Every classroom in more than 300 schools across southern Queensland will be now be cooler as the Palaszczuk Government supercharges its schools air-conditioning program.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk visited Centenary State High School today, one of the schools that would benefit from the enhanced program.
“For our students and teachers, the classroom is where they spend most of their day,” the Premier said.
“We want all Queensland students to learn in a comfortable and cool environment.
“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.
“By fast-tracking this funding, work that had been planned in future years can begin now, providing a valuable boost to our economy.
“My government is committed to giving our students the best learning environments as well as investing in infrastructure to create and support jobs across Queensland.”
Education Minister Grace Grace said an audit of every school outside the ‘Cooler Schools Zone’, expected to be completed by the end of the year, identified the schools set to be air-conditioned.
“We’re getting on with the job and methodically rolling out air-conditioning for classrooms in a fiscally responsible manner,” Ms Grace said.
“We already air-condition every classroom in North, Central and Western Queensland.
“And in the past two months we announced 40 schools that would receive air-conditioning with some installations already taking place in the Wide Bay region.
“Today’s announcement will ensure classrooms in places like Charleville, Gympie and Ipswich will now be air-conditioned, along with schools in our hottest suburbs in Brisbane.
“In contrast the LNP’s policy is full of hot air and one big con.
“Under their plan, these schools announced today might not be air-conditioned until 2028.
“And they have not explained how many teachers they will sack in order to pay for their uncosted policy.”
Mount Ommaney MP Jess Pugh said this announcement would be of great benefit to schools in her local area.
“This is fantastic news for students and educators alike in schools across the western suburbs,” Ms Pugh said.
“I want to pay tribute to the many local P&Cs and school communities who have already begun providing air-conditioning in schools.
“However, this additional government funding will now allow us to build on that great work and continue our measured and fiscally-responsible approach.”
The Palaszczuk Government is investing record funding in school infrastructure across the state, including:
- 18 new schools (including 8 to open in 2020)
- $1.5 billion build, maintain, improve and update schools including $250 million as part of our 2020 Ready program
- $235 million to renew existing infrastructure in some of our oldest schools
- $97 million for the Advancing Clean Energy Schools program to put solar panels on schools
For a list of the schools: https://qed.qld.gov.au/programs-initiatives/det/building-education/major-projects-and-initiatives/air-conditioning
Premier and Minister for Trade
The Honourable Annastacia Palaszczuk
Minister for Education and Minister for Industrial Relations
The Honourable Grace Grace