Good morning all,
Please see the attached incoming and outgoing correspondence relating to pickup and drop-off facilities and improvements at Chancellor State College.
Safe school travel (SafeST) program
The safety of students travelling to and from school is one of the most important issues for school communities. One way this is achieved is by providing the safest possible journey to and from Queensland schools. The Department of Transport and Main Roads supports safe school travel with the SafeST program and resources.
Addressing school safety issues
Establishing a SafeST Committee is the first step in identifying and addressing school safety concerns. The SafeST Committee will develop a school road safety action plan for implementing strategies and solutions.
Ideally an action plan would outline:
- what the school is planning to do to improve road safety
- how it expects road safety will improve
- how the school will monitor and evaluate the success of the plan
- when it will be done
- who is responsible for making it happen.
School road safety is a matter that requires whole of community awareness and commitment. Improving the safety of school travel for all children relies on the involvement and engagement of schools (including parents associations), local government and state authorities such as Education Queensland, Queensland Police Service, TMR and TransLink and/or bus operators as required.
Our campaign to seek State Government assistance in rectifying school related traffic and parking issues on Scholars Drive has again ramped up with requests made to provide parents with a safe pickup and drop-off area for students.
The current school bus zone outside Chancellor Primary is of interest to parents in terms of creating a potential shared zone in accommodating this space as a kiss and go area.
After becoming aware of these concerns last night, I have immediately written to the Government seeking their assistance in providing their school facility with better outcomes for parents here in Sippy Downs.
Please see the attached letter which outlines concerns raised on behalf of parents.
9 November 2018
Attn: Department of Education and Training
Via email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Re: Pick up and drop off area at Chancellor State College – Primary Campus
I write to request the Department of Education consider ways to improve traffic flow and improve safety at the Chancellor State College Primary Campus in Scholars Drive, Sippy Downs.
I recently provided feedback to the Department of Housing and Public Works in regard to their proposal to expand the school. My feedback suggested options on how to improve road infrastructure around the College due to the lack of parking and extreme traffic congestion faced by the school community, particularly over the last few years.
I am highly concerned about any expansion of the College which does not address the already insufficient road infrastructure to cater for such a high traffic generator all within a cul-de-sac. I am aware of parents/care givers queuing for up to 40 minutes in Scholars Drive in the afternoon school traffic.
In early 2017, parents of the school initially requested that I seek to have a pick up and drop off facility installed on Scholars Drive to help ease the traffic congestion. I arranged for Council’s Traffic Engagement Officer to meet with the School Principal to discuss the idea. At the time the Principal indicated that he was supportive of council’s suggestion to convert two of the three bus bays into a pick up and drop off facility as only 50 students were using the bus transport. With due consideration of buses, we thought the pick-up/drop of zone may work with signage indicating that it would only be operational during certain times of the morning and afternoon on school days.
Council officer’s approached the TransLink Division of the Department of Transport and Main Roads and were referred to the Operations Manager of BusLink. BusLink advised that they were not in favour of the removal of any bus bays due to the need to ensure these bays were available for the buses that arrive in the afternoon – two at 3.10pm and three that arrive at 3.52pm. These buses meet and transfer students to other buses for their final destination.
From the information provided to my office, I am told it is not possible to use the bus bays, my personal belief is that the government should try and accommodate the needs of parents in respect to picking up and dropping off their children and I would encourage you to urgently revisit a possible location for the installation of a pickup and drop off facility at Chancellor State College (Primary), particularly as part of the proposed development work as the safety of students is paramount.
Cr Christian Dickson
The Queensland Government has plans to increase student numbers at Chancellor State College and its vital that they take accountability and deliver upgrades to improve traffic and parking on Scholars Drive.
Please see a copy of the letter I sent the Government this morning regarding my thought’s which include solutions and a cash offer to assist In fixing these school related issues.
Dear Ms Rowe
I write to you in my capacity as the Division 6 councillor on the Sunshine Coast Council regarding the planned expansion of the Chancellor State College and its facilities which are located at Scholars Drive, Sippy Downs.
As you may be aware, there is a long history associated with the development of the Chancellor Park estate in which the school is located. The original estate was a court ordered approval and therefore our community lacks a range of sporting fields, parks, road, pedestrian and other infrastructure related items. As time progresses it is council who continually invests ratepayer dollars into upgrading such issues to ultimately provide local residents with a much more enjoyable place to call home.
