Minister Langbroek denies CQ schools on ‘close’ hit list
EDUCATION Minister John-Paul Langbroek has come out swinging after Labor accused him of hiding plans to close six Central Queensland schools.
During a trip to Rockhampton yesterday, Labor's education spokeswoman Yvette D'Ath joined Member for Rockhampton Bill Byrne and Keppel candidate Brittany Lauga to accuse the government of having an agenda on asset sales which extended to school closures in CQ.
The government revealed more than a year ago that 55 schools across the state were on a list earmarked to close.
Six of those were from Central Queensland, however the government refused to reveal their names.
"They say it is not in the public interest to release the names of the schools that are on that hit list," Ms D'Ath said.
Mr Langbroek said it was irresponsible for Ms D'Ath to be scaremongering.
"It is utterly disgraceful of Labor to incite fear and create panic in the Central Queensland community just to score cheap political points," he said.
"I've made it clear that no more schools would be closed involuntarily during this term of government and there is no ongoing list of schools to be closed."
But Ms D'Ath said she wanted a commitment from the government that they would not sell any more schools next term either, if they were re-elected.
"We know that the Cabinet had made a decision that it would sell off education assets to bring in $30 million each year over the next four years to pay for their election commitments on school maintenance," she said.
A representative from Mr Langbroek's office said they couldn't begin to speculate about what might happen in the future.
She said in order to pay for maintenance, the government had to sell $50 million worth of land in their first year, not $30 million each year for four years.
It was doing this by selling off land at Calliope, which had been on the market for more than a year.
The representative also said the reason that school names were blocked out on the list was so no damage was done to the reputation of those schools.