Thanks very much Natalia.
Good morning boys and girls and mums and dads and members of the staff.
Thank you very much for allowing me to be with you on this very very special day.
And can I start by acknowledging your principal Mr Chris Meadows and Mrs Meadows and Mr Matthew Teal the chairman of the board of West Side Christian College and other board members who are here and also as I understand a number of past board members who have made a major contribution. Can I as well recognise Dr Grant Watson from the Independent Schools Grant Authority and indeed all other distinguished guests.
Boys and girls, ladies and gentlemen as Natalia has said my name is Senator Ian Macdonald. I represent Queensland in the federal parliament and I am here today on behalf of the Prime Minister Tony Abbott and the Education Minister Christopher Pyne.
Not only are we here on this special day to officially open these wonderful classrooms and other facilities, but we are also here to celebrate and acknowledge the work and leadership of the school community, that has actually been so instrumental in achieving what we see before us today. Lead by the school board, the college has committed some 4.8 million dollars to a project, the total cost of which is around 7 million dollars. So a very big thanks to the board, to the staff, to the parents and friends association, the mums and dads, the community members for raising so much money to ensure that you boys and girls have the wonderful and best possible facilities to make sure you have the best possible education.
With that sort of leadership it’s almost an easy and simple task for the Federal Government, Tony Abbott to put in some 800,000 dollars towards the cost and Campbell Newman’s State Government I understand is also contributing something like 1.26 Million dollars to complete the funding.
As your principal mentioned I do acknowledge the building the education revolution program. If I can be slightly political I will say that program was fabulous where it was dealt with by individual schools and by the school board, it did go a little astray when others were in charge but I can see from what’s happened here that you have spent the money wisely and congratulations and my thanks as well.
Ladies and gentlemen, at government level we think that it’s important to have simple and certain funding regimes, robust national curriculum, an improved quality of teaching and support and the greatest say for teachers, principals and parents in how their school is run and from what I see around here all of those are obviously happening at the West Side Christian College.
I know that your school has a long and proud history. It dates back to 1977 and I understand that it was the very first interdenominational Christian college in the state of Queensland and clearly what you have achieved since then is obvious. The success of your colleagues since those early days is clearly still occurring today.
I also note an excellent academic result achieved by the school and I see from the talents that have been displayed earlier today and that I understand we will be enjoying later on and from the pride of the student body that the school actually lives its vision of achievement, belonging and care.
So ladies and gentlemen congratulations to all involved in the refurbishments and the upgrade of the new buildings, the architects, the builders and as the principal mentioned the Westpac Bankers most important. To the whole school community, to everyone involved in these wonderful buildings and facilities on behalf of the Federal government I say well done and Congratulations.
Seeing the students here today, so strongly supported by their teachers and their parents, makes me excited about the future of the West Side Christian College and indeed the future of our nation.
Again thank you very much for allowing me to be with you on this very special day.