The newly elected ICPA Queensland State Council. Back: Kelly Ostwald, Louise Winten, Kasie Scott, Melissa Iland. Front: Jessie Persse, Kate Bradshaw, Tammie Irons, Amanda Clark, Sonia Spurdle, Michelle Freshwater, Louise Martin, Kim Donaldson, Wendy Henning.
The newly elected ICPA Queensland State Council. Back: Kelly Ostwald, Louise Winten, Kasie Scott, Melissa Iland. Front: Jessie Persse, Kate Bradshaw, Tammie Irons, Amanda Clark, Sonia Spurdle, Michelle Freshwater, Louise Martin, Kim Donaldson, Wendy Henning. Contributed

Rural education advocates regroup at state conference

ISSUES of rural education were raised to a chorus of motivated voices at the Isolated Children's Parents' Association state conference, with those from the southwest at the forefront of major decisions.

At their annual gathering last week, the members resolved to continue their lobbying action, particularly on the cost of boarding, living away from home allowances, and the closure of rural school bus routes.

"One of the big issues is travel: with a lot of school bus runs in the southwest low on numbers, the threat of closure is always imminent,” ICPA state councillor and Tambo member Louise Martin said.

"That has a major impact on small communities - whole families may decide to leave, which goes on to have a major impact on the actual school, not just the bus run.

"Another big issue not just for the region, but for all rural and remote students, is sending children away to boarding school.

"One of our big lobbies at the moment is trying to get an increase in the Living Away from Home Allowance.

"We lobby to the State Government every year, and while there was some increase, the gap between the cost of boarding relative to the allowance continues to increase.”

The ICPA has also set Roma in its sights for the next annual state conference, to be held in 2020.


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