Kedron SHS Performing Arts Centre

I want to again raise the issue of the sad state of affairs at the Kedron State High School and in particular its performing arts centre. Kedron State High School is a great school in my electorate and I have supported it for more than 20 years. I have spoken about the school and its students' needs for a new performing arts centre consistently since 2015, and this need was again highlighted last night when I attended the school's awards night—an awards night that had to be held in the sports centre and not the school hall because the school hall's floor had collapsed. Let me in passing also congratulate Sophie Lawrence, the 2021 Senior Sports Person of the Year. Sophie heads off to the United States to play softball on a college scholarship next year. Congratulations, Sophie.

Kedron State High School hall was built in the early 1960s when the school's student population was just 274. By 2017 the school's population was over 1,400 and this year the school's population is over 1,600 students, but they are still expected to cope with a school hall that was built in 1961 when the student population was 247. Recently, as I said, the school's grand piano fell through the thin timber floor and on 7 September—the night of the school's most important vocal showcase—part of the hall had to be barricaded off with safety mesh due to foundation subsidence. As the President of the P&C Association and the School Council Chair, Mr Tony Howell, points out, the irony of the Advancing Queensland bunting around a section of the hall that had to be closed off was not lost on anyone. I table a picture that Mr Howell sent through with respect to that.

It is not as if the school community has been silent or done nothing on this issue. Since 2015 the school has brought the attention of the department to this problem and I have supported the school with election commitments and petitions and also in other correspondence. In 2016 the school appeared on a Channel 10 news spot, with Brisbane Broncos Sam Thaiday calling for work on the school hall.

In 2017, together with members of the school P&C, we launched a petition, as I mentioned. In 2018 the school undertook a media campaign which gained some traction and included some well-known sporting and media personalities. In 2020 the P&C, of its own volition, undertook professional consulting and created preliminary plans.

Since the beginning of this year the president of the P&C and the school council have sought a meeting with Minister Grace on three occasions and up until 1 October had received no response. I wrote to Minister Grace on 1 October and to my great delight, and I thank the minister for this, she has agreed to a meeting with the acting school principal, the school council and myself on 26 October. I look forward to meeting with the minister and hearing her plans for fixing Kedron State High School's performing arts centre.