Schools across Queensland are on the chopping block as part of the State Government’s controversial plans to sell off assets and pay down debt.
The plan is part of a broader education shake-up, which includes a new focus on school discipline.
Ashleigh Stevenson reports.
First weekend detentions, now the threat of schools being shut down and sold off.
But the Opposition says this is just the beginning.
Curtis Pitt, Shadow Treasurer: “They are going to sell anything they can that isn’t tied down. If you think you’ve seen something already the worst is yet to come.”
The Education Minister confirmed his department is considering school closures.
But he denies reports 55 schools are under direct threat, saying no final figure has been confirmed.
John Paul Langbroek, Education Minister: “We’re working assiduously to make sure that we have a number that after consultation will be acceptable to the Queensland community.”
The state government says any funds from school sales will be channelled back into education.
But many parents aren’t happy with the decision.
Vox 1: “Education is more important than money at the moment.”
Vox 2: “We need all the schools we can get.”
Vox 3: “You’ve got to wonder what the long term pain is going to be for the short term gain.”
The Queensland Teacher’s Union says the government needs to consult with teachers and principals before the sell-off begins.
Kevin Bates, Qld Teacher’s Union: “What we’ve got is a policy that will need to be changed, that will need to be reworked before it can be a practical solution for schools.”
The threat of school closures along with yesterday’s announcement the government may introduce Saturday detentions leaves some people questioning the direction of education in Queensland.
Curtis Pitt, Shadow Treasurer: “There is nothing more sacred to a local community than it’s local school so if schools are going to be on the table nothing is sacred under the Newman government.”
Ashleigh Stevenson, QUT News.