Tuesday June 27, 2017

Qld School Closures and Sell-off

Written by David Marler
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#SOS Newman's School Closures

Queensland Premier Campbell Newman is about to embark on a six month process to close some of the State's High and Primary Schools.



School Closures Qld Education Act 2006    3rd May, 2013.

QUEENSLAND: Late Friday, around 6:30pm, Minister for Education, John-Paul Langbroek announced up to nine State schools would be closed or amalgamated. While most people were at the pub or watching the local Broncos game, the Newman Government fired off its media release and then ran for the safety of the weekend.

The Courier Mail
released the full list of schools affected which involved up to 1170 primary and high school students and 157 teachers.

P&C groups across the State told the media outlets that they had not been consulted.

The Minister responded to the media saying that the consultation process was about to begin over a six month period.

However, this is a standard process as outlined in the Queensland Education Act 2006.  It reads:

'Before closing a State school, there must be adequate consultation by the Minister'

The notice of closure or an amalgamation of schools must be published in the gazette in the Queensland Parliament.

It further adds that "... closure or amalgamation must not happen earlier than 6 months after the publication."

Premier Newman and Minister Langbroek deliberately withdrew funding for the 2013 school year from the then Queensland School for Travelling Show Children. The school is based in Coorporoo, near Brisbane but travels the country performing.
Teachers and portable classrooms travel with the performers across the country, so that their children can attend a regular school routine. The Federal, NSW and Victoria Governments stepped in to save the school from closure with new funding arrangements.

As rumours of the school closures were quantified, plans were also revealed to sell off school ovals at other sites.

Education Minister John-Paul Langbroek told Channel 9 News Brisbane's Spencer Jolly the reasons for the decision.

"We believe that there are close alternatives in schools that they can attend."

"The teachers and principals will all be employed within Education Queensland."

"If they are concerned about uniforms we are going to look at ways to provide them, get the transport they need to go to the alternative."

Minister John-Paul Langbroek
Minister for Education, Training and Employment
Ministerial Office Address
Level 22, Education House
30 Mary Street
Phone: 07 3237 1000
   School Closures JPL
 Nine schools in the firing line as Queensland's school closure list revealed
Nine schools on the chopping block

'Nine schools on the chopping block'

Education (General Provisions) Act 2006

'Education (General Provisions) Act 2006'

School cuts show nothing sacred under Newman Government

'School cuts show nothing sacred under Newman Government'

School Viability Assessment: Implementation date 3/05/2013

Dept of Education 'School Viability Assessment: Implementation date 3/05/2013'


Here Comes KRudd

Here Comes KRudd

Doing his best not to swear on camera, Federal member for Griffith Kevin Rudd told reporters that he was 'pinged off' at the closure of schools in his electorate.

"We the Federal Government have invested massively in state education over the last five years and what I sense is that as much as we invest it seems to be as much as they pull out."
School Closures Interview with Kevin Rudd    Mr Rudd implored Premier Newman to be upfront on all school closures or part sell-offs.

"Mr Newman come clean about what plans you have to flog off school playing fields, close schools or merge schools rather than simply letting it out drip by drip in the hope that no one around the country or around the state figures out what's going on."

Balmoral State High School and Whites Hill State College are two schools with proposed oval sell-offs that fall within Mr Rudd's electorate of Griffith.

A third school Coorporoo Secondary College is proposed to be merged with Brisbane State High School. Mr Rudd told ABC 612 Brisbane listeners that he was not directly opposed to the merger if that is what the school's P&C decided.
"My core point is why not consult with the P&Cs and the school communities so that people don't read about these things in the newspaper. Secondly don't see off green space, it's so short sighted."
Kevin Rudd on school closures and merges in his electorate

'Kevin Rudd on school closures and merges in his electorate'

Kevin Rudd sponsored petition: Premier Campbell Newman and the LNP State Government: Don’t Sell our School!

Kevin Rudd sponsored petition: 'Premier Campbell Newman and the LNP State Government: Don’t Sell our School!'


Student to Teacher Ratios Removed

Student to Teacher Ratios Removed

Amongst the many recommendations of Peter Costello's 'Commission of Audit' into Queensland finances, was the removal of student to teacher ratios.

