Loss of school ag land has split the community with growers fearing for future of agriculture education
A LOCAL Childers grower says a Bundaberg Regional Council decision to lease land which Isis District State High School uses for its agriculture education is “shocking”.
Childers and District Fruit and Vegetable Growers Association secretary Donna Duncan OAM said she was upset when the decision was handed down last week to allow the Childers Men’s Shed to construct a shed and car park at the land at North St.
Ms Duncan said the association had invested about $100,000 to support the ag program at the school for the past decade, and the loss of land would deliver a devastating blow to the school
“I'm flabbergasted,” she said.
“I can’t understand how kids are less important than a Men’s Shed.
“From our association's point of view, our members will still offer our farms and in-kind support. We will fight this.”
The comments come as some community members rallied around the school, placing drawings of sheep on the fence at 3A North St.
Ms Duncan said the ramifications were widespread because the region relied heavily on agriculture.
“Not only do we support the high school, but all of the schools that feed into the high school such as Howard, Biggenden, Booyal, Cordalba, St Joseph’s, the local primary school and Goodwood,” she said.
“That’s to set them up with agriculture experience so when they get to the high school they have got their hands in the red soil.”
Ms Duncan said the animals housed on the block provided therapeutic benefits for students.
“There are kids with special needs that work with the animals,” she said.
“These animals do a lot of pastoral care and I know the kindy children go there.”
Ms Duncan said she was concerned for the agricultural education of children, with the program equipping students with skills to forge careers in the agriculture industry.
“We give a bursary to a student every year to further their agricultural and horticultural education,” she said.
“This is an agriculture town and if farming hurts, everyone hurts.”
BIG LOSS: Local grower Donna Duncan is devastated the agriculture program at Isis District State High School may have to be downsized.
RIGHT: Members of the community have placed drawings of sheep on the fence at 3A North St.