Coalition win could mean loss for Toowoomba flexi-school

Lifeline Darling Downs and South West Queensland CEO Derek Tuffield has spoken to Member for Groom Ian Macfarlane about funding for a mentoring hub at the Toowoomba Flexi School.
Lifeline Darling Downs and South West Queensland CEO Derek Tuffield has spoken to Member for Groom Ian Macfarlane about funding for a mentoring hub at the Toowoomba Flexi School. Bev Lacey

PLANNING for an innovative youth mentoring hub has been dealt a blow after funds for the project all but disappeared with the removal of the Labor government.

A $793,000 commitment was secured through Regional Development Australia earlier this year to build the Intergenerational Mentoring Hub for the Toowoomba Flexi School.

But that money is in jeopardy after the Coalition said it would place its own funding priorities before pledges made by the previous government.

Lifeline Darling Downs and South West Queensland CEO Derek Tuffield said a consortium including his organisation as well as Toowoomba Regional Council, Centenary Heights State High School, East Creek Community Centre and The Older Men's Network was continuing work on the project.

He has raised the funding concerns with member for Groom Ian Macfarlane.

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"I'm still remaining very positive at the moment Ian will be able to get this across the line," Mr Tuffield said.

The hub, to be built near the intersection of Hume St and Chalk Dr, will be a place where older men and women from the community can meet with Flexi School students.

I'm still remaining very positive at the moment Ian will be able to get this across the line

"It's about providing that support, mentoring and life skills for the challenges they are facing." Its construction will hang in the balance until at least next week, when new Coalition ministers are sworn in.

Mr Macfarlane said he expected to raise the matter with Deputy Prime Minister Warren Truss at the first meeting of ministers or during the first sittings of the new Parliament.

Flexi School Year 12 from 2012 students Callum Sheehan, Andrew Webb, Heidi Voll and project officer, Educational Technology Mentor at USQ, Carola Hobohm.
Flexi School Year 12 from 2012 students Callum Sheehan, Andrew Webb, Heidi Voll and project officer, Educational Technology Mentor at USQ, Carola Hobohm. Contributed

"I am aware of the important role fulfilled by the Flexi School in providing extra support to young people in our region," Mr Macfarlane said.

"Prior to the election Mr Truss made clear that he believed strong regional communities were an important part of Australia and that his priority was to help build social and community infrastructure.

"I agree with Mr Truss that it is essential to ensure regional services and infrastructure are up to standard to make sure regional people are not disadvantaged compared with their city counterparts."



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