A Western Sydney school will be refurbished without air-conditioning and the school and parents forced to pay up to $300,000 to install it themselves because of the Berejiklian Government’s tight-fisted policy of allowing children to sweat it out in classrooms.

Lidcombe Public School in the seat of Auburn is undergoing an overdue expansion which will include an administration block, a library and 14 new classrooms.

But staff and the P&C have been told by Education Minister Rob Stokes’ bureaucrats that the classroom and library upgrade will not include air-conditioning, even though the buildings they are replacing are currently air-conditioned.

If the school wants air-conditioning then the principal and parents will have to pay for their own air-conditioning units, and an electricity upgrade, at an estimated cost of around $300,000.

The news has come as a bitter blow to school staff and parents who were hoping to spend the $250,000 they have raised on resources for students including robotics, creative and critical thinking tools, equipment for extracurricular activities like sport, dance, choir, public speaking, or even more technology.

Sadly, Lidcombe’s story is not an isolated one: Labor exposed the Government’s meanness last month when Labor Leader Luke Foley and Labor’s candidate for Riverstone, Annemarie Christie, revealed that parents at Schofields Public School were being forced to pay for their own air-conditioning units.

In March Mr Foley announced that a future Labor Government will take back $300 million from the Berejiklian Government’s multi-billion dollar Sydney stadium splurge – to provide air conditioning for the State’s hottest public schools. Labor’s Cool Schools policy will air-condition 600 schools, among them Lidcombe.

Quotes attributable to NSW Opposition Leader Luke Foley

“Rob Stokes and the Premier might as well admit it – they have no intention of air-conditioning NSW schools, they are going to leave that to the parents and principals. Labor will deliver air-conditioned classes.

“The Liberal Government’s priorities are to air-condition the corporate boxes of their new stadiums rather than the classrooms of thousands of children. They are completely out of touch and have the wrong priorities.

“Kids deserve to study in an environment that is healthy and conducive to learning; their parents and hard-working principals should not be the ones to have to pay for it.”

Quotes attributable to Shadow Education Minister Jihad Dib

“It doesn’t take an expert to tell you that students and teachers will always struggle in a sweltering classroom - they are easily distracted, fatigued and unable to achieve quality teaching and learning outcomes.

 Rebuilding a school and not including air conditioning makes no sense.  Everybody knows that retrofitting is more expensive, much more expensive and certainly more disruptive.”

“This government seems quite happy to leave this unfair burden of cooling hot and humid classrooms to the Principal and parents of Lidcombe Public School.”