Forum Snub for Central Highlands Schools

Central Highlands’ parents and teachers will not be able to attend a forum on the Queensland Government’s plans to introduce computer coding as a subject from Prep to Year 12, raising fears that local children will be disadvantaged in education and employment.

Last month local member Lachlan Millar wrote to the Education Minister asking for the numerous schools in the Central Highlands and Isaac Shires to have the opportunity to attend a forum.

“The Minister has not replied but the forums have commenced and we are not on the list,” said Mr Millar.

“I am bitterly disappointed. We are an important education hub. There are 32 schools in the Central Highlands and additional schools in the Isaac Shire for who Emerald would be closer than Mackay, Rockhampton or Longreach where forums are being held.”

Mr Millar said that even jobs in Gregory’s traditional employment sectors of agriculture and mining are likely to be highly computerised in the not too distant future and that virtually every sector of the economy from small to large business would be similarly changed.

“The introduction of coding studies is an important step towards ensuring our children have the skills they need for future employment so we must ensure that regional and rural children are not left behind. They must have the same access as their counterparts on the coast,” said Mr Millar.

“There will be issues around staff training and staffing levels, there will be issues about access to data capacity and there will be issues around hardware. My point to the Minister is that if you can solve these issues on the Central Highlands, then you have a robust model that will work for both city and rural children,” he said.

“I do feel we are being fobbed off when we need to deliver a model that actually works for all Queensland children,” he said.

“The issue is so vital to our children’s future we must keep speaking out about it. I urge parents and teachers to have a look at the discussion paper and respond in the on-line survey by going to or visiting,” he said.