On April 30 2013, the Queensland Government tabled to Parliament its responses to the audit. It accepted item 87 of the Education reform which sought to 'remove restrictive provisions' such as these ratios. The Government confirmed that it had all ready covered this in its latest 'Teacher's Enterprise Bargaining Agreement'.

An earlier investigative report on 19 March 2013, by Channel 7 News Brisbane's Geoff Breusch uncovered a major change to teacher allocations.  In 2012, the Government had changed the calculation on how many teachers each school needs by setting exact numbers.

In the past, the system had taken into account growing enrollment numbers. The report showed that in 2013, Education Queensland would actually be short by 519 teachers.  This is despite Premier Campbell Newman assuring Queensland that frontline services would not be effected by his budgetary austerity measures.
  Student Teacher Ratio Removed
Teacher Allocation Changes    As enrollment numbers grow at a sharper rate than extra teacher numbers, the overall result can only be larger class sizes.

The planned change of Queensland Year 7 students moving from state primary schools to high schools in 2015 may be another factor impacting class sizes. However, the date is still too far away to discuss with any accuracy.

The Department of Education also released its School Viability Assessment plan on Friday 3 May 2013, the same day as school closures were confirmed.

It would appear the three changes, student/teacher ratio, teacher allocation method and the release of the viability assessment were barriers the Newman Government needed to remove before they could proceed with any school mergers or closures.
Student teacher ratios

School Viability Assessment: Implementation date 3/05/2013

Dept of Education 'School Viability Assessment: Implementation date 3/05/2013'

Queensland Government Response to the Independent Commission of Audit Final Report

Full Report: 'Queensland Government Response to the Independent Commission of Audit Final Report'

Qld govt to scrap class-size limits

'Qld govt to scrap class-size limits'


Families Rally - 'Union-led Hysterics'

Families Rally - 'Union-led Hysterics'

SATURDAY 18th May, 2013: Protesting families, unions and members of the Queensland ALP have been labeled as 'union-led hysterics' by Queensland Education Minister John-Paul Langbroek.

A street protest against the Brisbane school closures triggered a sharp rebuff from Mr Langbroek linking the protest to the September Federal election.

"The consultation only started last Friday, the 10th of May, and here we have people with union-inspired protests involving small children."

"I don’t think that’s appropriate and it’s not going to do the most for the well-being of those children and I think that’s very disappointing."

However, Fortitude Valley State School P&C president Tony Holcroft confirmed to Brisbane Times reporter Cameron Atfield, that the rally had been organised by the parents with assistance from Opposition Leader Annastacia Palaszczuk's office with regard to notification to the media.
  Union-led hysterics
School Closures Protest Rally   The minister also distanced the Newman Government from the process by announcing the appointment of an outside co-ordinator to conduct the six month consultation process.

"We have an outsourced consultant who can answer all the questions and bring the questions to me for us to consider that in our consideration about any potential closures."

However, Ms Palaszczuk said of the Newman Government, "Their prime concern here is real estate. Their prime concern should really be the students and this community."
Parents rally to save Brisbane schools

'Parents rally to save Brisbane schools'


Ten New Schools Announced As Others Closed

Ten New Schools Announced As Others Closed

BRISBANE, Thursday 23 May 2013, Queensland Minister for Education, John-Paul Langbroek announced ten new schools would be built under a private public partnership (PPP).

This is the same type of government and private enterprise arrangement that built the failed Clem7 and Brisbane Airport Link tunnels, sending the established company Brisconnections into receivership and costing investors millions. The blame was laid at the feet of consultants who over-inflated traffic numbers.

The 3rd comparative construction, LegacyWay is under a slightly different arrangement to protect investors and Brisbane's Mayor Quirk has stated that he is confident there will be no repeat of the first two failures.
   Qld Education Minister John-Paul Langbroek announces ten new schools

Premier Newman tweets that his Government is building 10 new schools but doesn’t mention the closure of 9 others. A net gain to the state of 1

  (In citing these examples it is not intended to spread fear but to give some recent examples of what PPP actually means.  It is not to say that schools built under the agreement would necessarily fail.)

Contrast this announcement with the news delivered to P&C associations across the state who face school closures, mergers or part sell-offs.

All of the proposals occur outside the Brisbane suburbs, there is no real benefit to those that must shut down and move to nearby schools.

