QLDC rejects new school on Ladies Mile site

by Peter Newport - Mar 17, 2022

Councillors today unanimously rejected a proposal from the Ministry of Education to build a new high school on council land at 516 Ladies Mile.

At a QLDC full council meeting the concept of a new community hub on the $13 million site won over what was referred to as “an easy option” (Councillor Val Miller) for the Government to build a new school on council land.

The Ministry of Education wanted to have a primary and secondary school on opposite sides of Ladies Mile - joined by an underpass.

Councillor Glyn Lewers raised concerns though that the QLDC was missing out on a cash injection by rejecting the school proposal and he raised the possibility of the Ministry acquiring the land using a compulsory purchase order under the Public Works Act.

Esther Whitehead said that a sale of the land at 516 Ladies Miles for a new school would “make a farce” out of all the work that has gone into the development of a new community hub on the site.

Deputy Mayor Calum MacLeod stressed that the rejection of this specific proposal did not in any way indicate a lack of desire for a new school elsewhere on Ladies Mile.

A number of councillors also expressed concern that the Ministry of Education had failed to provide reassurances over the use of “an often problematic” public-private partnership in building a new school at 516 Ladies Mile.

QLDC has recently approved the expenditure of almost $4 million on community hub construction work at the former Walker house that sits on the land. An open day is planned for later this year.

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