Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Modernising Southside Schools

My speech in parliament about Australia's largest ever school modernisation program and how it has made a difference to schools on the Southside.


It is important in this place to reflect on significant events in our local communities. The Australian Government is proud of the Education Revolution, from early childhood education, through schools, through secondary schools, through training, technical colleges and TAFEs, through universities and through research.

We are also proud of building the education revolution through the single biggest school modernisation program that the country has ever seen.

In my own community in Brisbane's Southside, we have invested some $88 million across 124 projects to improve the quality of our schools in our local community.

Coorparoo State School recently opened their $3 million performing arts centre, which the school use for their drama, their music and their particular performances by the Coorparoo kindergarten kids as well as for their Anzac Day services.

Also the Government has invested $2.5 million in West End State School's new multipurpose teaching and technology building, which is their main library resource centre. It is used also for hosting sporting events, for drama classes and for P&C fundraising purposes.

In December I attended Mayfield State School's Year 7 Graduation at the school's new $1.1 million multipurpose hall, which is used for a whole range of school activities and fundraising events and assemblies.

Bulimba State School use their new $2.8 million hall, which is an architectural feat in itself, built on a cliff side, for school events including fetes and fundraisers. It is also where they anchor their Stephanie Alexander Kitchen Garden Program by teaching young kids at school how to cook from the kitchen garden which is now part and parcel of their school.

In June I will open the new $3.2 million multipurpose hall and library at Morningside State School. That is actually where my kids went to school years and years and years ago.

For folk down south, let me just make one point: because Queensland summers can be so intense, the tropical rainfall activity so massive and the sun so scorching, it makes it impossible for the school to get together for single events a lot of the time. Therefore, for these Queensland schools in particular to have, for the first time a meeting place, is a major step forward.

St Martin's Catholic Primary School recently opened their fantastic new $2.5 million multipurpose hall, named the Dominic Centre.

Through these investments in the schools of Brisbane's Southside, we are making a real difference. At not one of the school openings that I have been to have I encountered a word of criticism about the school modernisation program that has been undertaken or the new facilities which are there—all writ large in the smiles on the kids' faces.


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