Shadow Education minister calls for more land for schools
SHADOW Education Minister Yvette D'Ath has visited Mackay to slam the State Government on its failure to plan for the city's future population increase.
Yesterday Ms D'Ath said the Ooralea area of Mackay was expected to double its population by 2031.
"We know that the Mackay Regional Council has identified in its draft planning that there's a need for future schools in the area," she said.
Land had already been acquired for a potential Catholic school in the area, Ms D'Ath said.
"If you allow these areas to keep developing and you don't acquire public lands set aside for important infrastructure like schools, you end up missing that opportunity," she said. "These suburbs end up built out and you've got nowhere to put new schools."
Ms D'Ath said the most important investment a government could make was in children and their future.
Education, Training and Employment Minister John-Paul Langbroek said his department would continue to monitor the progress of development in Ooralea and buy additional land as needed.
"For the first time in Queensland's history, all school sectors, levels of government and State Government departments have been working together to identify growth hotspots from around the state," he said.
"From this consultation and analysis, the Queensland Schools Planning Commission has developed 20-year demand maps for regions. The demand map for Mackay will be released by the end of June."