It’s official. After deliberations and community consultation, the former site of the Toowong Bowls Club site that suffered damage during the 2011 and 2022 floods has officially been declared an unsuitable venue for a new primary school.
Education Minister Grace Grace confirmed on 15 March 2023 that the former Toowong Bowls Club site is no longer suitable for a new primary school following unprecedented flooding and community consultation. The confirmation comes as the State Government announced its stabilising enrolment changes school timetable.
“Stabilising enrolments means there is currently capacity for around 600 extra students in the existing local state schools. A new state school is therefore not required as soon as anticipated,” the announcement states.
The government will review the original pre-COVID business to determine when and where a new primary school should be built. Whilst this review goes underway, school communities at Indooroopilly, Ironside and Toowong State Schools will benefit from new and upgraded facilities including additional student capacity where needed.
“The Palaszczuk Government has a proud record of delivering educational infrastructure when and where it is needed,” Ms Grace said.
“Good governments are constantly reviewing what needs to be done and where, and it’s clear some of our new schools aren’t needed as quickly as was predicted a few years ago.
“Low birth rates from 2017 onwards, as well as a significant reduction in overseas enrolments due to COVID, means enrolments have stabilised and growth pressures have eased in some areas.
“We are prioritising opening new schools where they are needed, and ensuring best value for taxpayers in what is an incredibly challenging construction market impacted by the rising costs and labour shortages we’ve seen since the pandemic.
“We’ve faced curveballs from unprecedented flooding in Brisbane’s inner west and changes to federal koala protection laws. Stabilising enrolments mean we can now take the time to secure more suitable sites in the inner west and Park Ridge, safe in the knowledge that with upgrades – some of which are already taking place – our existing schools have capacity to accommodate students in the meantime.”
Councillor James Mackay in his social media post said that he will now be pushing for Council to have the former Toowong Bowls Club site refurbished and to push forward with its plans to reopen the facility for community use and public space.