Agnes school fight pays off

Concept plans for the proposed Agnes Water High School.
Concept plans for the proposed Agnes Water High School. Submitted

THE efforts of lobbyists calling for a high school at Agnes Water have paid off with state Minister for Education and Training Geoff Wilson announcing funding for the purchase of land for the facility.

Mr Wilson flew into Bundaberg yesterday afternoon to announce the news, saying suitable sites were already being inspected.

“The Agnes Water community has been lobbying for a secondary school provision for some years and I'm delighted to announce we have listened to locals and have approved funding for the purchase of a piece of land for a future site,” he said.

“We want to give every Queensland student a flying start to education and to life, and part of meeting this goal means planning properly for the future.”

ALP member for Flynn, Chris Trevor, could not guarantee federal funding support. His spokesperson said Mr Trevor would continue to support the fight for a school through “ongoing dialogue between state and federal governments”.

But LNP federal candidate for Flynn Ken O'Dowd put his party's money on the table with a $5 million commitment to get construction of the school building started.

“It's vital to have high school facilities to encourage local families and businesses to stay, instead of facing the dilemma of having to move closer to secondary education facilities for the sake of their children,” Mr O'Dowd said.

“The lack of any high school facility means many families are being forced to leave the district, have their secondary school age children shipped off to boarding school or travel up to 30,000km a year to classes at Rosedale or Miriam Vale.”

Mr Wilson said community consultation with Agnes Water, Rosedale and Miriam Vale residents would begin in the coming weeks.

“The consultation will directly engage those who have spoken in one way or another about the future of schooling in Agnes Water,” Mr Wilson said.

“This will be the time for parents and residents to have their say on what works, so we can make sure we get the planning right.”

Mr Trevor said the funding was a huge step forward for Agnes Water.

“I thank the Agnes Water community for ensuring the high school becomes a reality for Agnes Water students, particularly Dr Ali Black and her supporters,” Mr Trevor said.

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