Member for Mulgrave Curtis Pitt says the Newman Government must identify the 14 schools in Far North Queensland on its list of closures.

“There are 14 local communities that should be told today if they are going to see their school close its doors,” Mr Pitt said.

“The Newman Government’s plans to close up to 55 schools across the state including 14 in our region are in line with the philosophy of the Costello Audit which is the LNP’s economic blueprint.

“It is 55 communities across Queensland that may well be experiencing the loss of a community hub, something that is very important to them. This isn’t as simple as putting these on the market.

“Nothing was more scared to a local community than its local Schools play an essential role in any community. They are a true community hub.

“It is not just about the educational output that happens in the schools. These schools provide a place of haven during cyclones, a place of safety for students to go to at a time in need.

“But the LNP and the Costello Audit see all such assets in terms of dollar signs, and something to offload.

“This is less about school viability and more about how much they could get for any particular school.

“I think they are really taking the axe to schools and using that as an excuse to prop up their bottom line.

“If schools are going to be on the table then nothing is sacred under the Newman Government,”

Mr Pitt warned that more asset sales, privatisations and outsourcing of services in the Far North would occur once the Costello Audit report was finally released.

“The report for the LNP by a Liberal Party life member will no doubt deliver exactly what the LNP wants – an excuse to walk away from more of its responsibilities,” he said.

“Already we are seeing moves to privatise hospitals even before the Costello Audit report is released.

“We have also seen the Newman Government sell off seven buildings in the Brisbane CBD and pretend it was not an asset sale.

“Nobody believes the LNP will not go running down the path of more asset sales just as nobody believes Peter Costello has delivered an independent report.

“His first instalment in June 2012 and his final report due for release tomorrow were both designed to give the LNP an excuse to sack workers and cut frontline services.

“The only reason it needed to do that was to fund its own unfunded election promises, but it is FNQ communities that will pay the price for the LNP’s deception,” he said.