Today marked the official opening of Baringa State Primary School, Queensland’s first ever S.T.E.M. school (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) and the first school in the new development of Aura.
However, Mr McArdle was bitterly disappointed the Premier did not use this opportunity to announce the fast-tracking of the Baringa State High School, which is not set to open until the 2021 school year at the earliest.
“Annastacia Palaszczuk today had the opportunity to fast track the high school and squibbed it,” Mr McArdle said.
“The opening of Baringa Primary School is a tremendous achievement and I do not want to take away from the hard work of the staff, students and P&C who have made the school what it is already. With that said, we have many families who are facing years of uncertainty because the State Government did not plan for Baringa’s sister high school to open in time for students leaving the primary school over the next two year.
“I will continue to stand behind these families as we fight for Baringa State High School to open in time for the 2020 school year.”
Principal Petitioner Deborah Hardie said that while it is disappointing, the community with push forward with their petition.
“We were really hoping today we would get the announcement that the high school would open in time for the students to follow on from the primary school,” Ms Hardie said.
“Baringa Primary School is absolutely fantastic and today’s opening ceremony reflected just how great the school is. As parents we want our children, who are established here, to be able to carry on to the same type of high school.
“Many parents came here with the understanding that the high school would open for the 2020 school year. I have a daughter in Year 5 and and I probably would not have started her here if I knew there was going to be a delay.
“We are still so concerned and so passionate about this we will push forward with our petition.”
“If the State Government’s goal is to have Year 7 ready for 2020 than Baringa children should not be excluded from that goal,” Mr McArdle said.
“This fight is not over so I ask the community to please take a moment to sign the petition at my office, online or at one of the P&C mobile petition stations. Your children may not be directly impacted by this decision but we must all come together to support all children in their education.”
People can sign the hard-copy petition at Mr McArdle’s electorate office, or online from tomorrow at https://www.parliament.qld.gov.au/work-of-assembly/petitions/current-epetitions.
The petitions close in August, when they will then be lodged in Parliament House for the Education Minister’s consideration.
For further information contact: Media Unit, Office of Mark McArdle, 0438 449 243.