November 25, 2019
The State Government announced on Monday it will fast track its school air-conditioning program with work beginning on more schools over the summer school holidays.
The decision means 260 more schools across southern Queensland – including 19 in the South Burnett – will receive air-conditioning.
Spaces that will be air-conditioned under the program include classrooms, libraries and staff rooms.
The funding is part of a $100 million commitment announced in the last Budget which was to be spent over four years but has now been accelerated.
“My government is fast-tracking $50 million to give hundreds of schools the opportunity to start air conditioning their classrooms over the summer school holidays which will also support hundreds of local jobs and thousands of apprentice hours, ” Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said.
“By fast-tracking this funding, work that had been planned in future years can begin now, providing a valuable boost to our economy.
The Premier said the State Government wanted all Queensland students to learn in a comfortable and cool environment.
Education Minister Grace Grace said an audit had identified the schools to be air-conditioned.
“We already air-condition every classroom in north, central and western Queensland,” Ms Grace said.
The latest round of schools have been selected using heat discomfort data, which uses a combination of the highest average apparent temperature data and the highest number of school days in Term 1 and Term 4 above 30 degrees celsius.
In the South Burnett, the schools that will benefit are:
A complete list of all the schools that will receive air-conditioning is available online
Opposition Leader Deb Frecklington said on Monday the LNP’s long-running campaign for air-conditioning in State schools had finally paid off for students.
Ms Frecklington said only pressure from her party had forced Labor to help South Burnett and Somerset state schools pay for air-conditioning systems.
“I’m very happy that my decision to promise air-conditioning in every single State school classroom has forced Labor to respond,” Ms Frecklington said.
“It’s a pity that Annastacia Palaszczuk had to be shamed into acting and is still refusing to air-condition many other schools from the border to Bundaberg.
“While I’m happy for students at Taabinga State School and several others, this fight is far from over.
“Labor is clearly playing politics with this issue and cherry-picking certain schools.
“That’s totally wrong. Every student deserves to learn in comfortable conditions.”
Ms Frecklington said in addition to air-conditioning every state school, the LNP’s plan for education would also include de-cluttering the curriculum.
“Queensland’s NAPLAN scores are going backwards, so we need to make sure schools concentrate on the basics – reading, writing and maths,” Ms Frecklington said.
“The LNP will raise standards and give our kids the best start in life.”