Hundreds of Bundy classrooms to be airconditioned
SCHOOL will be cool for students around the region with the State Government announcing it will aircondition a suite of Bundy classrooms.
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said the 2019-20 State Budget included an additional $100 million over four years airconditioning classrooms, including those outside the existing Cooler Schools Zone.
Four-hundred classrooms across 15 schools will be included in the first tranche of schools to be airconditioned as part of the priority airconditioning program.
The schools include Bargara, Bundaberg West, Burnett Heads, Norville, Thabeban, Walkervale and Gin Gin state primary schools and Bundaberg North, Bundaberg, Kepnock, Gin Gin and Isis District (Childers) state high schools.
The total cost to aircondition the 15 schools is about $6 million.
"This brings the total budget for airconditioning in Queensland state schools to $191 million over five years," the Premier said.
Two schools in Ipswich and one in Maryborough will also benefit.
The Premier was supposed to announce the funding in Bundy but broke her foot, forcing her to cancel the trip.
"This is great news for the students, teachers and parents of these school communities, as well as for local airconditioning contractors who will be engaged to do the work,," Ms Palalszczuk said.
"These 15 schools were included in the first tranche because they are located in some of the hottest and most humid areas of the state."
"My government is committed to ensuring every Queensland child gets a great start through a world class education, and our additional investment in airconditioning is yet another demonstration of that."
The Premier said the government's investment was expected to support around 300 jobs across the state over the four years.
Ms Palaszczuk said the difference between her government and the Opposition, which wants all schools airconditioned, was that her government's plan was fully funded.
"We are able to afford this by lowering debt and delivering five budget surpluses in a row," Ms Palaszczuk said.
"This is not an achievement the LNP can claim."
Education Minister Grace Grace said more than 3500 classrooms in 390 state schools in the hottest and most humid parts of the state, commonly referred to as the Cooler Schools Zone, already have airconditioning installed.
"However, the additional $100 million included in this year's state budget will allow my department to undertake priority airconditioning projects at schools outside the cooler schools zone," Ms Grace said.
"This work is being informed by a review of state school airconditioning needs, which my department is currently undertaking in partnership with the Department of Housing and Public Works.
Ms Grace said the government was taking a measured and fiscally responsible approach to airconditioning schools outside the cooler schools zone.
"While others make all kinds of unbudgeted promises that could cost billions, we are rolling out this program in a sensible way because of sound economic management."
Ms Grace said the government would continue to fund the maintenance and replacement of existing airconditioning units in schools in the Cooler Schools Zone.
"The Palaszczuk Government is rolling out its program in a sensible and economically responsible way."