Speaking about Fortitude Valley School closure, Mr Langbroek told the media, "I suppose the question there is; 'why the enrollments haven't been going up in the last few years at Fortitude Valley?'
However, Fortitude Valley School P&C President Anthony Holcroft told Ten News Queensland that, "We've got low numbers but we're not declining we're actually increasing and we're in an area which is earmarked for high residential development."

Old Yarranlea School P&C President, Derick Orr told Ten News Queensland, "We're the only one teacher multi-age school on a university campus anywhere in the whole world."

P&C President of Toowoomba South State School, Mrs Caroline Bennett told Greenshack of her frustration at the news.

"I began to wonder, just when this whole thing (sell off 9 schools/build 10) was conspired, surely not overnight?"

Mrs Bennet expressed concern over the whole process and has many unanswered questions:

"I'm frustrated that as a state (or country) we haven't learnt from past mistakes of other countries. When England adopted the American comprehensive school system which created enormous schools, often by amalgamation and closure of many smaller ones and which has failed dismally in terms of student outcomes."

"How much money from the sale of the 9 schools was/is to go to the building of the 10, as I see they are to be 50% private and possibly high-rise in city areas?"

"Why is bigger better than older/established/smaller, especially where special needs children are concerned and the goal is for them, at Toowoomba South, to be able to fit into mainstream society and not be constrained by their disabilities?"

"Has any research been undertaken to evaluate the impact of school closures on students and has any research been conducted into the success/failure of large schools in contributing to their educational outcomes?"

Mrs Bennet has requested a meeting with Minister Langbroek. His office is yet to respond.

Door open to multistorey state schools

'Door open to multistorey state schools'


Red Tape In Save Our Schools Consultation Plan

MOUNTAINS of electronic paperwork and red tape face P&C associations across Queensland as they fight to save their schools from closure, part sell-off or merger.

On the 18th May 2013, Education Minister, John-Paul Langbroek informed the media that the mandatory consultation process had been outsourced.

"We have an outsourced consultant who can answer all the questions and bring the questions to me for us to consider that in our consideration about any potential closures."

Chris Calcino from Toowoomba's The Chronicle, reported that specialist consultation company, JTA Australia had been working with local Toowoomba South State School on a viability statement to the Department of Education in order to convince Education Minister John-Paul Langbroek to keep the doors open.
  School Closures Toowoomba South Facebook Page

School to fight closure with viability case

'School to fight closure with viability case'

Toowoomba South State School P&C President, Mrs Caroline Bennett told The Chronicle of her frustrations.

"What really rattles my cage is that they gave us no notice to get this campaign going."

"It's only by luck that I know my way around a computer, so I was able to launch our campaign on social media."

"As soon as I got over the shock, I started and spent the next few days setting up Facebook and Twitter accounts as well as our own dedicated website."

Mrs Bennet also told Greenshack that this was exhausting for her, a single carer with a special needs child and only P&C member able to participate in online media campaigns.

"The other members either don't have the resources or don't have the knowledge required to set up and maintain things such as facebook, twitter and a new website so they are going around the community with petitions(hard copy). I'm the one who set up, manages and maintains constant interest on these media sites, which is exhausting."

At 52, she will not go back to square 1 with her grandson if the school closes.

"He started at the school in Prep; could not speak properly and had no social skills whatsoever. Through hard work and consistent guidance from all the staff (past and present) and myself, he is now a confident student, happy and stable; able to speak and interact on a social level close to his peers but most importantly, his environment is stable."

"Stability and consistency are of extreme importance in my grandson's case and research proves that this also contributes to positive learning outcomes, as it would be for many others, but to think that I would have to 'erase' 5 years of hard work and start all over again (if that is even possible) is something that horrifies me. I am distraught that a child's future is so precariously outweighed by money and politics."

Mrs Bennett also notified Greenshack of social media conversations between herself and Minister Langbroek's staff in which she was able to clarify some of the communication methods recommended by JTA Australia from its consultation plan.

The following communication methods will be used to share information with the school community:


  • Weekly/fortnightly school newsletter item
  • Advertise consultation activities on school website
  • Advertise consultation activities on local community group websites
  • Advertise consultation activities on departmental Facebook and Twitter accounts
  • Local newsletter
  • Flyer at local businesses
  • Other

In order to campaign for the school, nothing can appear on the school websites or Education department's.

"As a P&C we are not allowed to do anything on the school's website, hence I had to set up our own."

