Parents have voiced their anger at a surprise announcement confirming heritage-listed East Brisbane State School will close to allow for the redevelopment of the Gabba stadium ahead of the 2032 Brisbane Olympics.

East Brisbane State School P&C member Nicky Middleton said the community did not know the school would close until Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk made the announcement on Friday morning.

“Friday morning we were sad and disappointed, and with [Education] Minister [Grace] Grace’s media release it changed to anger and frustration, and that has only continued to grow,” she told ABC Radio Brisbane Mornings host Rebecca Levingston.

“We’ve been asking for meaningful consultation since the premier made the announcement about the Gabba in April 2020.

“I don’t know what Minister Grace’s idea of consultation is, but to us that means you visit the community, you ask the community what they want, you ask what their concerns are, and you respond to their concerns.

“Nothing like that is happening.”

an image of students frowning holding up placards in front of their school
Sstudents and families rallied against plans to demolish and expand the neighbouring Gabba stadium but have been unsuccessful.(Supplied: Dane Beesley)

Ms Middleton said the appearance of a survey on the Education Queensland website about a new site for East Brisbane State School proved the decision had been made much earlier than Friday.

Ms Palaszczuk has promised to build a new school for the students and Ms Grace said she will speak to the community on Monday afternoon.

One of the options discussed was to move students to the grounds of Coorparoo Secondary College but Ms Middleton said that still left Kangaroo Point residents without a local school.

She said work on an alternative site for the school in Woolloongabba had been provided to “all levels of government and they have not listened to us”.

A P&C meeting will be held on Tuesday evening and Ms Middleton said she hoped Ms Grace or a representative would attend.

Year 3s doing Naplan at East Brisbane State School, where there is a 100 per cent attendance rate.
Students would be disrupted by construction works if the school stayed in the same spot, Ms Grace says.(ABC News: Lexy Hamilton-Smith)

Talks to start on relocation

Ms Grace defended the government’s procedures and said she had met with the school “on three occasions” but could not promise anything until “we knew exactly what we were doing”.

“Once that decision was solidified, on what that was going to look like, the cost, it was clear the school could not remain there,” Ms Grace said.

Blue buildings at Coorparoo Secondary College
Coorparoo Secondary College could be the site of East Brisbane State School in 2026.(ABC News: Brittney Kleyn)

“In all of the meetings with the school community we’ve spoken about relocation.

“It’s been something we wanted to make sure of, when the decision was made all options had been explored, and I’m happy that was the case.”

She said the school needed more green space, and construction works on the Gabba stadium would be disruptive to students.

The heritage-listed buildings at the site would be preserved and used for another purpose, such as a museum, Ms Grace said.

“We will be widely consulting and I’m excited for the future of East Brisbane State School,” she said.

“A site is only one part of the school.

“The department will continue consultation right through until April, but we need something in place by start of school in 2026.”