Opposition backs parents fighting for Calliope school
CALLIOPE parent have welcomed a visit by Queensland shadow Education Minister Yvette D'Ath, who toured land earmarked for a high school in the growing town.
The land has been put on the market by the Queensland Government, which says a high school won't be built in the town in the near future.
"We're concerned the land is going to be sold," parent Michelle Burke said.
"If a high school is then needed, we won't have anywhere to build it. This land is very flat and would make a great place for a school."
The land on Don Cameron Dr was auctioned by the state government last year but passed in at $400,000.
Ms D'Ath threw her weight behind the local campaign, saying communities ended up being choked if they didn't have enough facilities to expand.
"We need to have those public lands set aside for important things like education and health and infrastructure for our communities," she said.
Ms D'Ath stopped short of committing to building the school if the ALP won next year's state election.
Calliope parent Lynda Ninnes is spearheading the community campaign to have a new school built.
She said she felt disheartened and angry at the dismissive responses received from state government officials.
"They're just using their textbook wording as to what should be happening," she said. "They need to come have a look around here."
Tina Skyring-Quirk moved to Calliope from the Boyne Valley more than two years ago.
"Land was promised as a high school, and two years into our stay we found the government was putting it up for sale," she said.
A spokeswoman for Education, Training and Employment Minister John-Paul Langbroek said the needs of future students were being planned by using population and urban development data.
"This data is obtained through the Government Statistician and the Australian Bureau of Statistics, and identifies that a school in Calliope will not be needed until beyond 2061," she said.