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Thursday, 22 May 1980
Page: 3170

Mr Humphreys asked the Minister for Education, upon notice, on 29 April 1980:

(1)   Has his attention been drawn to reported statements by the principal of the Hamilton State Primary School, Queensland, that at least 1 month of school time is wasted because of aircraft noise in the Hamilton area.

(2)   If so, will he consider providing funds for soundproofing the (a) Hamilton State School and (b) other schools which will be affected by the flight path of aircraft using the Brisbane Airport after the new runway becomes operational, particularly the Morningside State School, the Cannon Hill State School, the Balmoral High School, the St Oliver Plunkett School and other schools in the Morningside and Cannon Hill areas, Queensland.

Mr Fife -The answer to the honourable member's question is as follows:

(1)   No.

(2)   In the case of government schools, State Departments of Education determine what projects are undertaken in these schools in accordance with their priorities. Soundproofing would be a legitimate use of funds provided to the Queensland Government by the Commonwealth through the Schools Commission 's Capital Grants Program.

Projects involving the soundproofing of non-government school buildings against disturbances caused by external noise are eligible for assistance under the Schools Commission's Capital Grants Program. The precise measures taken depend, of course, on the type of noise and the extent to which the learning environment of each school 's pupils is impaired. Several projects have, in the past, been approved in cases where, for example, there have been high levels of traffic noise at a school.

Non-government schools in the vicinity of Brisbane Airport which believe they have a noise problem which significantly disrupts school activities may apply to the Commission's Planning and Finance Committee in Queensland for financial assistance in overcoming the problem. Applications will be assessed by the Committee having regard to their educational and financial priority in relation to the projects of other schools.

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