including a boost of at least 240 teachers and teacher aides to ensure students with a disability get the support they need,” she said.
“Since March 2015, we have employed an additional 4,800 full-time equivalent teachers and around 1400 teacher aides to ensure students have the support they need to become the global citizens of tomorrow. Our significant investment in new and enhanced educational facilities and additional teachers and teacher aides will ensure all Queensland children receive a world-class education wherever they live.”