Pallara State School (Adjournment Speech)

February 18, 2020

You can watch video footage of the speech here.

As a community, one of the best things we can offer our children to help them realise their potential is a great education. In my electorate of Algester I am grateful to have 13 growing and vibrant schools full of hardworking teachers, dedicated staff and incredible young people. One such school is Pallara State School. In 2016 the school moved to a brand-new site with state-of-the-art facilities. Since the move, the school has gone from strength to strength and I have had the privilege of visiting the school many times to celebrate the achievements of its students. Last year the Palaszczuk government announced a further $7 million investment in new teaching blocks to keep up with the increasing number of new families moving into the Algester electorate and joining the school community. We have also committed $150,000 to an outdoor environmental learning area which, I am excited to report, is now under construction.

We know that a positive learning environment provides our students with greater opportunities for success, so as the school transitioned to a new home in Pallara I embarked on a conversation with parents and residents about the options for the old school site. More than 12 months ago I surveyed the Pallara community to understand their vision for this place. I asked people whether they thought our community needed space for community groups, sporting clubs to use the fields, not-for-profit organisations to host events or more school facilities to accommodate our growing population. I also asked locals to indicate whether they thought these were short-term needs or long-term needs, because it is important that we recognise what is required quickly and what we should plan for into the future. It was fantastic to hear from so many residents who took the time to complete the survey. Overwhelmingly, those surveyed expressed a need for more school facilities, with 81 per cent of them expressing that view. As a former teacher myself, I know that investing in our children’s education is important to the long-term prosperity of our communities. That is why the Palaszczuk government is looking to the future and keeping this site for our children’s education.

Pallara State School has over 650 enrolments, with more and more families choosing to make our community their home. We all know that primary school students eventually become high school students, which is why we need to keep educational sites ready to respond to the community’s growing needs as other secondary schools in the area edge closer to capacity. The community has spoken and has entrusted me to make sure the former Pallara State School site remains a public asset for educational purposes, and I will continue to ensure that I meet its expectations. By retaining this property as an educational precinct, we are investing in the future of our children’s education and their success and of course I will continue to do that work with the residents of Pallara