Second Brisbane school faces Olympic games’ redevelopment move

Claire Halliday
Claire Halliday

The redevelopment of Brisbane’s Gabba Stadium, ahead of the 2032 Olympic Games, may see a second Brisbane school forced to move.

The Queensland government has already announced the heritage-listed East Brisbane State School (EBBS) will be relocated and can’t stay on its current site – where it has been since 1899 – beyond 2025.

Now, Brisbane School of Distance Education at Coorparoo may face its own relocation, as a potential new home for the East Brisbane State School and the 309 students currently enrolled there.

Although Education Queensland has not given any definitive answer about “where and how” the new East Brisbane State School (EBBS) would be relocated at Coorparoo, it must be ready to commence the 2026 school year.

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The School of Distance Education location has 3850 students enrolled and operates as a “flexible learning” school that students from around the world connect to via online classes. But although most students have no onsite interaction with the school, there are up to 90 students who attend regular sports days, music days, exam days and special events a few times each week.

The school also employs 340 teachers who work onsite, with some of the school’s teachers already raising concerns they may have to move.

“The department will continue to work with the Brisbane School of Distance Education on the future of the school as part of ongoing planning regarding the East Brisbane State School,” the department said in a statement.

A plea for change

For families currently connected to EBBS, a petition addressed to the Premier of Queensland, Anastasia Palaszczuk, and Queensland Leader of the Opposition, David Crisafulli, had attracted nearly 4000 signatures when EducationDaily published this article.

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In the written statement to motivate more signatures, petition creator Paul Gollan said: “Brisbane was announced the host city for the 2032 Olympics, there were no plans to move the school, and the only plans being made were to increase student capacity through vertical expansion of the school, something commonly embraced by large cities around the world.”

With only two options currently presented by the Queensland government – relocate to the Coorparoo Secondary College campus or move the students to other primary schools – Mr Gollan describes both as “completely unacceptable”.

According to Mr Gollan and the local school community members he represents, the alternatives offered to date do not address the current and future schooling needs of the fast-growing inner-city suburbs of East Brisbane, Kangaroo Point and Woolloongabba.

“We ask that the decision makers find an alternative stadium option for the 2032 Olympics, that does not impact on EBSS remaining at its current location,” the petition states. “Otherwise, provide a new school in the heart of the current catchment that families can continue to walk, bike or scooter to, as around 7 in 10 families currently do.”

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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]