Hinchinbrook MP, Andrew Cripps, has expressed his disappointment that schools in the Hinchinbrook electorate appear to have missed out on the ‘win’ for education in Townsville claimed by local Labor MP’s and said it’s not right for the Palaszczuk Government to play favourites.
Mr Cripps said he appealed directly to the Premier and the Education Minister in January for modernisation and expansion works at Bluewater State School and Bohlevale State School, given both were subject to enrolment management plans, but his requests had been rejected.
“I’ve read comments from the three local Labor MPs crowing about a win for education in Townsville, but these two state schools on Townsville’s Northern Beaches have been left out and it’s not right – I’d hate to think they were the victims of political favouritism” said Mr Cripps.
“Both Bohlevale and Bluewater State Schools currently operate under enrolment management plans and Bluewater has several ageing buildings – so there’s no doubt there is a need for investment in education infrastructure servicing Townsville’s Northern Beaches” he said.
Mr Cripps welcomed the fact that the state budget confirmed an allocation for the construction of a new state primary school in Burdell, but said the funding had been carried over from last year and he was somewhat concerned that the amount had fallen from $50 million, to $45 million.
“After a long campaign on behalf of my local community on Townsville’s Northern Beaches, I was very pleased to see funding allocated in last year’s budget for a new primary school at Burdell, which is due to commence construction during this coming financial year (2016-17)”.
“This year’s state budget confirms that funding, but I am concerned the total amount for that project appears to have been reduced by $5 million, so I will be asking for an explanation from the Education Minister immediately to ensure my constituents are not being short-changed”.
Mr Cripps said he would continue to advocate for all schools in the Hinchinbrook electorate, especially Bluewater State School and Bohlevale State School, despite the Palaszczuk Government failing to recognise their needs for urgent modernisation and expansion works.