Govt releases maps that show student populations
MORE than 20 schools may have to be built in three key growth regions over the next two decades to accommodate for a influx in school students, new modelling shows.
The Queensland Government on Tuesday will released demand maps for Caloundra, Brisbane North and Townsville following months of number-crunching by the Schools Planning Commission.
The maps show the communities expected to see a considerable rise in student populations and will act as a guide for future schools or existing school modifications.
In Caloundra, the SPC has found up to six new primary schools will be needed in the area's west, encompassing the 50,000-population Caloundra South development, by 2031.
The SPC projects 250,000 new students for Queensland by 2031 and has identified a potential need for 13 to 16 new primary schools and six to seven new secondary schools in the three mapped areas.
In an attempt to meet the demands, Education Minister John-Paul Langbroek has flagged reforms to subject non-government schools to the same rules as state schools.
"We say we need to do it in a more holistic way and this is what that is," he said.
"Having local government in the room with transport and all the schools sectors so we can plan together instead of just relying on a group of volunteers who end up being treated as developers when we are trying to provide for 250,000 more students."
Currently, non-state school developments go through council for planning approval.
SPC chair Bob Quinn said the non-government sector found that it could take years to get approval for a school.
"Whereas the state sector, because it uses the ministerial designation, can get one up and running in 12 months," he said.
"Because they're such different processes and because the local governments jealously guard their approval process and their ability to charge infrastructure charges, it's not easy to say 'look you know we are going to wipe them out or make your process irrelevant'.
"We are looking at ways in which we can start to look at bringing both of those processes into one."
Mr Langbroek said the government would still hold responsibility for building schools in far flung areas.
The next trial mapping process will look at the Brisbane/Ipswich, Sunshine Coast Hinterland and Toowoomba areas.
By the end of the year, SPC aims to have analysed projected population movements in the state's top 28 growth areas.