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