SCHOOL DEBATE: Keppel MP Brittany Lauga visits Farnborough prep school teacher Angela Hinds with Yellow Prep class. By the time they are high school age, the student population on the Capricorn Coast could potentially justify building a high school at Emu Park.
SCHOOL DEBATE: Keppel MP Brittany Lauga visits Farnborough prep school teacher Angela Hinds with Yellow Prep class. By the time they are high school age, the student population on the Capricorn Coast could potentially justify building a high school at Emu Park.

Qld Govt shoots down campaign for Emu Park High School

DESPITE concentrated pressure, the Queensland Government is holding fast in its refusal to build a new high school for Emu Park, citing its unsustainability due to low student numbers.

One Nation’s candidate for Keppel Wade Rothery escalated the school debate this week by revealing his party had phone surveyed 3,674 Keppel residents (15 per cent of the electorate’s households), finding 70 per cent of locals supported Mr Rothery’s push to build the secondary school.

Mr Rothery said the population on the Capricorn Coast was growing quickly and Emu Park’s families were suffering, choosing to buy, rent or build in Yeppoon, which was putting even greater pressure on those schools there.

One Nation candidate for Keppel Wade Rothery and Rockhampton candidate Torin O'Brien have fought for new high schools to be built in Emu Park and Gracemere.
One Nation candidate for Keppel Wade Rothery and Rockhampton candidate Torin O'Brien have fought for new high schools to be built in Emu Park and Gracemere.

He quoted a State Government commissioned forecasting study in 2017 which revealed the population of Livingstone Shire Council was projected to increase from 37,055 persons in 2016 to 55,691 persons in 2036, or by 2.1 per cent per annum, which was above the statewide five-year forecast average of 1.6 per cent.

In statistics provided by Education Queensland, The Morning Bulletin established that Yeppoon State High School’s enrolments were less than three quarters of the school’s capacity.

ENROLMENT DATA: The latest high school enrolment statistics show that high schools around the Rockhampton region were not close to capacity, bringing into question the merits of building new high schools in Emu Park and Gracemere.
ENROLMENT DATA: The latest high school enrolment statistics show that high schools around the Rockhampton region were not close to capacity, bringing into question the merits of building new high schools in Emu Park and Gracemere.

Assistant Minister for Education and Keppel MP Brittany Lauga said it was clear Emu Park needed to grow its population size to be able to sustain a local high school

“But that won’t happen on its own,” Ms Lauga said.

“That’s why I am committed to investing more in the local area to make it an enticing place for families to move to.

“Until that population grows I will continue to fight for improved facilities at other local schools like we have seen at Yeppoon SHS.”

>> READ: Survey finds strong Keppel support for Emu Park High School

>> READ: Bold plan to build high schools in Gracemere and Emu Park

>> READ: POLL: Lauga knocks back Emu Park high school suggestions

NOT YET: Keppel MP Brittany Lauga said Emu Park needed a larger population before a high school would be built in the area. .
NOT YET: Keppel MP Brittany Lauga said Emu Park needed a larger population before a high school would be built in the area. .

Minister for Education Grace Grace said the government was committed to ensuring all students, no matter where they lived, had access to quality educational facilities within their local communities.

“The Department of Education conducts ongoing analysis of local demographics through the Queensland Schools Planning Reference Committee,” Ms Grace said.

“At this stage the data shows that Emu Park does not have the student population to support a brand-new high school.

“And the Rockhampton SHS, Yeppoon SHS, North Rockhampton SHS and Glenmore SHS all remain well below enrolment capacity.”

In the wake of the global recession due to COVID-19, Ms Grace said her government was investing in its plan to Unite and Recover for Queensland jobs.

“That includes investing in new infrastructure at your local school, as well as supporting small businesses, reducing electricity prices and investing in major road projects,” she said.



Man breached DV by attending victim’s workplace

Premium Content Man breached DV by attending victim’s workplace

A domestic violence offender breached a no contact condition of a court order...

SHOCK CALL: Livingstone Shire councillor resigns

Premium Content SHOCK CALL: Livingstone Shire councillor resigns

Runner-up candidate could fill role if council decides against by-election.

Roofer just avoids jail after drunken Giddy Goat incident

Premium Content Roofer just avoids jail after drunken Giddy Goat incident

Jack Desmond Pullman now has a suspended sentence “hanging over his head like a...