KEVIN RUDD: Good morning Greg, how are you?
GREG CARY: It’s a local issue you want to speak about?
KEVIN RUDD: Very much so, on Brisbane’s Southside one of our great state high schools is Balmoral State High School, and I’m stunned to learn in the last few days that in fact the Newman State Government has said that they are about to flog off the school cricket oval.
If we’ve got to the stage that we’re about to start selling off our schools and their playing fields, I think it frankly is just going too far, and therefore I think the local community and the school community itself, the P&C and all those who have been through Balmoral State High School, it’s also just up the road from where you blokes broadcast from in Brisbane, are frankly up in arms about this and we’re calling on the Newman Government to the extent to turn this ridiculous decision on its head.
GREG CARY: What response have they had thus far? Any or too early?
KEVIN RUDD: Well a spokeswoman from Education Minister Langbroek has said that the decision was made and overturning it was not an option.
They argue that the school enrolments are down to 460. Well, can I just say this, having lived in Brisbane’s Southside for the better part of 25 years, school enrolments in our part of the world go up and down, and my knowledge of our local primary schools in Bulimba and Norman Park and places like that, is that their enrolment 10 to 15 years ago was very low, and now they’re bursting at the seams.
The other thing is that, as you know, in a year or so ahead we’re going to have year 7’s, going from primary school into secondary school, and therefore the overall base needs of secondary schools is going to need to be addressed. And so, this just doesn’t make any sense, it’s simply bad long term planning and it’s just a grab for money to use elsewhere.
GREG CARY: Logic would dictate that if we are going to have schools then you need to have the basics to make those schools tenable, wouldn’t you? Cricket fields, other sports facilities would need to be part of that.
KEVIN RUDD: Well that’s true. I mean you can’t have a secondary school which doesn’t have playing fields. If you’re going to rip off the cricket oval from Balmoral State High School, well frankly I think it’s just an edge of the wedge of what comes next.
It’s not just also Balmoral State High which uses this cricket oval, it’s about 3000 local students from surrounding schools, Bulimba State School, Balmoral State School, Morningside State School, Cannon Hill Anglican College, Norman Park State School, none of them have much grounds and use Balmoral State High School for their own purposes that’s before you go onto the all the other local sporting clubs who use the cricket oval for their sports purposes as well. No sense in doing this either from a community point of view, a local primary school point of view or the future expansion requirements of Balmoral itself.
GREG CARY: We will pursue that and get the other side obviously as well. On Federal matters, Clive Palmer says he will run 127 candidates in the lower house and senate vacancies, what do you think?
KEVIN RUDD: Well Clive having been a huge financial backer of the Liberal National Party’s massive election win in the last Queensland state election. I scratch my head as to what Clive is going to do next. He’s delivered to us through his support in part of the Newman State Government, which is doing as I’ve just described at Balmoral State School, not to mention the other services that they are cutting around the place and public service jobs are going off as well. So what Clive does next given his last exercise in creative political handy work, who knows? But frankly, it’s a free country if he wants to run for parliament, he can do what he likes in our country.
GREG CARY: I suppose the wider point, particularly with the Katter Party as well and now Clive Palmer chiming in, the premise seems to be that there is a space in the political market for another party. Your thoughts on that?
KEVIN RUDD: Well, as I said before, who would know what Clive thinks, remember he was a member of the Liberal National Party, he was a huge financial backer of their last state election campaign where they won virtually every seat in the State Parliament and they are now virtually unaccountable and the opposition has been reduced to only about 7 seats.
Then he had this massive falling out with them over his level of power within the LNP and now he’s gone off to do this. I don’t know what his thinking is or what part in the political market place he is seeking to occupy. Last time we had a United Australia Party in this country, was when Bob Menzies got rid of it and established the Liberal Party. So if Clive’s vision of the future, in terms of 2013, is to go back to 1941, 1942, well maybe he is operating in a different sense of forward planning than I am.
GREG CARY: Good to talk to you. Appreciate the call.
KEVIN RUDD: Thanks Greg.