Mrs Bennett contacted QCPCA to confirm if any funding from the P&C could be used in an advertising campaign.

"P&C funds cannot be used for any form of media attention, advertising or campaign requirements so there again the inequity of funds."

With a yearly income of a $18,000, Mrs Bennett faces the financial stress of mounting a successful media campaign to save the school.

Mrs Bennett is still awaiting an appointment confirmation from Minister Langbroek's office. 

"No luck so far so I may as 'tweet' the dilemma. Seems to get the best attention."

If you are in the area and can assist, please contact Mrs Bennett at her Facebook, Twitter page or website.

A transcript of Mrs Bennet's twitter conversation with Minister Langbroek's staff is below:
School Closures Toowoomba South JTA


Shifting The Goalposts

School Closures Shifting The Goal Posts  

Shifting The Goalposts

Apparently, asking for certainty about the future of your school translates into shortening the deadline in which you need to provide justification to the Newman Government as to why it should remain open.

Late on Friday of 21st July, 2013 Queensland Education Minister John-Paul Langbroek dropped a bombshell and announced that the August 9 deadline would be moved forward 2 weeks to July 26th.
At the time, P&C President of Toowoomba South, Caroline Bennett was in a meeting at the school with the principal, her local MP John McVeigh and Department of Education senior policy advisor, Tim Rawlings.

The meeting was interrupted by a phone call which the principal excused himself to take.  Upon his return, he announced that the consultation period within which schools had to return their applications to remain open had been shortened.

Mrs Bennett told radio ABC Southern Queensland's Belinda Sanders of Mr Rawlings his response.

"Mr Rawlings is one of the people who have been given authority to act on behalf of the Minister. Apparently, there are a number of delegates given that authority now. So the Minister is not under any obligation to attend anything himself personally."

"But I did ask Mr Rawlings and he came back and said that, 'probably because communities want it over sooner than later'."
Belinda Sanders asked Mrs Bennett if that was the case for the three schools in the Toowoomba area.

"Absolutely not! Even in Brisbane. I'm in constant contact with the P&Cs in Brisbane and when I got home from the meeting at about 12:15pm, I went straight on twitter and Facebook."

Putting the word out via social media was met with shock and disbelief.
  School Closures JPL
"It took me a long time to convince them that we had got this message," Mrs Bennett explained to listeners.

"I was later able to confirm that schools were told at 3pm on Friday."

Friday was the last day for school term 2 in Queensland.  As Mrs Bennett went on to explain, there were now 2 weeks of no school contact on top of a shortened deadline.

"This is a major goalpost shift. There were no rules and guidelines to begin with. Then to just arbitrarily shift the day, it means that everything has to be brought forward. Online petitions finish on a certain day, other P&Cs have plans leading right up to the 9th of August which was the original date so everything has got to be rescheduled and hurried up."

"The problem also is that the announcement was made on the last day of school, so you've got 2 weeks where the school is not open and so you're not in contact with the community as you would be in school time."

In response, Belinda Sanders also interviewed Queensland Education Minister John-Paul Langbroek about the shortening of the consultation process.

Mr Langbroek stated, "There's been a significant period of consultation all ready, about five weeks and that parents throughout these communities have said they'd like to have some certainty as quickly as possible."

"Whilst it's important that we have feedback from these 140 students across these three schools (Toowoomba region), I consider that to be an extensive period of consultation there's still five weeks from now till the 26th of July and it's important that process be enabled so that people can have some certainty for next year."

Belinda Sanders asked him if that had been expressed by the parents in the Toowoomba community.

"We've had that from the 9 schools across the state where we've been having these discussions."

"There's a process that happens via the outsourced consultants. There are consultants who are doing it, it's not teachers who are doing the consultation. So the arguments about whether school holidays effect these matters when we are speaking about 140 students who we do want to hear from, that certainly can be done over 10 weeks which is of course 70 days."

Sanders asked, "Have you all ready made the decision to close schools?"

Minister Langbroek replied, "No."

"When will that decision be made?"

"Well, we're saying consultation deadline is by the end of July we're anticipating having a decision made some weeks after that so that we can give this certainty to parents and all of those communities with adequate time for 2014."

"Did you take into consideration the announcement was made on the last day of school term cutting the P&C's access to the school community?"

