POLL: Lauga knocks back Emu Park high school suggestions
KEPPEL MP Brittany Lauga says Emu Park will need to see a huge increase in population before a high school can be considered.
Emu Park resident Anthony White created a Facebook page over the weekend to gain support for a high school to be built in the coastal town.
Member for Keppel and Assistant Education Minister Brittany Lauga said in order to sustain a high school into the future, the town must first have adequate student population growth.
"Emu Park State School has been growing in recent years and the State Government invested in $3 million worth of new classrooms which were completed in 2017 to allow for this continued growth," Mrs Lauga said, "In 2017, there were 247 secondary aged students in the Emu Park Statistical Area level 2."
Mrs Lauga said this student population, which equates to between one and two class cohorts per year, is not considered large enough for a secondary school to operate with the full breadth of curriculum and specialty classes required.
"The town would only receive a secondary school if the student population reaches a point where a high school can be sustained," she said.
The Department of Education plans for new secondary schools where there is a stable long-term, secondary-aged student population of approximately 1000 or more.
Mrs Lauga said Yeppoon State High School still has capacity to grow in enrolments, with a built capacity of 1391.
She said she understood transport for students to Yeppoon State High School had been an issue, and in 2015-16 she lobbied hard for improved transport links from Emu Park to Yeppoon, with the State Government ultimately investing in a trial and subsequent implementation of Route 20 from Keppel Cove through to Yeppoon.
"I understand there may be a need for improved transport links from Emu Park to Yeppoon for school students, I'm keen to hear feedback from parents about how we can work together," she said.
The Morning Bulletin approached Livingstone Shire Council on Tuesday for comment, but they have not replied.