SCHOOL DEBATE: One Nation leader Pauline Hanson and One Nation’s Keppel candidate Wade Rothery say there is strong community support for a high school at Emu Park after conducting a phone poll last Friday.
SCHOOL DEBATE: One Nation leader Pauline Hanson and One Nation’s Keppel candidate Wade Rothery say there is strong community support for a high school at Emu Park after conducting a phone poll last Friday.

Survey finds strong Keppel support for Emu Park High School

NOT prepared to give up on Emu Park’s dream of having its own high school, One Nation’s candidate for Keppel Wade Rothery has revealed results from a phone survey, showing strong support for the idea.

Conducted last Friday by the One Nation Party, the survey of Keppel residents found that 70 per cent of locals supported Mr Rothery’s push to build the secondary school with 29 per cent opposed.

The phone survey informed 3,674 Keppel residents (15 per cent of Keppel households) that Pauline Hanson’s One Nation candidate Wade Rothery had committed to supporting building a high school at Emu Park.

It then asked participants if they supported a new high school or if it was a bad idea.

Mr Rothery said it was very clear that the majority of residents across Keppel, not just Emu Park, wanted to see the town with its own high school.

Queensland Senator and One Nation leader Pauline Hanson with One Nation candidate for Keppel Wade Rothery during a visit to Emu Park.
Queensland Senator and One Nation leader Pauline Hanson with One Nation candidate for Keppel Wade Rothery during a visit to Emu Park.

“Emu Park has been ignored by Labor for too long and it’s now at a point where families and their young kids are suffering and people are choosing to buy, rent or build in Yeppoon which is putting even greater pressure on those schools there,” Mr Rothery said.

“We know Emu Park is growing. We know families want to live closer to grandparents and other family and friends, but Labor keeps making up this excuse that the town isn’t ready for it.

“Some kids are spending up to 10 hours a week on a bus which in my view isn’t fair on them, and can easily be resolved by biting the bullet and building Emu Park its own high school.”

>> READ: Bold plan to build high schools in Gracemere and Emu Park

>> READ: POLL: Lauga knocks back Emu Park high school suggestions

>> READ: Emu Park high school fury: What’s your opinion?

Census data reveals 14,498 families called Keppel home, with an average of 1.9 children per family.

A State Government commissioned forecasting study in 2017 revealed the population of Livingstone Shire Council was projected to increase from 37,055 persons in 2016 to 55,691 persons in 2036, or by 2.1 per cent per annum, which is above the statewide five-year forecast average of 1.6 per cent.

Mr. Rothery said he was tired of hearing about the new schools popping up in the southeast corner because of their population growth.

“The facts are spelled out very clearly that the Livingstone Shire population will increase by 50 per cent in a very short period of time, so as far as I’m concerned, let’s start building a high school at Emu Park now,” he said.

Seeking to bring prominence to the issue of building a new high school at Emu Park, local resident Anthony White established the Facebook group We want a High School for Emu Park in April 2018.

SCHOOL CAMPAIGNER: Emu Park resident Anthony White has led the charge for a high school to be built in Emu Park.
SCHOOL CAMPAIGNER: Emu Park resident Anthony White has led the charge for a high school to be built in Emu Park.

Mr White said he spoke to Mr Rothery some time ago at the Emu Park markets regarding a high school for Emu Park.

“I am very pleased that Wade Rothery is listening to the people of Emu Park and that he is doing his own research,” Mr White said.

“A high school in Emu Park would be the best thing to happen for Yeppoon High School. Quite simply Yeppoon High School has too many students.

“For the people who don’t want a high school in Emu Park they should study some town planning. In a healthy community there is something for everyone.”

He called on locals to speak up and put pressure on the candidates contesting the electorate of Keppel saying the upcoming State Election was “the best chance in a long time to get a high school for Emu Park”.

“I have personally spoken to all the candidates I know of running in the seat of Keppel regarding a high school in Emu Park,” he said.

“It takes more than one person to convince a candidate that it should be a policy.”

Assistant Minister for Education Brittany Lauga and Education Minister Grace Grace were approached for comment.

SCHOOL DEBATE: Education Minister Grace Grace and Keppel MP Brittany Lauga have maintained that the population was too low to support the construction of a high school at Emu Park.
SCHOOL DEBATE: Education Minister Grace Grace and Keppel MP Brittany Lauga have maintained that the population was too low to support the construction of a high school at Emu Park.