MP denies $40m school site claims

REPORTS that the State Government has spent $40 million on purchase of land for the new Yamanto State School were described as “miles away from correct” by Member for Ipswich Rachel Nolan yesterday.

Her election opponent, LNP candidate for Ipswich Suzie Holmes, said if the reports were correct, the outlay was an “absolute waste of money”.

Ms Holmes had also been told that two of the 8.6 hectares on the school site would be lost because of flooding problems.

Ms Nolan conceded that there was a drainage issue, but said the two hectares figure was “seriously exaggerated”.

“We're going to put a drain through the site,” she said.

“We haven't designed that fully.

“School planning is happening and we're finalising purchase of the site.”

Ms Nolan said the school would initially house 570 primary students.

“We expect in the longer term a maximum of 780,” she said.

She insisted that Churchill State School would not be closing.

No start date has been set for the new school, which was planned to replace the Amberley State School in July.

Amberley School Community Consultation Group president Melissa Jose said after meeting with Education Queensland officials on Wednesday that the opening date had been delayed until January 2010.

“We said from the start that (Yamanto) was a bad site,” she said.

“(The State Government) is in caretaker mode but they're trying to get permission to go to tender (for the new school).

“(Today) is the two-year anniversary that they told us that the (Amberley) school was going to shut.

“I thought they would've worked a bit quicker.”

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