Walkervale State School - Cullen St and Hurst St pathway project
Walkervale State School - Cullen St and Hurst St pathway project Contributed

$500K school pick-up drop-off project not a priority

THE certainty around the construction of a much-needed pick-up drop-off area at Walkervale State School is hazy, with 13 other projects getting the green light ahead of it.

Despite Bundaberg Regional Council undertaking design work to support the project in 2016, the $500,000 project has yet to be programmed.

Council roads and drainage portfolio spokesman Wayne Honor said if the work had been listed as a priority for the Safe School Travel program, no other school project would have qualified for funding for at least two years.

"The current Safe School Travel two year plan for Bundaberg Regional Council, approved by the Regional Roads and Transport Group, provides upgrades targeting 13 regional schools with projects costing $530,000,” Cr Honor said.

In an effort to tackle the safety concerns at Walkervale State School in the meantime, a $20,490 drop-off point that upgraded the existing school crossing area on Sims Rd, was constructed at Walkervale State School this financial year.

Walkervale State School - concept plan - pick up and drop off - carpark
Walkervale State School - concept plan - pick up and drop off - carpark Contributed

"This project was funded in a 50 per cent partnership between the Department of Transport and the council, as approved by the Wide Bay Burnett Regional Roads and Transport Group,” he said.

According to an answer to a Question on Notice tabled in Parliament by Bundaberg MP David Batt last month, the construction of school transport infrastructure is supported by the Transport Infrastructure Development Scheme.

The June response followed Mr Batt's inquiry into whether Minister Mark Bailey would commit to funding a pick-up drop-off area at Walkervale.

Regional school upgrades funded by Department of Transport and Main Roads and BRC

  • Branyan Dr - Branyan Road State School - $20,000 - Construct cycleway/footpaths and supporting infrastructure
  • Grey St - Wallaville State School - $30,000 - Construct footpaths
  • Hurst St and Cullen St - Walkervale State School - $40,000 - Construct footpaths
  • Killer St - Norville State School - $30,000 - Construct footpaths
  • Maryborough St - Bundaberg State High School - $30,000 - Construct footpaths
  • Mulgrave St - St Patrick's Catholic Primary School - $20,000 - Construct footpaths
  • Oakwood School Rd - Oakwood State School -$ 37,000 - Construct footpaths
  • Osborn St - Norville State School - $40,000 - Construct footpaths
  • Sharon School Rd - Sharon State School - $30,000 - Construct footpaths
  • Stewart St - St Joseph's School - $30,000 - Construct footpaths
  • Twyford St - Avoca State School - $40,000 - Construct cycleway/footpaths and supporting infrastructure

Mr Bailey said the scheme operated on a matched-funding basis with local governments through 17 Regional Roads and Transport Groups across the state.

"Walkervale State School is on a local government controlled road in the Bundaberg Regional Council area. "(The council) is a member of the Wide Bay Burnett Regional Roads and Transport Group, which receives an annual allocation of $6.746 million,” Mr Bailey.

"Each year this group allocates 10 per cent of its funding towards school projects.”

The power to raise a project's priority lies with the Wide Bay Burnett Regional Roads and Transport Group.

However, prioritising the Walkervale State School car park project would result in no funding for the next two years for the 13 other projects.

"More than $340,000 has been committed this financial year on Safe School Travel projects,” Cr Honor said.

"The funding from (the department) for these projects is $122,000.”

Established under the Transport Infrastructure Act (2004) in the mid-1990s, the Transport Infrastructure Development Scheme enables the department to provide funding for local government road and transport-related initiatives that support State Government objectives in a two-year works program.