"Well once again, Belinda, I've rejected that. The fact that its mentioned on the last day of school is actually an issue for a connected school community many of whom who are in contact via the various methods we've heard about this morning; via social media, it's nothing to do with the fact that it was the last day of term.  It's more about saying that parents have said that this is a protracted process. We believe around the state that we'd like to have this calm and mature conversation but that we'd like to have some certainty for 2014, sooner rather than later.  Two  weeks shorter of what it was does not mean a grossly shortened period of consultation at all."

With the Federal election looming on September 14, the Newman Government may be trying to quieten community unrest.

The Courier Mail's Sarah Volger reported on the response from Together president, Vivienne Doogan.

Ms Doogan felt that recent protests were hurting the Newman Government and the decision to move the deadline forward was an effort to stifle rallies.

"The protests that have been going on by the communities associated with those schools are starting to hurt,'' Ms Doogan said. "They don't want to listen to it any more so they are cutting it short."

"There have been very strong community campaigns against closing."
Education Minister John-Paul Langbroek has shortened the deadline on school closures to 'provide certainty  'Education Minister John-Paul Langbroek has shortened the deadline on school closures to 'provide certainty' 
The Education Minister Answers the Question: Why has the deadline for school closure submissions been moved?

'The Education Minister Answers the Question: Why has the deadline for school closure submissions been moved?'


Bulimba - Balmoral State High School

Balmoral State High School Oval handed to Brisbane City Council
'Unnecessary' state school land to be sold

'Unnecessary' state school land to be sold

School Closures Bulimba Meeting with Kevin Rudd  
In an obvious display of lack of consultation on the schools closure and sell-off process, Queensland Premier Campbell Newman has told the media that Balmoral State High School's cricket oval is underutilised.

The astonishing justification he gave was on the say so of a member of his staff that once attended the school.

As reported in the Brisbane Times by Cameron Attfield, Newman stated:

"It is a very small portion of the school – I even have a member of staff who used to go to the school and says 'look, we never used that'. It is a beat-up by the Prime Minister and some local people"

It comes as Premier Newman moved last week to quell public outrage at the proposal to raise MPs base salary by 42%.

At a separate location, Mr Newman was responding to the media after a protest rally was held outside Prime Minister Kevin Rudd's local electorate office and in sight of LNP State MP for Bulima, Aaron Dillaway.
Dillaway was absent from this rally and also from a community meeting held last month where all 150 attendees voted against the sale of the oval.

Dillaway made headlines just before the Queensland State election by standing aside in the seat of Ashgrove to allow Campbell Newman to parachute into state politics.
PM Kevin Rudd speaks outside his office in Griffith. Local LNP State MP for Bulima Aaron Dillaway office in background    It appears to be a done deal as far as the Premier is concerned. Mr Newman told the media that the sale of the oval was needed to help fund the State's $300 million school maintenance program.

"We’ve committed the money, it’s being spent now, and what I say is the sale of a small portion of underutilised land at this high school is then going straight back into the program to fix the maintenance issues across the system."

Balmoral P&C vice president Nigel Gibson said it was not the case that the oval was underutilised.

"Every Saturday afternoon it’s used regularly by not just school cricket clubs, but actually local organised cricket clubs as well," he told reporters. "Now the good thing about Balmoral State High School is it’s not an exclusive resource. They’re sharing it with the state schools as well as the local community cricket clubs."
It would appear there are wide gaps in the Newman Government's consultation process with the P&C and local community having not been properly consulted.

At the 250 strong rally, Local member for Griffith and Prime Minister Kevin Rudd told locals that, "These facilities don’t belong to the Liberal National Party. They don’t belong, actually, to the state government. Ultimately, they belong to you, the people."

In response to Mr Newman's statement that the oval was underutilised, Prime Minister Rudd described Premier Newman's statement that the oval was underutilised as 'codswallop'.

"You go down there on a Saturday and the Bulimba Cricket Club you can often see down there using the oval ... and frankly we could do with more time in the nets as a nation."
Rudd tells Newman what he really thinks

'Rudd tells Newman what he really thinks'

The fate of Balmoral State High School's cricket oval and White Hill State Colleges playing field have been decided.

In an odd twist, both grounds have been handed over by the Newman Government to the Brisbane City Council who have pledged to keep them as green space.

