Updated 21 October

The East Brisbane State School (EBSS) community, along with local MP, Amy MacMahon, has expressed strong dissatisfaction with the Governments master plan for the school’s relocation to Coorparoo Secondary College.


  • The heritage East Brisbane State School is due to move to the Coorparoo Secondary College site at the end of 2025 to make way for the Gabba stadium upgrade in the lead up to the 2032 Brisbane Olympics.
  • he East Brisbane State School (EBSS) community, and local MP Amy MacMahon, are dissatisfied with the government’s master plan for relocating the school to Coorparoo Secondary College.
  • EBSS Parents and Citizens (P&C) are concerned that the new site is smaller than initially suggested, with limited space for growth.
  • The P&C opposes the state government’s decision to relocate the school, citing the school’s heritage, community connections, and the growing population in inner-city neighbourhoods.
  • The Department of Education says the master plan was developed in consultation with school community and includes new facilities, and that it is committed to addressing concerns about active and public transport access to the new site.
  • The School community is protesting outside the Gabba Stadium on 25 November.

Dr MacMahon said Education Minister, Grace Grace, issued a press release in August saying EBSS will get “brand new, state of the art standalone primary school buildings” and “more than $100 million in new facilities”.

“East Brisbane State School is going to get brand new, state of the art standalone primary school buildings that are surrounded by green space, close to the existing school site, and plenty of room for them to grow,” Minister Grace said.

However, Dr MacMahon said the Government has lied to the EBSS community about getting a new school.

“… instead, they’re getting refurbished buildings and hardly any additional space or facilities,” Dr MacMahon said.

East Brisbane State School
New EBSS – artists impression

P&C Seeks Clarification

EBSS Parents and Citizens (P&C) president, Austin Gibbs told the Westender that the Education Minister has not accepted repeated invitations to visit the school and clarify why moving to Coorparoo is beneficial for the school community.

Mr Gibbs said the state government’s stance on rebuilding the Gabba is seen as hypocritical by the school community. The new site is not significantly larger, and the school’s growth plans won’t be fulfilled. Concerns also exist about inadequate active transport routes, with doubts about improvements by the 2026 campus opening. The school community overwhelmingly wants the school to stay in its current location due to its long history, iconic buildings, and strong community ties.

Prior to the Olympics announcement, we had detailed architectural plans in place to grow the school to have capacity for over 500 students. The plans for the new school will allow for less than this. So yet again, arguments about needing to move to a bigger site are proving disingenuous.”

“Surveys conducted by the school and even the Department of Education’s own reports show that between 70-90% of people in the community want the school to remain where it is, or at the very least in the current catchment.”

Mr Gibbs said the P&C is not just worried about today’s students. He said inner-city neighbourhoods are set to grow due to the Olympics and the newly announced Woolloongabba PDA, and families moving into the area will need a local school. Closing and moving EBSS seems even less sensible in this context he said.

“The Minister has repeatedly used words like ‘exciting’ and ‘positive’ to describe the move to the new campus; our position is that if that is truly the case, then the onus is on the Minister to explain how this change of school is actually going to improve the educational facilities available for the children who are attending the school.  At this stage, there are also several unanswered questions about the new site, and it is vital that parents are reassured that their concerns have been addressed. “

East Brisbane State School

Response from Department of Education

In response to the issues raised by Dr MacMahon and the school’s P&C, a spokesperson for the Department of Education said that claims of limited communication regarding the master plan for the relocated school master are not true.

“The plan has been developed in consultation with the school communities affected and has been positively received by those involved.”

The spokesperson said the Department remains committed to providing new, state of the art facilities for the relocated EBSS through a combination of new buildings and retention and renewal of the existing structures to an as new condition.

We will strip buildings back so that the only the structure remains. All other elements of these buildings – the internal walls, flooring, ceilings, electrical and plumbing services, painting, cabinetry and joinery, and furniture – will be newly built and installed.”

The current master plan includes an overall area of approximately 9,274m2 for buildings the Department’s spokesperson said.

Of this total approximately 2,642m2 is for the Blocks E and F including extensions for outdoor learning areas and an area of approximately 6,633m2 is for new building constructed on the site such as the multi-purpose hall.“

“East Brisbane State school will be located on the 11-hectare site next to Coorparoo Secondary College. The site has extensive green spaces, room for a pool and oval. The master plan includes an oval that is approximately 25% larger than the current EBSS oval dedicated to the primary school and an even larger sports field adjacent to access.” 

The Department said it is working with the Department of Transport and Main Roads and relevant stakeholders to address concerns about active and public transport access to the new site.

“East Brisbane State School has a current Built Capacity of 342 (at February 2023). The relocated school will have initial capacity for 350 students to meet medium term enrolment demands. The design will include the ability to cater for additional students as enrolment demand grows.”

Protest Planned

Dr MacMahon said she has requested that the State government present a business case setting out why the Gabba Stadium was chosen as the best venue for the Olympic athletics track. She said the community is not accepting the proposed arrangement and will be protesting outside the Gabba Stadium on 25 November.


The Education Minister Grace Grace has provided the following comments.

“I’ve met with East Brisbane State School P&C several times to explain our reasons for relocating the school.

“The relocation will see students gaining access to a much bigger area than they do now and the campus will have state-of-the-art facilities.

“These will include flexible learning spaces for STEM, music and arts, an outdoor play space and oval, tuckshop, multi-purpose hall and swimming pool.

“The refurbished buildings will be far from a lick of paint; we will strip them right back and ensure they are state-of-the-art.

“This approach also maximises the ability to retain the mature trees and canopy that surrounds the buildings – reducing the impact to the local environment.

“The reality is the Gabba has reached the end of its life and a rebuilt stadium will anchor a major urban renewal project, delivering thousands of new homes, including social and affordable housing.”

Cover image via EBSS P&C