School land up for sale
FOR many years people in Gracemere have looked forward to the day when a high school will fill a 20 hectare parcel of land on the corner of Lucas St and Johnson Rd.
The site, owned by Education Queensland, had been set aside for the time when the community had grown enough to need its own secondary education facility.
So news that the land has been put on the market, and deemed surplus to requirements by the Queensland Government, has caused outrage in the town.
And yesterday it sparked an attack on the government by members of Rockhampton Regional Council who unanimously called for a swift backflip.
Cr Sandra O'Brien led the attack, saying she found it incredible that the Department of Education and Training could be so short-sighted. “Gracemere has the highest growth rate in the region and this decision has to be reconsidered,” she said.
“We always felt as a community that while the land was there and earmarked for a school, we had a chance.
“Gracemere wants, needs and deserves to have a high school.”
Cr O'Brien said she had been assured by Member for Rockhampton Robert Schwarten that he would do all in his power to stop the land being sold.
Cr Glenda Mather said she couldn't believe the government had pulled the rug out from under the community's feet without consultation.
“It undermines everything we have planned for as a council.
“It's not good enough and it is not going to be tolerated.”
And Cr Greg Belz said he believed all levels of government had an obligation to acquire and retain land for the strategic needs of future generations.
The council is writing to the Education Minister and government bureaucrats to object and to ask that the decision is reconsidered.