Queensland Premier Campbell Newman and Education Minister John-Paul Langbroek announced the decision in a bizarre joint media statement laced with vitriol against local Federal MP for Griffith and Prime Minister Kevin Rudd.

They accused PM Rudd of a political scare campaign.

'Kevin Rudd has not made a single representation to me to save the school from development and appears much more concerned about running politically motivated scare campaigns."

'The people of Griffith would be much better served by someone who didn’t spend his whole life zipping around overseas or scouting out his next photo opportunity.'

Instead they heaped praise on the work of local LNP State MP for Bulimba, Aaron Dillaway who 'made strong representations to Education Minister John-Paul Langbroek and me on behalf of his local community to save the oval at Balmoral State High School from development.'

Brisbane City Council Lifestyle Chairman Councillor Krista Adams said Council welcomed the Premier’s announcement and would ensure the land was retained as sporting fields.

Cr Adams said Council would contact community sporting organisations and offer them a lease for the ongoing use of the land.“There are sporting groups around Brisbane looking for more open green space and Council will now be able to offer two more sports fields in the eastern suburbs,” Cr Adams said.
Balmoral oval handed to council

'Balmoral oval handed to council'

Newman Government preserves school land for green space 'Newman Government preserves school land for green space'


Everton - Everton Park State High School

School Closures Everton
P&C Sponsored Petition: State Mininster for Education John-Paul Langbroek: Save Everton Park State High School

'P&C Sponsored Petition: State Mininster for Education John-Paul Langbroek: Save Everton Park State High School'

Northside school closures a 'knee-jerk' reaction, an Everton Park father says

'Northside school closures a 'knee-jerk' reaction, an Everton Park father says'

Everton Park High and Fortitude Valley State School under review because of low enrolments

'Everton Park High and Fortitude Valley State School under review because of low enrolments'

Moves afoot to close to Everton Park State High School might run into a brick wall

'Moves afoot to close to Everton Park State High School might run into a brick wall'

Bold plan proposes community buy school threatened with closure

'Bold plan proposes community buy school threatened with closure'

Parents meet to air fears of the impact of school closures

'Parents meet to air fears of the impact of school closures'

Everton Park State High School closure protesters rally

'Everton Park State High School closure protesters rally'

The Courier Mail's education reporter, Tanya Chilcott attended the P&C meeting on Tuesday 14th May, 2013 to gauge community reaction. Her twitter posts are displayed below:
School Closures Tanya Chilcott
School Closures Tanya Chilcott School Closures Tanya Chilcott
Everton Park High School parents have pleaded with the education minister to find a way to save their children’s school    Small sized schools are not necessarily a bad thing. Yr 11 student Jordan Reid from Everton Park State School speaks to ABC 730 Qld


1 June 2013: BRISBANE, NORTHSIDE: Students, parents and citizens of Everton Park have rallied in protest over the Newman Government's planned closure of Everton Park State High School.

Hundreds stood outside local state LNP MP Tim Mander's office to protest and were supported by passing drivers.

The school educates 230 students but the state government says it is operating under capacity and isn't sustainable.

Parent Greg Herbert told ABC News Queensland, "It's just a wonderful school and we don't want it to close so we're going to stand up and fight for this school."

However, Queensland Education Minister John-Paul Langbroek told the ABC that confirmation on the school's future would come next month.
  School Closures Everton Park State High School Rally  
"The decision is to be made by the end of July and that will give people six months notice so they can plan for 2014 with the knowledge of what is going to happen in a very clear way."

Deputy Primer Minister, Treasurer and Federal MP for the Queensland electorate of Lily, Wayne Swan marched in support of the rally and later addressed the crowd at the school hall.
Deputy Prime Minister & Treasurer, Wayne Swan marches with protestors against the Newman Government’s school closure   Wayne Swan speaks to the rally at Everton Park State School
At around the time Mr Swan was speaking, Queensland Premier Campbell Newman fired off two terse twitter messages.  He accused the former ALP State Government of closing 89 schools.

Greenshack queried Mr Newman over twitter on further details of these 89 but there was no response.

Mr Newman then tweeted that his government was building ten new schools but made no reference to the nine schools being closed.

