Fred Walker, of Blackall State School, during a football carnival at Rockhampton State High School.
Fred Walker, of Blackall State School, during a football carnival at Rockhampton State High School.

High school put offside

PETER Foxwell says the first he knew that land on Rockhampton State High School was the preferred site for a new sports stadium was when he read Wednesday's Morning Bulletin.

Mr Foxwell is the school's P&C Association president and yesterday he aired his concerns at what he saw as an apparent lack of consultation.

On Wednesday Premier Anna Bligh pledged $500,000 to ensure a 21,000-seat stadium could be built near Rockhampton Showgrounds in time for the 2015 NRL premiership season.

The plan is to construct the stadium on a site owned by Rockhampton State High School and used as a sports oval.

In a prepared statement, Mr Foxwell expressed the P&C's disappointment.

"It is outrageous they have made this statement without any consultation with the school community," Mr Foxwell said.

"If it was to go ahead it would jeopardise education opportunities currently offered at the school for many students."

He said the school needed to build new classrooms to cater for the influx of Year 7 students in the same year the stadium would be built.

And Mr Foxwell has concerns for the association's largest fundraising activity - paid parking for major events at the nearby showgrounds.

Mr Foxwell said he looked forward to talking with the relevant stakeholders about the proposal next week.

Premier Bligh said the planning phase would include detailed consultation with the school, sporting organisations and all other groups with an interest in the project.

"Ultimately a team in the NRL and a new stadium would be a tremendous shot in the arm for Rockhampton and there would be spin-off benefits for the school and we'll work with the whole community to get it right," Ms Bligh said.

 

STADIUM FACTS

  • New pledge of $500,000 to make stadium project shovel-ready.
  • Plans to be drawn by the company building London's Olympic Stadium, Populous.
  • Location is Rockhampton State High School sports fields.
  • 21,000-seat stadium estimated to cost $140 million.
  • Bid team expects NRL to announce new franchises this year.



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