Clayfield MP Tim Nicholls with Scenic Rim MP Jon Krause. Estimate Committee hearing at Parliament House. Pics Tim Marsden
Clayfield MP Tim Nicholls with Scenic Rim MP Jon Krause. Estimate Committee hearing at Parliament House. Pics Tim Marsden

MPs accuse government of ‘politicising’ school funding

REGIONAL LNP MPs have accused the State Government of “politicising” funding for local schools after being left in the dark over how their electorates would benefit from a $220 million spend.

Ipswich Labor MPs were able to announce on Tuesday which of the schools in their patches would benefit from $9.2 million on new projects, upgrades and minor works.

Member for Scenic Rim Jon Krause said opposition MPs weren’t given the same luxury and they were only notified of specifics late on Thursday afternoon.

The State Government confirmed $114.7 million would be spent in non-government seats, and $105.3 million in government seats.

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Education Minister Grace Grace said any suggestion that the funding process was political was “completely ludicrous”.

Mr Krause was informed $3 million will be spent on schools in his electorate, with $150,000 going on refurbishing learning spaces at Grandchester State School and $50,000 at Warrill View State School.

About $1.16 million will go towards maintenance and minors works at schools across the region.

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“Clearly they’ve been politicising this whole process by giving information to Labor MPs first,” he said.

“The investment … is no doubt welcomed by these communities and me too.

“But as for the ($1.16 million) worth of maintenance and minor works for the whole electorate, I imagine that figure is spread over a four-year period.

“We don’t have a budget this year. I would imagine that figure is for the entire four year budget period.”

Lockyer MP Jim McDonald.
Lockyer MP Jim McDonald.

Lockyer MP Jim McDonald was told $1.6 million will be spent in his electorate with $1.2 million assigned for maintenance and minor works for schools in the area.

Projects will be undertaken at Lowood and Kentville state schools.

“I welcome any funding but don’t play politics with it,” he said.

“The Premier made the decision not bring down a budget so we couldn’t criticise it now they’re making announcements like this.

“It’s not just education (same thing happened) with the Department of Transport and Main Roads.

“It’s really disappointing.”

Ms Grace said schools were encouraged to engage local tradies to complete maintenance works and smaller jobs.

“Our $220 million school funding announcement will not only provide better facilities for staff and students, but will also support 720 local jobs across the state,” she said.

“This funding is welcome news for these local communities but also for local tradies who can tender for these projects.

“By investing in new and upgraded school infrastructure it not only provides world-class education facilities for Queensland students, but also ensures there is a pipeline of work to support local jobs.”

Read more stories by Lachlan McIvor here.