Member to table school petition
LOCAL member Lawrence Springborg has vowed to personally meet with the Education Minister to voice his concerns about the future of Warwick State High School, which he says is “bursting at the seams”.
In tow he will have the Save Our Slade (SOS) committee, who met with Mr Springborg at his Warwick office yesterday to pass on their petition with 2510 signatures, which our member will officially table in parliament when it resumes in three weeks.
Led by former WSHS teacher Margaret McKinnon, the group is pushing for the former Slade School Campus to be saved for the future educational needs of Warwick, with the suggestion it could be used as a second campus for WSHS.
The 20-hectare Glennie Heights site is soon to be put on the market by the Southern Downs Regional Council, which bought it in 2007 for $3.65 million.
Mr Springborg is pushing for a long-term WSHS masterplan to help the school cope with the expected influx of Year 7s joining the high school by 2014.
“It seems to me the Education Department has no clear direction on the future educational needs for WSHS – there’s this piece of land that’s come up that’s not going to sit there forever, so I think that’s the way we should go,” he said.
SOS committee members filled in Mr Springborg on the recent open day, which was attended by the education department’s regional executive director Greg Dickman who was quick to quash the idea of a split campus.
According to the committee members who attended, Mr Dickman said there was no cause for concern because “the parents got told there won’t be any growth in Warwick in five years”.
“That’s news to me it’s not growing,” Mr Springborg said.
“It’s reflected in these enrolment figures ... it’s a stupid hypothetical argument – if you look at the spill-over in population with the treechangers, it’s grown steadily and consistently and there’s no indication of that stopping.
“In 15 or 20 years there’ll probably be twice as many kids at the high school than there is now so something needs to be done now.”
Mr Springborg acknowledged the fact most of the current old buildings on the Slade campus would need to be brought up to standard or even replaced, something which would come at a price.
“You have to be careful with money, no one’s arguing with that – but gee whiz, when do you see 20 hectares of land come up so close to the CBD for $3.6 million?” he said.
“I go to other schools in my electorate with wide open spaces and room for growth but I see a real issue with the high school with kids competing with each other for space, competing with buildings and there’s no room for growth.”