Originally published on The Queensland Times

IPSWICH is the fastest growing area in Queensland, but the state government says it is keeping up with demand for new classrooms in the boom suburbs.

Education Minister Grace Grace was in the city on Tuesday to officially open new facilities at local schools and was asked whether Ipswich was equipped for the expected flood of new families.

The city’s population is set grow from 233,000 to 558,000 by 2041.

“Most definitely,” she said.

“We’ve injected hundreds of millions of dollars in this greater area of Ipswich, Springfield and Ripley.

“We’ve got plans for all of those areas and we’ll be announcing additional ones in the budget coming up in June.

“In-filling (is) happening at all the schools around Springfield and (there’s) new schools that we’ll be announcing in the budget.

“We are definitely keeping up with the growth but it’s amazing the amount of growth that is happening in this area.”

The state government committed $20 million in last year’s budget for planning and acquiring land for 16 new schools that will be needed from 2023 in “rapid growth areas”.

This included five new schools – one high school, three primary schools and one special school – for the Greater Springfield area and the city’s growth hot spots in the eastern suburbs.

It is understood the government is looking at two of the new primary schools to be located in either Augustine Heights or Redbank Plains and Bellbird Park or Brookwater.

A site in the Kalina housing development in Springfield is being eyed off for the third primary school.

It is understood the special school would likely be connected with one of the new primary schools being planned.

The new high school is likely to be established in Spring Mountain after a primary school opened in the suburb in 2019.

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