Shadow Education Minister Yvette D’Ath has called on the Education Minister to come clean and tell Far North Queensland residents which 14 schools are on his secret closure list.
In Cairns for the first time as Shadow Minister, Ms D’Ath said John-Paul Langbroek shouldn’t keep parents in the dark.
“Parents need to know if their kids’ school is staying open or if it’s on the LNP’s hit list to be sold for a real estate grab which is what has already happened to six schools,” Ms D’Ath said.
“Mr Langbroek claims those six are the only ones to close in the current term of government. But because the LNP said nothing about school closures before the last election, parents need to know now before the next election if their children’s school is staying open or not.
[singlepic id=567 w=320 h=240 float=left] “The LNP’s secret list revealed under RTI showed 14 schools in the Far North region were under threat, but didn’t identify which schools.
“The hiding and the secrecy from the LNP must end.
“Mr Langbroek should immediately tell Far North parents which schools he plans to shut down and outline the contingency plans he has in place to ensure families aren’t affected by his decision.”
Shadow Treasurer and Member for Mulgrave Curtis Pitt said there were $58 million in Education Department property asset sales in 2012-13, a departmental record.
“The department has budgeted to raise more than $30 million each year for the next four years through sale of school land and property. This would mean the LNP increasing the number of properties on the disposal plan to ensure its annual targets are met.
“It’s not good enough that Mr Langbroek is hiding this list of schools that may be closed and it would be even worse if the LNP are planning to sell off some of our schools.
“I call on the Newman Government to rule out the sale of any further education facilities or land in the Far North, in this term of government or the next.”
Ms D’Ath also said she would continue to highlight Member for Cairns Gavin King’s broken promise to secure funding for the Cairns Special School.
“Mr King has failed to deliver on his promise to provide a better future for kids with special needs in Cairns.
“I will continue to hold him to account for promising those families that the LNP would deliver a new facility for them and failing to do so.”