Education Minister Grace Grace with Longreach State High School students Hugo, Seth and Aiyahna.
Education Minister Grace Grace with Longreach State High School students Hugo, Seth and Aiyahna.

Central west schools benefit from $2.9M hospitality upgrade

Hospitality students in the central west will benefit from $2.9 million State Government funding to upgrade their current facilities.

Longreach State High School’s hospitality trade training centre is a hospitality training program which provides students across the region the skills they needed for a career post-school.

The program includes the well-known mobile commercial training kitchen, the Big Red Truck, which is 10 years old and in need of some upgrades.

Education Minister Grace Grace, who visited the school on Tuesday, said the money would help fund the truck’s registration and maintenance into the future and upgrade the school’s kitchen facilities.

“The hospitality trade training centre delivers hospitality training to students at Longreach State High School, as well as Barcaldine, Aramac, Winton, and Blackall State Schools,” she said.

“These refurbished facilities will give our budding chefs, caterers and bar managers a real taste of what it’s like to work in an industrial-standard workplace.

“By investing in projects like these, we’re also supporting local jobs in the Longreach community.”

Longreach State High School principal Vanessa Moller said the multimillion-dollar commitment meant so much to the school community.

“The refurbishment of our kitchens will create a commercial kitchen and dining facility for our cluster of schools – Barcaldine, Aramac, Winton and Blackall State Schools,” Ms Moller said.

“We already host a lot of training events for our cluster so these new facilities will give our students access to real-world hospitality and catering experiences.”

Ms Grace said the Palaszczuk Government was no stranger to investing in educational facilities in the bush and was committed to providing quality education facilities to schools in all corners of the state.

“Across the central west region, we’re investing around $7 million going forward, with $39 million injected into the area since 2015,” Ms Grace said.

She said more than 2,500 solar panels were being installed at Longreach State School, Longreach State High, the Longreach School of Distance Education and Barcaldine State School.

“By installing solar panels on these school rooftops, we’re chipping away at our target to reach 50 per cent renewable energy target in Queensland by 2030,” Ms Grace said.

“At a time when job creation has never been more important, our Government continues to support industry while improving our schools.

“During 2020–21, we are delivering an overall infrastructure investment portfolio valued at more than $1.9 billion, driving the Queensland economy by supporting almost 4800 jobs.”

Originally published as Central west schools benefit from $2.9M hospitality upgrade