Baringa families shunned by Education Minister in final days of petition

State Member for Caloundra Mark McArdle has slammed the Education Minister for failing to comment on the contentious issue of the Baringa State High School not opening in time for the 2020 school year. 

It comes as Mr McArdle and Deputy Leader of the LNP Tim Mander joined Principal Petitioner Deborah Hardie yesterday to provide a final push for her petition to fast-track the opening of Baringa State High School for the 2020 school year. The petition has amassed more than 1,500 signatures but concerned parents continue to be shunned by the State Government and Education Minister on the issue. 

“During Grace Grace’s visit to Baringa Primary School on 28 June she told the media and concerned parents that the sister High School was ‘---on time, on schedule, on budget and meeting our commitment to open the school by 2021.’ This time she did not even respond,” Mr McArdle said.  

“There is a mounting attitude from this Labor Government that the issue of Baringa State High School is not an issue worth looking at, despite so many parents saying this will impact the lives of their children. 

“The ABC News bulletin on 12 June quoted the Treasurer as saying—‘Getting our schools ready for 2020 means we need to make the investment in this year’s budget to have the additional infrastructure and classrooms available for that full Year 7 cohort that will hit in 2020.’ 

“If the Education Minister is going to stand by her statement that the high school was always expected to open in 2021, then I have to ask WHY? Why will Baringa miss out when the rest of Queensland is going to be ready for 2020?

“The simple fact the high school was never planned to be open and ready for the 2020 school year is ludicrous and insulting to the parents who came to this community believing that their children would have a flow on STEM education from Baringa Primary School. 

“The petition will finish this month but we are nowhere near finished fighting for this community’s children and the high school they deserve, when they need it.” 

For further information contact:  Media Unit, Office of Mark McArdle, 0438 449 243.