Queensland delivers record $17.8 billion education budget

Claire Halliday
Claire Halliday

“No matter where you live in our state, my government will invest in your education.”

That pledge, from Queensland Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk, featured in a joint statement released with Treasurer Cameron Dick, and Minister for Education Grace Grace, to announce a record $17.8 billion education budget for the state.

The Palaszczuk Government is delivering more teacher housing, and major infrastructure investment right across the state, including:

  • extra $29 million for hugely popular playgrounds and tuckshops upgrade program
  • new special school for Logan
  • major expansion at Springfield Central State High School
  • $2.1 billion infrastructure investment for Queensland schools in 2023-24 alone, to build, improve, expand, and maintain schools across the state, supporting 3,700 jobs
  • $5 million over four years to strengthen local school-industry partnerships and support school to work transitions, through work experience and school-based apprenticeship initiatives, as well as industry placement for teachers
  • $1.9 million boost over five years to the Non-State Schools Transport Assistance Scheme (NSSTAS)
  • $48.3 million for teacher housing in rural and remote areas

Free kindergarten will save QLD families money

Kindy will also be free for every Queensland family – a move that aims to deliver significant cost of living relief that could save families thousands of dollars a year.

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14,000 families currently already receive their child’s kindergarten education for free, but another 50,000 are expected to benefit – with savings around $4,600 a year – from 1 January 2024.

Supporting transition to work training

Funding to provide nine Regional School Industry Partnership managers (one centrally and one for each education region) is part of the Palaszczuk Government’s $70 million Action Plan from the Good People. Good Jobs. Queensland Workforce Strategy 2022-2032.

The three pillars that underpin the strategy aim to connect, educate and attract the state’s workforce to ensure the continued success of the Queensland economy, while enhancing the state’s reputation as a positive place to live, work and play.

Identifying underlying issues for young people

Allocating $752,000 over two years to extend the cross agency Townsville Early Action Group and expand to Cairns and Mount Isa aims to help break the cycle of youth crime by dealing with underlying issues that lead some young people to offend. These issues include mental health concerns, drug and substance misuse, domestic violence, family dysfunction and poor school attendance. This forms part of total increased funding of $5.1 million over three years for the Early Action Group.

Additionally, a new 10-year, $1 billion rolling land fund will support acquisition of land for new schools and school expansion, with $259 million over three years going towards the building and refurbishment of  halls and performing arts centres at 18 schools across Queensland.

“Our record $17.8 billion education budget – an increase of 8.3 per cent on last year – sees our ambitious investment in education infrastructure continue, because every student and all school staff deserve to learn and work in outstanding facilities,” said the state’s Education Minister Grace Grace.

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Claire Halliday has an extensive career as a full-time writer - across book publishing, copywriting, podcasting and feature journalism - for more than 25 years. She lives in Melbourne with children, two border collies and a grumpy Burmese cat. Contact: claire.halliday[at]brandx.live