Education Minister JP Langbroek said the government would increase funding support for families with children who had to move away from home to attend boarding schools and community hostels.
“Addressing the educational needs of geographically isolated Queenslanders has been a priority of this government from day one and I’m proud that we’ve been able to help lift the cost of living pressures for these families,” Mr Langbroek said.
“We have listened to the Isolated Children Parents Association (ICPA) and I’m pleased we’ve been able to work with them to deliver this great outcome for their members and the Queenslanders they represent.
“When it came to the needs of remote families, Labor put it in the too hard basket.
“Under a strong LNP Team Queenslanders can be sure that we have a strong plan to give our kids every opportunity to get a great education so they can get great jobs.”
LNP Candidate for Gregory, Lachie Millar joined the Minister in Longreach to deliver the good news to local families.
“This increase will provide a timely boost for struggling families who have to pay significant and escalating sums of money to allow their children to have a standard of education comparable to those who live closer to major urban centres,” he said.
“Given the uncertain times being experienced by rural families everywhere, but especially here in the west in Gregory, this is a fantastic boost coming at the time of the year when parents are refocusing their attention on the year ahead and costs associated with education.
“The Gregory Electorate will benefit immensely from this decision as the remote locations that our families are spread over are unlike many others in the state.
“This funding increase shows the benefit of strong advocacy and strong government. The electorate has been well served by the ICPA and a strong LNP government, delivering for school kids and their families.”
ICPA President Andrew Pegler welcomed the announcement.
“With the growing number of geographically isolated students needing to access boarding schools due to Year 7 moving to secondary, this increase will be of benefit to many families,” Mr Pegler said.
“We appreciate the Minister’s advocacy for this increase on behalf of rural and remote families.”
Mr Langbroek said the increases under the Living Away From Home and Student Hostel Support Schemes would take effect from this year.
He said not-for-profit hostels would also receive more funds to help cope with running costs and fluctuating enrolments often experienced during drought and times of hardship.
“This funding supports small schools which can be impacted by declining boarding numbers at the student hostels,” he said.
The increases followed a review of educational services to rural and remote communities.