PLANNING for a new high school at Calliope should start immediately.
Both Federal Member for Flynn Ken O’Dowd and State independent Member for Gladstone Liz Cunningham have said there will be a need for another high school in the next five years, on top of the proposed Agnes Water High School, with Calliope the place to go.
Ms Cunningham said there were a number of students in that collective area that attend Gladstone State High School and Chanel College, and some parents have made private arrangements for their children to attend Tannum Sands High School.
She said planning should start, at least to find land suitable to build a high school, in Calliope.
Ms Cunningham and Mr O’Dowd say the Calliope area is the ideal location because of the growth expected to occur in the collective area in coming years with the liquefied natural gas industry coming to the Gladstone region.
“There’s a subdivision going on there now,” she said.
“They are talking about a population in 2030 of at least 60,000, from 30,000 (in the Gladstone immediate area),” Mr O’Dowd said.
“Gladstone is behind the eight ball now. What’s it going to be in 10 years time?
“We’ve got to keep up to date with our infrastructure.”
Ms Cunningham said she knew there was some room for Tannum Sands and Toolooa High Schools to grow, but not a lot.
She said the Education Department needed to look at the proposed overall workers figures for the LNG industry, not just the figures the companies say will be fly-in fly-out workers.
“There will be families that don’t want to break the family unit up,” Ms Cunningham said.
Education Minister Geoff Wilson, who visited Gladstone on Wednesday, could not expand his responses to questions about more new schools past the ‘departmental process’ line.