Education, Training and Employment Minister John-Paul Langbroek.
Education, Training and Employment Minister John-Paul Langbroek. Sharyn O'Neill ROK210113smerger2

Minister draws blank on school closure savings

WITH the countdown to closure drawing to an end for three Toowoomba schools, you might think the State Government had by now done its maths.

However, the man behind the proposed shut-down of Toowoomba South, Charlton and Wyreema state schools still has no idea how much their closure would save taxpayers.

Education Minister John-Paul Langbroek was grilled about the potential savings during an Education, Training and Employment estimates committee meeting on Tuesday.

"Minister, do you have an estimate of how much revenue will be raised from the sell-off of state schools?" Member for Condamine Ray Hopper asked.

"The answer is no," Mr Langbroek replied.

"We have not made a decision about schools; therefore, value once they are potentially closed is not something we have factored in."

Mr Langbroek was also unable to name the total figure the State Government would spend on consultancy programs concerning the proposed closures of eight Queensland schools.

"When it comes to the school viability assessment, the proposed school closure consultation from JTA Australia, I can advise that for four months the amount of the consultancy is $56,165," he said.

Mr Hopper questioned the Minister over the wisdom of closing Wyreema State School when the suburb was set for major growth in the coming years.

"...The area of Highfields, just north of Toowoomba, is a very strong growth area," he said.

"Wyreema will be in the same situation in five or 10 years time.

"We are seeing schools being built at Highfields.

"Wouldn't it be a shame to close and sell the Wyreema State School and then have to build a new school in five or 10 years time, whoever is in government?"

Mr Langbroek said the newly-formed Schools Planning Commission would approach Toowoomba Regional Council "over the next few months" to scientifically map out which areas were on the move.

Mr Hopper's final question summed up the thought on everybody's mind.

"Minister, have you told any staff member in your department that a certain school will close?" he asked.

He received a one-word answer: "No".



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