Newspaper article The Observer (Gladstone, Australia)

WE BELONG IN GLADSTONE Change of Government Could Spell the End for $60 Million School; Callioperesidentsspeak Out

Newspaper article The Observer (Gladstone, Australia)

WE BELONG IN GLADSTONE Change of Government Could Spell the End for $60 Million School; Callioperesidentsspeak Out

Article excerpt

Byline: Declan Cooley declan.cooley@gladstoneobserver.com.au

WHEN Gladstone MP Glenn Butcher announced $60 million to build a high school at Calliope, it was a breakthrough moment for the community.

But with changes to the electoral boundaries and a looming state election, Mr Butcher said funding for the secondary school could be at risk under a Liberal National Party and Pauline Hanson's One Nation.

Although funding for the school was currently budgeted for and expected to be built in 2019, this could all be wiped away if Labor does not win the next state election.

The date for the next election has not been set but bookmakers Sportsbet already has the LNP ($1.67) ahead of Labor ($2.15) to form government.

Prior to Mr Butcher's announcement last January, the LNP had tried to sell the land for the school on Don Cameron Dr.

In parliament in 2013 the former Newman government's Education Minister John-Paul Langbroek said "the Calliope state high school site (was)... considered surplus and appropriate for disposal".

But despite the proposed changes to Mr Butcher's electorate, which would have Calliope yanked from Gladstone and given to Callide, he said he would be "fighting hard" to keep Calliope.

Callide MP Jeff Seeney has said that education would be a focus for him, however he did not respond to questions asking him to commit to funding for the school.

Lynda Ninness, who campaigned hard to secure government funding for the proposed high school, said it was a "huge concern" about what a change in government would mean for the school.

She also felt that any change to the electoral boundary was "ludicrous" because of Calliope's ties to Gladstone.

"Calliope is almost becoming a suburb of Gladstone and although I live towards the Boyne Valley I work, shop and my kids go to school in Gladstone...we have nothing to do with the other side of the range," she said. …

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