Gympie is experiencing high growth.
Growth is putting pressure on local infrastructure and services including our schools.
I receive regular feedback about Gympie public schools, including high schools, and concerns about school sizes.
Our three wonderful private schools already ease the burden on our local state schools and the opportunities.
We need to be proactive and plan for the future.
I raised this issue with the Minister for Education, Grace Grace, in 2018.
In a Question on Notice I’ve asked the Minister for official enrolment figures and enrolment capacity for each school and raised it in the Parliament this week. *
There is no doubt that our local high schools are under pressure.
Enrollments at James Nash and Gympie State High Schools are increasing with private schools picking up the slack.
Gympie has only two state high schools which offer schooling from Years 7-12.
James Nash and Gympie State High Schools currently educate more than 2,300 students.
The two schools in Tin Can Bay and Mary Valley only provide schooling to year 10.
That means that students have to commute into Gympie to complete Years 11 and 12.
The Bruce Highway upgrade and Gympie’s easy proximity to the Sunshine Coast has made our region increasingly attractive to families who can afford to live here and commute for work.
Since Covid it has become an even more attractive place to live.
We need to start planning now for the future education needs of children in this area before current facilities and services are unreasonably stretched.