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Saving Queensland’s School Ovals from Sell-off  

The end of a bizarre week in Queensland politics which resulted in a resolution to proposed school oval sell-offs and a lot of name calling.

 

The fate of Balmoral State High School's cricket oval and Whites Hill State College's playing fields have been decided.

Both grounds were flagged to be sold off but in a joint statement released by Queensland Premier Campbell Newman and Education Minister, John-Paul Langbroek, they will be handed over from the Queensland Education Department to the Brisbane City Council who have pledged to keep them as 'green space'.

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.

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

The pair then went on to use the taxpayer funded Queensland Government website to accuse Prime Mininister Kevin 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."

In comes as Minister Langbroek yesterday labelled Prime Minister Rudd 'a charlatan' and Federal Education Minister Bill Shorten 'a used car salesman' over Gonski National Schools Reform policy.

The previous Friday both he and Premier Newman had praised the PM on 'positive' talks on the school funding plan.

In a display of lack of consultation, Premier Newman last Saturday told the media that Balmoral State High School's cricket oval was underutilised.

"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," he claimed in an astonishing justification.

In what appeared to be a done deal, the Premier 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."

However, Balmoral P&C vice president Nigel Gibson told reporters that the field was utilised.

"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."

PM Kevin Rudd speaks outside his office in Griffith. Local LNP State MP for Bulima Aaron Dillaway office in background    At a protest rally of 250 outside his office and in full view of MP for Bulima, Aaron Dillaway's office, Prime Minister Kevin Rudd spoke to the crowd.

"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."

He described as 'codswallop' the statement by Premier Newman that the oval was underutilised.
"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."

Over at White's Hill State College, news of the decision was welcolmed by school oval campainger, Kerryn Loose-Jones. The playing field also resides in an important sugar glider coridoor.

Asked about the oval being transferred to Brisbane Council and if this was a good outcome for the community, Ms Loose-Jones was positive.

"Definitely better than townhouses! Greenspace is good, multi use is the goal. It is a win if the kids can still use it."

Ms Loose-Jones also stressed that the fight for the other schools around the state threatened with closure must go on.

"Ovals safe, amalgamation off the table. Now to stop some school closures!"


Community consultation on the other 8 schools scheduled for closure ends July 26th.

 

Rudd tells Newman what he really thinks

'Rudd tells Newman what he really thinks'

Balmoral oval handed to council

'Balmoral oval handed to council'

 Newman Government preserves school land for green space

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

Update: 27th July 2013


In a letter drop to residents of Bulimba, Premier Campbell Newman has claimed victory for saving Balmoral SHS oval.

However, who did he save it from?  Himself?
  Newman Claims Victory





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