Emu Park high school project firmly stood down
THE Department of Education has weighed in on the Emu Park high school debate, stating they have no current plans to build a secondary school in the area.
A spokesperson for the Department of Education said they were monitoring school capacity and enrolment data, as well as projected enrolment growth across the short, medium and long-term so that future growth needs are planned appropriately.
"The department conducts ongoing analysis of enrolment and demographic trends to support school planning, and is actively involved in cross-sectoral demand mapping activities through the Queensland Schools Planning Reference Committee (QSPRC),” the spokesperson said.
"The QSPRC works in collaboration with local governments and the independent and Catholic schooling sectors to assess population trends, proposed residential developments, and school capacity to help guide future planning.
"This work is supported by student population projections developed by the Queensland Government Statistician's Office (QGSO).”
The Department of Education said its planning looked at the capacity of the existing school network, the ability to expand existing school sites, and growth in the local student population.
The current student population projections over the medium to long-term indicate there is "sufficient capacity on the site of Yeppoon State High School to meet the secondary education needs in the Yeppoon and Emu Park region over the medium term”.
However, the Department of Education says they have no current plans to build the coastal secondary school despite the recent community push.
"The current student population within Emu Park is not considered large enough to support a new secondary school to operate with the full breadth of curriculum and speciality classes required for a modern school,” the spokesperson said.
Responding to Livingstone Shire Council's request to source land for a future school was also a no.
"The department does not currently have any plans to acquire a site in the Emu Park area for a future state secondary school,” the spokesperson said.
"The department regularly reviews its planning for all regions across Queensland and will continue to monitor student growth in the Emu Park region.”
The Morning Bulletin contacted the Queensland Government department following the project's discussion at a recent council meeting.
Councillors' discussion were fruitful with councillors agreeing land should be sought now at Emu Park to prepare for a future high school in the future.
Mayor Bill Ludwig said the council has always supported future planning for the Emu Park High School.
"I think it is a given at some stage there will be a need for a high school at the southern end of the Capricorn Coast,” he said.
A motion was passed at the council meeting publicly stating "an inclusion for Education Queensland to come and speak to the table about their future needs”.
"Education Queensland has previously told us they were not factoring anything in the 10-year period but we need to invite them in and have a better understanding of their position,” Cr Ludwig said.
"We would like to know where Education Queensland would be proposing a site in the future when the Yeppoon High School reaches critical mass.”