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Aug 312014

The following is discussion from a “question without notice” addressed to John-Paul Langbroek, Minister for Education, Training & Employment, in Queensland Parliament on Thursday 28th August 2014. You can add your questions or comments at the end.

Steve Minnikin: My question without notice is to the Minister for Education, Training and Employment. Can the minister please inform the House about how the LNP government has restored the schools in the electorate of Chatsworth so students, teachers and communities are invigorated to go there again?

John Paul Langbroek: I would really like to thank the honourable member for the question. Steve Minnikin is a passionate advocate for the schools in his electorate. He is a genius at coming into the place and asking questions that are relevant to his electorate, and no more so than in the case of maintenance in his schools where we have spent $2,083,089 fixing the maintenance black hole in Chatsworth’s seven schools. One of them I have a strong affinity with: Mayfield State School, the amenities block. When my parents first brought me back from New Guinea in 1974, my father was a teacher-librarian at Mayfield State School. Steve Minnikin, the member for Chatsworth, first came across this when he was a candidate. It is quite a remarkable story. Leaking water was destroying the playground equipment. Labor did not fix the problem; they just replaced the playground equipment. It was a prime example of Labor waste and mismanagement. We have spent $300,373 replacing the amenities block. At Camp Hill State Infants and Primary School we have spent $347,916. At Whites Hill—

Ian Walker interjected.

John Paul Langbroek: I take that interjection from the honourable Minister for Science, Information Technology, Innovation and the Arts about his old school. Whites Hill State College received $467,687. Belmont State School is an IPS, an independent public school. I had breakfast with the 26 independent public school principals so they could tell me what practically it meant to them. To the principal at Belmont State School where the honourable member and I attended an assembly, it has meant not only $384,222 in maintenance funding but also the involvement of the whole school community via their council. Council members are members of the community and are passionate about their school, as parents are around the state. For that principal it has meant a reinvigoration of the final years of his teaching career in the sense of the enthusiasm and innovation he wanted to bring to his own school which under the former government through a command and control mentality he was never allowed to do from Mary Street. They can now introduce programs at Belmont where they have a passionate community.

Tingalpa State School received $90,439; Carina State School, $321,607; and Gumdale State School, $171,245. Steve Minnikin, the member for Chatsworth, has been to see me about the Gumdale State School, where a master plan is being finalised to enable suitable expansion of this school because it is located in a major growth corridor. Importantly, we let the principals and communities decide the school’s priorities. As the Premier just mentioned, allowing schools to go out to market has meant that we have had up to a 20 per cent increase in the things they can get done around their school and they have saved an average of 20 per cent by choosing local contractors or by joining forces with adjoining electorates to cluster their maintenance spend. I congratulate the member for what he has achieved there.

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