Yesterday I asked the Minister for Education, Grace Grace, a ‘Question without Notice’ in Parliament on the critical shortage of teachers in many North Queensland schools.

The exact wording of my question was:

“It has been brought to my attention that the teacher shortage in North Queensland, caused by mandates, has now reached the point that regional education office staff are being seconded to teach in schools.”

“Why are regional directors not utilising the critical workforce shortage section of the public health directive to allow suspended teachers to come back to work?”

The Minister’s response amounted to a denial that any such shortage existed.

According to Ms Grace, there has been no change in teacher numbers this year.

Quite the contrary.

The Minister said that this year’s school roll-out in Queensland, had been “the envy of every other state and territory” in the country.

“We are making all the right policy decisions” she said, adding that “the regional offices have done an outstanding job”.

There was no need to engage the ‘critical workforce shortage’ provisions of the public health directive, she continued, since there are “5,000 fully vaccinated teachers in our relief pool” who are “more than adequately meeting the demand”.

So, there you go Queensland.

The problem you thought existed, apparently doesn’t.

Losing thousands of teachers, teacher aides, guidance officers, admin staff and volunteers has had no impact whatsoever on staff numbers or regional schools.

Sometimes, the complete disconnect between what I am hearing from ordinary people out in the real world, and what is being said and discussed in the rarefied confines of Parliament, is simply extraordinary.

This was one of those times.

It’s almost as though one half of the population, the elite half, are all living in some kind of ‘parallel universe’ to the rest of us.

Click here to watch the Minister’s response

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