Candidates outline stance on Calliope high school land

CANDIDATES for the seat of Gladstone have outlined their stance regarding keeping land set aside for a future high school at Calliope.

The land is currently being sold by the Newman Government.

This is the third in a series of 'big question' issues we're featuring in the lead-up to Saturday's election.

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Glenn Butcher, ALP

MANY Gladstone schools are at capacity and the only plan Campbell Newman has is to sell off land set aside for future schools.

What the government should be doing is investing in our children's future and preparing our growing region for increased attendance, not cutting teachers and selling off the Calliope High School land.

Labor has pledged to hire three new teachers to improve student-teacher ratios, to take the school's land off the market and to remove residential zoning the LNP issued to help with the fire sale.

Only a few days ago I signed a pledge with Lynda Ninness from the "Don't sell the Calliope High School Land" advocacy group to cement my commitment to this important cause.

This election voters have a choice between an LNP government that wants over-crammed classrooms, poor incentives for regional teachers and to sell off crucial land for our children, or an ALP government that will protect the Calliope High School land and invest in education.

Craig Butler, independent

THE land set aside for a high school at Calliope was identified by our forefathers as a strategic site many years ago. This has not changed.

Calliope is a rapidly growing community with a projected population of some 12,000 by 2030.

By way of comparison a high school was built at Tannum Sands when the population was roughly 10,000.

Currently there are in excess of 200 children travelling from Calliope to high school in Gladstone.

Primary school populations at Calliope and Benaraby continue to grow with these schools being feeder schools to a Calliope High School.

There is no doubt a high school will be needed in Calliope in the foreseeable future.

To sell the current site at Calliope is a short-sighted decision, as another block of land will be required to be purchased in coming years.

We all know once a strategic asset such as this block of land is sold it is nearly impossible to purchase another parcel of land in the correct location.

Michael Duggan, LNP

IN my opinion it would have adverse effects on the community and future generations to rezone and sell this parcel of land for residential development.

My opinion is not in line with LNP policy, however, as a former primary school teacher and with two young nephews and a niece living in Calliope, I feel strongly about this subject.

With the forecast population growth (100,000 by 2035) of the Gladstone Region, and the lack of other available parcels of land, it has been identified by the community that the Gladstone region wants local children and their families to be adequately catered for.

If elected, I would advocate in parliament as part of the sitting government that the current inadequately resourced Calliope State School be identified as a prospective land sale site and that a new P-12 School be built in Calliope on the currently allocated site at Don Cameron Dr.

Craig Tomsett, Greens

THE census held in 2011 and the data correlated in it, determines the funding and infrastructure projections for the forward budgets.

Unfortunately multiple politicians constantly use this information in denying Calliope a high school claiming the data doesn't support the community's claims of current or future need for a high school.

The data is wrong. The politicians and the community know it's wrong.

The population explosion in the Calliope catchment area since 2011 has been tremendous.

Most of the local community believe the high school should already have been built instead of bussing our children all over the countryside on some pretty ordinary roads.

Our children deserve to be educated in their local communities, free to have leisure time or get an afternoon job.

I will rally with the community to oppose the sale and press the community claims for their high school sooner, rather than later.