State stands firm on plan to sell Calliope school land
THERE will be no backflip from the State Government on plans to sell land set aside for a high school in Calliope, despite vehement protests from residents to save the land.
Calliope mother Lynda Ninness was among the group that met with Education Minister John Paul Langbroek at a recent Community Cabinet in the region.
Ms Ninness was disappointed but not surprised by the decision to proceed with the sale.
"Under this new school zoning, there's a huge area of our kids who will go to Toolooa State High which is already very overcrowded," she said.
Mr Langbroek said his department had re-examined the case after the strong presentation from the Calliope community, but population forecasts did not support the need for a high school in the area.
"The department's population forecasts show the community cannot sustain the high school student population needed to reverse the decision, and so it will progress as planned," he said of the sale.
Mr Langbroek reiterated that a sustainable student population was critical to justify the construction of a high school in Calliope.
"The population of Calliope is currently around 4000 people and in the very long term may reach 10,000," Mr Langbroek said.
"As a general rule, a population of 20,000 to 25,000 people is needed to produce a student population to justify a high school."
Under current modelling, Calliope students moving into high school will be accommodated by Toolooa State High School or Gladstone State High School.