Students speak their minds
AS YOUTH Week celebrations put the spotlight on the region's young people, The Observer asked senior school students about the issues affecting them, and what they think of the region. We spoke to Year 12 students from Chanel College and Toolooa State High School.
THESE young people feel the region is lacking in three main areas: events, shopping facilities and festivals.
As far as employment opportunities, Chanel students feel there are plenty but they are not impressed by the lack of cultural activities and general community spirit within the region.
"The Gladstone Festival is the only decent festival that comes to town and it's really expensive," one student said.
According to this lot, Gladstone's not hot!
"Overall, Gladstone isn't an attractive town. You drive into town and there's
construction everywhere you look, it's like, 'Welcome to Gladstone!'"
Cost of living was also a key issue raised.
"It's developing so quickly, anyone working for LNG can afford to live here but for everyone else it's tough," one student said.
The students also identified sporting facilities as an area needing improvement.
"We're so big now and have so much money in the region, but the facilities haven't come along with us."
Despite these things, overall Chanel students think Gladstone is an okay place for young people to live.
"It's good being so close to the beach and having Rocky only an hour away."
TOOLOOA students would like to see more events and cafes come to the Gladstone region. A better hospital also wouldn't go astray, according to these young men and women.
With 95% of the group engaged in casual employment, jobs weren't identified as an issue, however it was a concern for them when it comes to employment after Year 12.
"There are no opportunities once we've been to university, except for engineering. Even if we wanted to come back, there's nothing for really specialised fields," one student said.
Students also said the community atmosphere wasn't great, largely because of all the new people and the high cost of living.
"The main street can feel really unsafe at times, because of all the pubs and the workers," one student said.
"It's not all bad though, there's still a lot of fun things to do, like fishing, four-wheel driving and of course the dam!"