Based on current announcements, the net gain to the state would only be one school.
It’s ok to close schools because Labor did it. Premier Newman tweeted as Wayne Swan was addressing a rally for Everton Park State School   Premier Newman tweets that his Government is building 10 new schools but doesn’t mention the closure of 9 others. A net gain to the state of 1.
Mr Swan later tweeted to Premier Newman that he was only interested in the money to be made from selling schools like Everton Park    


Gladstone - Sale of Land Tagged for Calliope High School

School Closures Gladstone
CENTRAL QUEENSLAND: The town of Calliope near Gladstone had been promised a piece of land to construct a new High School.  The town has a primary school but graduates must travel to nearby Gladstone High School.

Independent MP for Gladstone, Mrs Liz Cunningham has been a long time campaigner for the town to have its own high school.

With the land made available, it is now about to be snatched away by the Newman Government which has reversed a decision made by the former Labor Government and moved to auction the land.

A small rally was held outside the auction room.  Auctioneer Bruce Allom was briefly interrupted by a community member who reminded the room of the land's initial intended use.

"Before anyone bids they should know 1,500 people signed a petition."

Mr Allom thanked the member and suggested he may wish to make a bid.

"We recognise that. We've been instructed to sell the property and, sir, if you want to ensure that it does become a school and probably make a wonderful private school perhaps."
  School Closures Calliope Auction

The start bid was $400,000 but with no further bids the property was passed-in at $1million.

Parent Lynda Ninness told ABC News Queensland of her relief.

"We can do a bit more fighting, make a bit more noise, hopefully the minister might listen and understand the community out here are not happy."

However, Queensland Education Minister John-Paul Langbroek said protesting would not alter the decision.

"It's not going to change the Government's planning process," Mr Langbroek told the media. 

He confirmed that expansion at the existing high school would continue.

"We do have their best interests at heart. That's why we're planning with a $6.8 million extension at Gladstone High School."

However, Gladstone Regional Mayor Gail Sellers supports the construction of the new high school at Calliope and described the auction as an 'absolute disgrace'.

Any development on the land would need to be approved by Gladstone Council.

Gladstone MP Liz Cunningham also strongly opposes the planned sell-off and delivered the petition to State Parliament opposing the auction. 

Mrs Cunningham has been a long time campainger for the Education Department to commit to a high school for Calliope.
Plan now for new high school

17/10/2010 MP Liz Cunningham and Federal MP for Flynn Ken O’Dowd call for 'Plan now for new high school' at Calliope

Fight to save high school land continues as petition closes

'Fight to save high school land continues as petition closes'


'Land sale dashes Calliope families hopes for a high school'


'Minister rules out Calliope land sale delay'

Calliope land sale goes ahead despite resident protests

'Calliope land sale goes ahead despite resident protests'


'Calliope land fails to sell in a boost for protestors'

Second chance for residents to save Calliope school plot

'Second chance for residents to save Calliope school plot'

Newman Government to sell off land meant for schools

'Newman Government to sell off land meant for schools'


Greenslopes - National School for Travelling Show Children

Greenslopes - National School for Travelling Show Children

The National (formally Qld) School for Travelling Show Children is based in Coorparoo, Queensland.  It's headquarters falls within the boundary of the Greenslopes electorate whose MP is the LNP's Ian Kaye.

There are two mobile classrooms that are towed by prime movers as the show travels Australia; town to town, state to state.

The families describe themselves as 'Travelling Showmen'.  They are not performers, circus people or acrobats. They are owners of amusement rides, games and agricultural related attractions.

The proprietors are business people that happen to move to different locations. They face the same problems that all Australian small businesses face.

This causes a logistical problem for the children. How to best educate them whilst maintaining businesses? The answer came in the form of mobile classrooms.
  School Closures NSTSC ABC 730 Qld
Locked up in Qld, two new mobile classrooms for the School for Travelling Show Children   Many of the parents had little education, some only to year 6 level before they entered the show circuit with their parents. Some children were sent away to school but this ultimately proved expensive and difficult to maintain for the smaller children.

In 2000, under Labor's Peter Beattie Government, the School for Travelling Show Children was created under the tutelage of teacher Catherine Fullerton.

This was now a chance for the children to break the cycle of illiteracy that had plagued some of their parents. A good education would give them far more options in the world than that of their parents and grandparents before them.

In March 2012, the election of the LNP and Campbell Newman to Government was an absolute disaster for the program. The school was caught up in the many cost cutting exercises the Queensland Government embarked upon.

