Agnes petitions for high school

THE fight for a high school in Agnes Water is hotting up, with a petition containing more than 360 signatures to be tabled in state parliament this week.

Principal petitioner Dr Ali Black said more than 180 children of high school age lived in the Agnes Water area.

“Of those, we have about 110 who travel between two and four hours a day to attend secondary schools in Rosedale and Bundaberg,” she said.

The remaining students are sent to boarding school.

Dr Black said between $500,000 and $1 million was spent each year subsidising private school education for children from the Agnes Water district.

Recent rain had also highlighted the need for a school in the area.

“All the students who go to high school have been stranded in town because they can’t get through the floods,” she said.

The incident was not the first of its kind, with Agnes Water children once stranded for an entire week in Rosedale after unexpected heavy rain.

“In a survey we completed last year, 68 families who have 151children said they will leave town and relocate so their children can attend secondary school in the community in which they live,” she said.

Dr Black said some families had already moved, taking away businesses and employers from the community.

“Our town needs the infrastructure to survive,” she said.

Of the high school students in Rosedale, about half of the children come from the Agnes Water area.

Member for Burnett Rob Messenger was to visit Agnes Water and meet with concerned parents and the high school advocacy group on Sunday but was unable to make the trip due to the flooding.

Mr Messenger said he would table the document in parliament this week.

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