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“It’s another example of the Palaszczuk Government creating more jobs and delivering even better services right across Queensland– Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk walking with students. Picture: Stuart Quinn

In a joint statement published on Tuesday 21st of June, Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and Minister for Education Grace Grace have pledged to invest a record $16.5 billion towards school and early childhood education in the upcoming state budget, including the opening of five new schools in Caboolture, Caloundra, Ripley, Flagstone, and Bahrs Scrub between 2025 and 2026.

The Palaszczuk Government have also stated that existing buildings anywhere from the Gold Coast to the Cape will be expanded and improved thanks to the $1.9 billion put towards infrastructure investment.  This investment is not only beneficial to schools right across Queensland but for various industries within the building and construction sectors in supporting thousands of jobs that have been undeniably affected by the pandemic.

This is set to be the eighth record budget for school and early childhood education seen by the Palaszczuk Government.

“I am proud that yet again my government is delivering a record investment in education,” says the Premier.

Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk and Education Minister Grace Grace visit Heatley Secondary College | Townsville Bulletin

The upcoming budget also includes funding of nearly $220 million over the course of two years for additional classrooms at existing schools experiencing in-catchment enrolment growth. Minister Grace also stated that there would be around $650 million over the next five years for renewal projects at existing schools.

This $650 million includes:

  • $181.5 million for major renewal projects at 36 schools
  • $108.9 million for six special schools
  • $43.2 million for projects in all 18 discrete communities
  • $20 million for playground and tuckshop upgrades
  • $3.6 million to plan and design 18 new school halls and performing arts centres

“There will also be $5 million from our maintenance budget set aside especially for painting projects at our smaller schools,” says Minister Grace.

An additional $263 million will be invested over four years, with more than $77 million in ongoing annual funding to support universal access to kindergarten for Queensland children as part of the kindergarten funding reform package, comparative to that of the recent NSW and Vic Government early childhood initiative.

Further inclusions within the budget are:

  • 675 extra teachers and nearly 200 extra teacher aides
  • The $100 million, four-year ‘Go for Gold Fund’ for new and upgraded sports infrastructure for schools across the state
  • $80.6 million over three years to support schools to transition to a new resourcing model for students with disability
  • $15.5 million over three years to support all Queensland state schools in implementing respectful relationships education as part of the government’s response to the Women’s Safety and Justice Taskforce
  • $13.3 million to expand the partnership with Queensland-based charity ‘Share the Dignity’, giving all state schools the opportunity to install a vending machine that provides free period products
  • $5.6 million over four years to Former Origin Greats (FOGS) Queensland to continue to support the delivery of the Achieving Results Through Indigenous Education (ARTIE) Program for up to 2000 Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students in Queensland state schools

For more information about the State Budget visit budget.qld.gov.au.

Feature Image: Tim Swanston, ABC News