Two new schools will open in the inner-city in Brisbane and another significantly expanded as the Palaszczuk Government committed $500 million to the Building Future Schools Fund.
The fund’s purposes centres around building new schools, securing land in Queensland’s fastest growing regions and creating the necessary jobs to accomplish the projects in place.
“We will build the first new high school in inner Brisbane since 1963,” Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said.
“We want every child to benefit from a quality education no matter where they live. That’s why we are investing $500 million over five years to help deliver world class education facilities where they are needed most,” she said.
Ms Palaszczuk said through the Fund, the Advancing Inner City Schools initiative will:
deliver a new state secondary school at the former Fortitude Valley State School site in partnership with Queensland University of Technology
establish a new high school in the inner-south working with the University of Queensland to take enrolment pressure off Brisbane State High School
support the expansion of West End State School to meet enrolment demand
The Palaszczuk Government also claimed to have plans already underway for new state high schools in other growth areas across Queensland including Mt Low in Townsville, North Lakes/Mango Hill north of Brisbane, Calliope near Gladstone and Yarrabilba in South Logan.
Deputy Premier, Minister for Infrastructure and Planning and Member for South Brisbane Jackie Trad said over the last 50 years, Brisbane used all available land to expand existing school sites, but she said you can only expand so much.
This article was originally published by The Urban Developer.
Ms Trad said she was aware of recent financial commentary about the over-approval of apartment buildings.
“This is not something that has gone into the SEQ Regional Plan, because this plan is to ride out any boom and bust cycle that may happen,” she said.
“It’s a plan for the long term — for 25 years — but it’s also a vision for our region over the next 50 years.
“This plan is about riding them all out to make sure that we have the best south-east Queensland region that we can possibly have.”
Ms Trad said the latest plan would also try to unlock land that had been previously set aside for development but had lain idle.
“We know that there are some 3,000 hectares of land within the current urban footprint that has been there since 2009 that hasn’t been developed,” she said.
“We know that we can be doing better in terms of getting that land to market to make sure that we’ve got the type of housing that Queenslanders need to drive down the cost of housing and liveability.
Another aspect of the plan was to consider the services required in residential areas.
“The draft plan focuses on affordable living — not just affordable housing — and looks at the way that people interact with their community and the services around them,” Ms Trad said.
“We have identified areas of regional economic significance throughout the southeast to facilitate economic growth outside the major employment hubs and enable people to work and live closer to home.
“We are looking, for the first time, beyond the boundary of a 25-year plan and have developed a 50-year vision that looks ahead to the region’s longer-term future and how SEQ responds to global changes.”
Ms Trad said an extra 2 million people were expected to live in south-east Queensland by 2041, swelling the population to 5.3 million. By 2061, the population was expected to grow to 10 million.
Toowoomba Mayor Paul Antonio said he would look closely at some of the smaller issues but called it a good long-term plan.
Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate said the plan would allow his city to keep the lifestyle it was famous for.
Redland Mayor Karen Williams said there was a lot of detail for residents to look at to make sure the plan suited her city.
Urban Development Institute of Australia (UDIA) Queensland president, Steve Harrison, said it was an opportunity to unlock potential in the state’s south-east, particularly when Sydney and Melbourne housing was unaffordable for many people.
Property Council executive director Chris Mountford also welcomed the draft plan, but said it did not include everything the industry required.
“The property industry will now be sifting through the detail of the draft to test the underlying assumptions and determine if the Government’s approach is realistic,” he said.