Without consultation with the P&C, the Newman Government decided to discontinue funding and that it was in the best interests of the students to know join the The School of Distance Education.

Queensland Education Minister, John-Paul Langbroek boasted to the media of the $1.5 million savings and attacked the school for low NAPLAN results.

"Its 84% attendance rate and results on the NAPLAN tests were 'poor.'"

The MP for Greenslopes, Ian Kaye remained silent throughout the enitire process.

more to come...

  School Closures NSTSC thumbs up
School Closures NSTSC    
Students better off without travelling school: Langbroek

'Students better off without travelling school: Langbroek'


Greenslopes - Bris SHS and CSC Merger


Brisbane State High School and Coorparoo Secondary College Merger

The Courier Mail's education reporter, Tanya Chilcott attended the Brisbane State High School and Coorparoo Secondary College merger P&C meeting on Monday 13th May, 2013 to gauge community reaction. Her twitter posts and article are displayed below:
Parents meet to air fears of the impact of school closures

'Parents meet to air fears of the impact of school closures'

School Closures Greenslopes
School Closures Greenslopes


Mansfield - Old Yarranlea State School

School Closures Mansfield

Old Yarranlea State School and Griffith University partnership

Qld Parliament Petition: Old Yarranlea State School and Griffith University partnership

Confusion reigns over school viability assessments

Confusion reigns over school viability assessments

Big tick for our smallest schools

'Big tick for our smallest schools'

Old school faces final rollcall in state cuts

'Old school faces final rollcall in state cuts'

Community Speaks Out On Potential School Closures

'Community Speaks Out On Potential School Closures'

Hands Off Yarranlea

'Hands Off Yarranlea'

Small School Faces Fight For Survival

'Small School Faces Fight For Survival'

BRISBANE, SOUTH SIDE: The smallest school in the fight against the Newman Government's closures is Old Yarranlea State School.  It has an 18 student cap and is made up of around 10-12 families. The one teacher school focuses on intensive student learning from Prep through to Year 7.

The 1888 heritage listed building was originally constructed on the Darling Downs 140 years ago by the Yarranlea farming community. It was moved to Brisbane's Griffith University grounds in 1987 to become a museum.

However, a Griffith University lecturer, Dr Geoffrey Orr saw the potential to use the facility as a training ground for student teachers. The school reopened with 18 students with a multi-age platform.

Dr Orr told Quest Newspapers of his bafflement at the school's closure.

Facebook for Old Yarranlea School

"If it got down to three or four students and we couldn't get any more then fair enough it should close, but there is a waiting list."

Dr Orr's son, Derek is the current P&C President and his own son, Henry has just begun prep.

Derek Orr told Quest Newspapers, of the family's third generational involvement.

"Obviously the history and with everything dad has done, a big reason has been that family connection."

"I've been exposed to that since I was seven years old."

Today, this is one of Brisbane's highly sought after public schools.

Parent of five & former P&C executive member, Mrs Leauarne Adams told Greenshack that the small but passionate community was fighting hard to save the school.

"We have an uniquely compelling case. We have a written agreement between Education Queensland and Griffith University that has seemingly been disregarded in the process."
On twitter, @SveOldYarranlea   As recently as 2011 under the former Bligh Government, Education Queensland had given the school a big tick in the education it was providing students.

Mrs Adams told of negotiations with the current Queensland Government to raise their student cap and of the high demand for school places with newborns frequently being placed on a long waiting list.

"An offer has been made to raise our student cap thus making it cheaper. There is no catchment and all ways a waiting list for enrollment."
Mrs Adams has also put out the call to arms to previous students and community members from the Yarranlea and Pitsworth areas who may have been associated with the school's move.

If you can assist in any way, please make contact through facebook, twitter or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .
Old Yarranlea School Song   An act of defiance. Old Yarranlea says won’t rest in fight to save Qld’s smallest.  
School Closures Mansfield Bella    


Yeerongpilly - Nyanda State High School

School Closures Yeerongpilly
School Closures Yeerongpilly     

Confusion reigns over school viability assessments

Qld Democracy Not Even Mediocrity

Qld's Responsible Government?

Shifting The Goalposts

Saving Qld's School Ovals From Sell-off

The Tragedy Unfolding To Our Children With Hearing Impairment

An Open Letter To John-Paul Langbroek

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