LNP Member for Glass House, Andrew Powell MP has welcomed today’s announcement that Queensland public schools will be made safer and local school communities will get more power to decide how to fix urgent maintenance issues, after a $200 million commitment was unveiled in the LNP Government’s first Budget.
Mr Powell said state school Parents and Citizens organisations will be able to apply for up to $160,000 per school to fix existing priority maintenance issues under the two-year Advancing Our Schools Maintenance Fund.
“Whether it’s peeling paint, broken glass, uneven footpaths or guttering that is falling down, too many of our state schools have maintenance issues that have become potential health and safety hazards after years of Labor neglect,” Mr Powell said.
“The LNP Government’s new fund is about making our schools safer. It’s about ensuring our children have access to the best school facilities and a safer environment in which to learn.
“To qualify for the funding P&Cs will be asked to obtain three quotes from professionals to submit with their application. The Government will also ask P&C organisations and schools to contribute to the maintenance task if they have funds to do so.
“This approach is about empowering local school communities and reflects our belief that a government bureaucracy, no matter how well intentioned, does not always know best.”
$100 million would be made available in 2012-13 and a further $100 million would be made available in 2013-14.
“This is a significant investment in the future of our students,” Mr Powell said.
“After years of Labor neglect, Queensland schools were left with a $292 million maintenance backlog which saw many of our schools’ facilities fall into disrepair.
“This Budget commitment takes giant strides in clearing that backlog, by empowering P&C’s to identify and tackle projects of most significance to their students.”
All of the 1239 state schools in Queensland would be able to apply for the same level of funding.
“Non-Government schools will also benefit from the LNP’s $86.25 million election commitment to build better school infrastructure for our children.”
“This is a Budget that delivers for Queensland’s future – not only by setting Queensland’s finances on the road to recovery, but also by investing in the state,” Mr Powell said.
“The LNP Government is committed to ensuring all Queensland students have a quality education experience, and this budget will take us a step closer to reaching this goal.”