Is It Time to Consider Relocating Milton State School to Higher Ground?

Milton State School and five other state schools that were heavily damaged by recent severe weather events have reopened but some quarters believe these schools may need to be relocated because of the high likelihood of a similar scenario in the future.

Milton State School is one of the six state schools that were severely impacted by recent floods. Forced to close for several weeks, the school diverted its students to surrounding schools that took them in for the remainder of Term 1.

Except for the new buildings, the school’s facilities that were designed before the 2011 flood were badly damaged. The flood-damaged areas include six classrooms.

So far, the Queensland Government has spent $50 million to bring flood-damaged Milton State School, Rocklea State School, St Helens State School, One Mile State School, Milpera State High School, and Aviation State High School back up in time for Term 2. 

Prior to the schools’ reopening, the Teachers’ Professional Association of Queensland (TPAQ) suggested that instead of throwing “good money after bad”, State should instead consider permanently closing and relocating these severely impacted schools.

TPAQ said that these same schools are the ones that are constantly hit by floods. They cited Milton State School as an example of these schools that should be considered transferring to another site.

Working with the Queensland Reconstruction Authority, the Education Department is currently focusing on flood mitigation proposals. These proposals would involve raising school buildings and may include other infrastructures including roads that will still allow access to schools in case of a flood event.

The Education Department said that flood mitigation efforts at these schools could cost around $200 million. Also, whilst relocation to higher ground is a possibility, this option is often difficult; however, they don’t want to rule anything in or out at this time.