Potential Calliope students gather on the proposed Calliope high school site to protest its sale.
Potential Calliope students gather on the proposed Calliope high school site to protest its sale. Luka Kauzlaric

Fight still on for Calliope school due to safety concerns

THE fight for a high school in Calliope continues with residents now voicing their concerns for the safety of the hundreds of school students travelling on buses from Calliope to Gladstone, with some buses not having fiitted seatbelts.

Their latest initiative of protest is similar to that of the campaign Tannum Sands residents held throughout the 1980s and 1990s for a high school in their area.

Community services councillor Maxine Brushe moved to Tannum Sands in 1985 when they were told the high school would be built in three years.

"From memory there was about 14 bus loads of students taken daily to school in Gladstone, it was also at a time where there was an expansion at the (Boyne Island) Smelter and the road between Gladstone and

Tannum Sands had increasing traffic, and a lot was industrial traffic."

Tannum Sands and Boyne Island residents raised concerns with transport; however it was still a further six years before construction of the school began.

In 1998 the Tannum Sands State High School officially opened.

"It was a long and hard road," she said.

Calliope resident and mother Lynda Ninness said there were currently 310 students travelling from Calliope to Gladstone who claimed travel insurance, and she said the numbers would only increase with more children completing primary school.

"Hopefully this will strengthen our campaign," she said.

The group is distributing a letter for concerned residents to sign and send to the Premier and Education Minister.

Click here to see a copy of the letter.

History of protest for Calliope

CALLIOPE residents have continued to protest against the selling of the 14.7 hectare parcel of land which for many years has been set aside for a high school.

In December 2010, The Observer reported Federal Member for Flynn Ken O'Dowd and State Independent Member for Gladstone Liz Cunningham said by 2015 another high school would be needed as well as the then-proposed Agnes Water High School, and stated Calliope would be the place to have it.

This year in April Ms Cunningham was outraged at the State Government's decision to proceed with the sale of land set aside at Calliope for a high school.

Since then, concerned residents have protested and petitioned for the land to be kept for a school, but so far with no luck.

In July nearly 300 residents took to the streets in a peaceful protest.

The protesting continued in August when they attained up to 1600 signatures on a petition, and Calliope resident Lynda Ninness also met with Education Minister John-Paul Langbroek to discuss her concerns.

But on August 27, Campbell Newman quashed all hope for a high school when he said: "It would be wrong for me to suggest, that even if we were to retain the land, we will build a school anytime within the next five years."

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