Monkland State School students (back from left) Jai Gleeson, Joshua McLaughlin, Mary-Helen Buchan, Georgia Browne, Piper Lette, Kirra Larson and (front) daily bicycle commuter Zac Weier with their petition.
Monkland State School students (back from left) Jai Gleeson, Joshua McLaughlin, Mary-Helen Buchan, Georgia Browne, Piper Lette, Kirra Larson and (front) daily bicycle commuter Zac Weier with their petition. Contributed

Students petition council to extend footpath

MONKLAND State School Year 6 and 7 students have a special request for the Gympie Regional Council.

While they are happy with the footpaths in the area, they want the incomplete footpath along Brisbane Rd to be extended so that it at least reaches the school.

At the moment, the footpath stops about 150 metres from the school gate which means that when kids walk to school their shoes and socks get wet from the dew on the grass and students who ride their bikes often have to get off and push up the tough grassy slope.

The only alternative is to walk or ride on Brisbane Rd - and that is extremely busy and not safe for children.

The students have decided to take action and have written persuasive letters to the council stating their case and giving their reasons why the path should be completed.

They have the full support of the whole school and the Monkland P and C Association which wrote to Gympie Regional Council requesting the same thing in 2012.

"It would be wonderful for the council to recognise the need for student and community safety at our neck of the woods," principal Ashley Lawless said.

"Brisbane Rd is a busy road, in particular with heavy vehicle traffic."

The students say that finishing the footpath would benefit the whole community, in particular the employees at the Red Cross Activity Centre on Brisbane Rd who also walk to and from work.

The students also suggest that Lake Alford market-goers would be able to use it, including parents with prams and people in wheelchairs.

Monkland students also realise how important exercise and fitness is, and hope that if the path were completed, more children and adults would be able to walk or ride to school each day.

In conjunction with the letters, a petition signed by students, staff, parents and supporters has been sent to the Gympie Council.

Monkland awaits the outcome with bated breath.