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Tuesday, 14 February 2017
Page: 1034

Mr HOWARTH (Petrie) (16:52): Bounty Boulevard State School is represented by some 48 different nationalities in the North Lakes area, one of the fastest growing areas in the Moreton Bay region. The school itself has almost 1,400 students and is the largest primary school in Queensland. It is tasked with educating the children of North Lakes, a suburb that in 2011 had 19,000 people and today has 30,000 people.

Bounty Boulevard State School, like other schools around the nation, has just welcomed its new leaders. I was fortunate to be at the school's badging ceremony on 3 February to usher in young Aneka Knott and Samuel Savage as the 2017 Bounty Boulevard State School captains. I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate both Aneka and Samuel and to thank them. They are an impressive pair, and I can confidently say that Queensland's largest state school will do well in their capable but small hands. There are other great leaders there as well: the vice-captains, the school leaders, the house captains and all the year 6s who will play a leadership role this year, as well as all the teaching staff and the principal.

The badging ceremony was a wonderful event. I think the only way that it could have possibly been better is if the whole school could have shared the occasion under the one roof. I know from my long-running discussions with the school community that most parents would likely agree. At present the school has no undercover space which can hold a full school assembly—from grade P to 6 as well as teaching staff and other staff and parents—an Anzac Day ceremony, a presentation or a graduation. There is nothing at the moment for Queensland's largest state school.

The school's P&C is especially active. It does a sterling job and has led the push to secure funding for the much-needed school hall. But you do need to sell a lot of lamingtons to raise enough money for a school hall, and they certainly could use a helping hand. A petition attracted some 800 signatures and was referred to Queensland's education minister, Kate Jones, last year.

I have written twice to the state education minister, Kate Jones, advocating and pleading with the state Labor government to fund a school hall for Bounty Boulevard State School and had two replies: one on 10 May and one on 7 December last year. All that Ms Jones could do was blame her predecessor, but Ms Jones knows too well that the federal coalition government has committed $1.1 billion in additional funds this year alone to state schools. What I need her to do is kick the can and fund the hall. In the lead-up to this year's state election, I call on both sides to fund it urgently.