ONE of Premier Anna Bligh's major focuses for Queensland is educating for the future.
So it was fitting that she would make a major education announcement in the region that is propelling the state's economy and with the greatest need for skills.
Riding in on her big, flashing campaign coach Ms Bligh was given a rousing reception at Fitzgerald State School before meeting and greeting the workforce at G&S Engineering in the industrial heartland of Paget.
It was at Eimeo State School, though, that she pledged to splash out on more than 5000 iPads for Year 7 students if re-elected.
The Premier said her government would provide the tablet computers to students as part of Labor's education reforms.
At an estimated cost of $5.7m, the iPad trial would be undertaken by 20 Flying Start Pilot schools.
The soon-to-be-built Eimeo Road State High School and Glenden State High School have been included in the trial.
Making the announcement Ms Bligh said technology was now moving faster than ever and to give students the best skills for the future they needed the best tools.
"We introduced an extra year of school with Prep, we introduced a state-wide kindergarten program and now we have implemented the transition of Year 7 to high school," she said.
"We will continue to support these reforms by providing the latest learning tools for our children."
It was her second announcement in three days on the campaign trail.
On Monday she pulled a $1.36m funding commitment for the Yeppoon foreshore redevelopment out of her handbag in Rockhampton.
Kirili Lamb has a son at Eimeo Road State School.
She said iPad computers were a great learning tool.
"It probably wouldn't decide the way I vote but it's definitely a worthwhile program," Ms Lamb said.
"I have worked in the education system and find them a really useful learning tool.
"I think the region has far bigger issues than a laptop or iPad program can solve."
Late yesterday the Premier's campaign coach rolled north toward the marginal Labor seat of Whitsunday.
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