BUDGET REPLY: NSW LABOR TO AIR-CONDITION EVERY PUBLIC SCHOOL UNDER ‘COOL SCHOOLS’ POLICY

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Every public school in NSW will be air-conditioned under a Foley-Labor Government, which will allocate an additional $300 million to the budget to ensure it happens.

NSW Opposition Leader Luke Foley announced in March Labor’s ‘Cool Schools’ policy which would take back $300 million from the Berejiklian Government’s $2.2 billion dollar Sydney stadium splurge.

Mr Foley today announced that money would be added to the $500 million allocated in the State Budget to bring the total to an unprecedented $800 million to provide better learning environments for school students.

The extra funding will mean all schools will be air-conditioned; with schools in the hottest areas including Western Sydney, the North Coast and Upper Hunter to be prioritised. School Infrastructure NSW will be tasked with the delivery of school air-conditioning while solar panels will be utilised to help off-set the running cost to each school. Each school will be audited to determine their individual needs.

The Berejiklian Government was sparked into action after eight budgets of neglect- initially dismissing Labor’s policy as “full of hot air” before coming to their senses that children can’t achieve exceptional learning results if they are stuck in sweltering classrooms.

The ‘Cool Schools’ policy forms an essential part of NSW Labor’s comprehensive plan to deal with the overcrowding crisis which is affecting a growing number of schools.

Under NSW Labor:

  • Surplus government land will go towards building new schools and expanding existing ones in an unprecedented schools building program
  • Every new public school will have on-site childcare or before and after school care facilities
  • All new schools- including public, Catholic and independent, will be exempt from local infrastructure charges

Quotes attributable to NSW Opposition Leader Luke Foley 

“I announce that Labor will take the Government’s $500 million and provide the additional $300 million from the Sydney stadiums splurge.

“With $800 million Labor can ensure every school in the state is air-conditioned.

“Our priority is air-conditioning classrooms – not corporate boxes.”

Quotes attributable to Shadow Education Minister Jihad Dib

“Labor wants children to have the best learning environment possible as part of a world class education system, that means they are not fatigued in a sweltering classroom in the height of summer.

“We recognised that air-conditioning is crucial in areas which experience hot and humid temperatures, now our $800 million commitment will see all classrooms in NSW air-conditioned.

“The Liberal-Nationals had eight long years to do something and were only called to action after Labor announced ‘Cool Schools’, it just exemplifies their wrong priorities.”