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Speech on saving East Brisbane State School and Raymond Park

On September 27, I spoke in Parliament about the need for the Federal Government to help save the school and park, and leave a positive legacy from the Olympics for our community.

We hear a lot of talk about the need for the Brisbane 2032 Olympics to leave a positive legacy. Well, if the federal government progresses with helping to fund 50 per cent of the Queensland government's now potentially $2.5 billion plan to demolish and rebuild the Gabba stadium as the main athletics track for the 2032 Olympics, then the biggest legacy could be the loss of the much-loved East Brisbane State School, which sits next to the stadium, and Raymond Park, which has been touted as the warm-up track. With chronically underfunded schools and hospitals across the country, the idea that the government would spend $2.5 billion on a stadium for a two-week sporting event, while destroying a school and a park in the process, is disgraceful.

East Brisbane State School now has over 311 students, having grown by more than 38 per cent in the last few years. The school is incredibly diverse, with students from 39 different language groups and a specialised English program for refugee children.

Meanwhile, Raymond Park is home to a wonderful community garden, a local footy club, a playground, basketball courts and old, established fig trees. I'm calling on the federal government to make it a condition of any federal funding that the Queensland government drop the Gabba stadium project and help save our school and park.

The member for South Brisbane, Amy MacMahon, and I are supporting the school P&C to hold a rally outside the school at 8.20 am on 20 October. I also hope the ministers for education, infrastructure and sport will accept my invitation to visit the school and hear from parents, residents and students before they make a decision that could affect this community forever.

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