David Batt with Tricia Garson, treasurer of Bundaberg High School P&C.
David Batt with Tricia Garson, treasurer of Bundaberg High School P&C. Contributed

LNP promises $1m for at-risk kids, hearing checks for Preps

AS THE election nears, the LNP has pledged to spend more than a million dollars on engaging at-risk children and has announced a plan to check young children's hearing.

An LNP Government will invest $1.05 million in re-engaging at risk Bundaberg children in education

A Tim Nicholls-led LNP Government will re-engage students with the education system by providing them with opportunities to gain entry into training or workforce pathways.

LNP Shadow Education Minister Tracy Davis said an LNP Government would work in partnership with the Changemakers Project, run by Bundaberg State High School, to deliver an alternative education program.

"We know that education is critical to a job and a secure home environment, which is why an LNP Government will create an alternative education program to re-engage high risk youth in the education system,” Ms Davis said.

"Often when at-risk teenagers are suspended, they become disengaged and stop attending school.

"Our investment of $1.05 million is aimed at getting kids and their families re-engaged in the school community and education by ensuring they have access to support that helps prevent the likelihood of re-offending.

"The Changemakers Project will also work with a number of support services including Queensland Police Services, Youth Justice and Department of Communities to create an all-inclusive 'wrap around' school for children.”

LNP Candidate for Bundaberg David Batt, a former student of Bundaberg State High School and manager of Bundaberg PCYC, said Bundaberg's youth unemployment rate was now the second-worst in Queensland.

"We need to take serious action to combat joblessness and get kids back in school,” Mr Batt said.

"This Changemaker project will address root cause issues of young people disengaging, such as drug and alcohol abuse, domestic violence and other family instabilities and poverty.”

Member for Burnett Stephen Bennett said the announcement was part of the LNP's plan to get kids off the streets, through the school gates and into classrooms.  

"An LNP Government will Build a Better Queensland by boosting education and training opportunities to ensure all Queenslanders have the best opportunity to get ahead,” Mr Bennett said.

"We know that in regional areas, like Burnett, students are less likely to complete Year 12 than they are in metropolitan areas.”

Bundaberg State High School P&C Treasurer Tricia Garson welcomed the LNP's announcement.

"We have been working towards developing a program that empowers our youth, because recent studies show 26 per cent of students think what they are learning at school is irrelevant to life. By embedding 21st Century skills, this program will build the connection between the young people of Bundaberg and the community in which they live,” Mrs Garson said.

"Not all children are academic or learn the same way and we need to give them the most relevant learning spaces to facilitate delivery of the life tools and skills to either reengage with learning or to enter the workforce and stay employed when they cease engaging with education.”

Hearing checks for preppies

LNP Leader Tim Nicholls said prep students across the state would receive a full hearing screen to identify and address any hearing issues and give them the best start to their learning journey.

"A child with undiagnosed hearing loss can display the same behaviours as a child with challenging behaviours,” Mr Nicholls said.

"This will ensure we are able to detect any hearing loss early and give these children the best start.

"We will not leave any child behind when it comes to getting an education.”

LNP Shadow Education Minister Tracy Davis said the LNP would invest $6 million towards the hearing program.

"By undertaking these hearing tests at an early age, parents and students will have the best chance of detecting any issues and ensuring their children receive the best quality education, regardless of ability,” Ms Davis said.

"The LNP will Build a Better Queensland by boosting education and training standards to ensure young Queenslanders have the best opportunity to get ahead.”



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