Flowing on from previous errors of the past that date back some 15-20 years, the Chancellor Primary Campus was built and approved by the State Government on a cul-de-sac. As the years have passed the school has been caught short with a lack of parking for parents whilst also forcing parents to sit in traffic gridlock for periods of up to 40 minutes in some instances. Ultimately the school has continued to grow without any infrastructure upgrades by the Government in respect to traffic and parking. Outside of school hours the traffic and parking situation is one of no concern to locals and the precinct functions appropriately as it should.
Over the years there has been a key message from the Government and that rings true for all state schools throughout Queensland; the message is that school traffic and parking matters (although caused by the State Government) is the responsibility of the local councils. I find this extremely difficult to accept and yet time and time again councils are forced to spend what limited funds we have in solving State Government issues on their behalf. To this end, the Sunshine Coast Council has spent many hundreds of thousands of dollars in reconfiguring parking and centre medium treatments on Scholars Drive over the years. Council is also tasked with delivering crossing upgrades, footpaths and regulating timed parking to assist the school directly in its operations.
I would like to make the point very clear that I do not support the continuous population growth and facility expansion at the Chancellor State College without a strong degree of attention being paid by the Government in coming to the table and providing infrastructure upgrades to cater for their parent, teacher and student body.
To this end, I wish to identify what I believe to be some solutions to the current problems which have been created by the Government:
- The delivery of a single lane exit road from Scholars Drive into Columbia Street for the strict use of parents during the hours of 8am-9am and 3pm-4pm Monday to Friday. It is possible to construct a link here which will provide a limited secondary access road to vent traffic gridlock from Scholars Drive.
- The upgrade of the roundabout on the corner of Scholars Drive and University Way to assist in providing equitable traffic distribution in peak periods whilst also making it safer for people to cross the road by way of utilising traffic crossing signals. This may also remove the need for crossing personnel to be at this location.
- Deliver additional schools to take pressure off the Chancellor State College precinct. A new State school at Palmview to the south of Sippy Downs should be a high priority and should be delivered as soon as possible.
Whilst I may have identified the concerns and solutions above, I would like to make the following public offer on record to the Government.
As you may know, Brent Mickelberg the State MP for Buderim and I have recently released a media statement regarding traffic and parking issues at Scholars Drive which are inherently a result of the School and its growth pressures. As Brent and I are working closely on local issues, we have agreed that the above situation is of the highest priority from a local resident perspective and a high priority for us both as elected representatives of the people. To this end, I have made a $200,000 cash announcement to assist the Government in fixing the issues that have plagued Scholars Drive over the years.
I genuinely ask that you work with Brent and myself to utilise these funds in bolstering the Government’s commitment in fixing the above outlined issues within the school precinct as part of your future expansion endeavours.
I look forward to your reply and feedback in due course.
Cr Christian Dickson
Sunshine Coast Council
Friday 19th October 2018
Mickelberg’s campaign to upgrade Scholars Drive ramps up: Premier needs to stump up
Yesterday in State Parliament Member for Buderim Brent Mickelberg again called on the Premier to put her money where her mouth is and fund Scholars Drive.
Mr Mickelberg tabled a petition to the Labor State Government and called on Premier Palaszczuk to: work with the Sippy Downs and Chancellor State College community; stump up the cash to fix Scholars Drive congestion; and prevent the unthinkable from happening before it is too late.
“As I reminded her yesterday, the Premier said on the 15th of May this year: ‘I always say that government works best when all levels of government work together.’ I couldn’t agree more Premier,” Mr Mickelberg said.
“Last week I stood beside Sunshine Coast Councillor Christian Dickson when he announced Council’s $200,000 investment to upgrade Scholars Drive and now I call on Premier Palaszczuk to step up.
“I urge the Premier to prove she meant what she said and work with the Sunshine Coast Council to fix the problem that is Scholars Drive and release the Sippy Downs community from their daily nightmare.
“It was a Labor Government that built a large school on a dead-end street and it’s time Premier Palaszczuk stumped up the money to fix the congestion caused by Labor’s own poor planning decisions.
“This is a great opportunity for Premier Palaszczuk to show the people of Sippy Downs that politics can be put aside when the safety of our kids is at stake. Scholars Drive is a disaster waiting to happen and Sippy Downs residents deserve better,”. Mr Mickelberg said.
“I will not stop fighting until Labor accept their part of this mess and fix Scholars Drive. The LNP committed $1 million dollars to a solution if elected to Government so why can’t Labor?
[ENDS] Media Contact: Cherie Beaumont-Tyson 0431 484 570