Govt goes silent on schools still struggling without aircon

 

The State Government is refusing to name the schools which are still sweltering and how much of a half-a-billion-dollar fund has been spent to provide airconditioning.

There are 116 schools where airconditioning has not yet been turned on, however they are on track to be completed by June 2022.

Electrical works were undertaken at 99 schools over summer - up from the 88 that required upgrades in December.

But the Education Department has refused to say how much of the $477 million allocated for the Cooler Cleaner Schools Program has been spent and wouldn't release a list of schools yet to receive airconditioning, prompting LNP education spokesman Christian Rowan to claim the program had been an "ongoing debacle" since it was announced.

Opposition education spokesman Christian Rowan. Picture: David Clark
Opposition education spokesman Christian Rowan. Picture: David Clark

"The State Labor Government continues to be less than transparent and accountable when it comes to its overall expenditure, to date, on its airconditioning program," he said.

"Teachers, staff, students and parents deserve better."

 

 

The Department refused to reveal which schools required electrical upgrades and which schools were still being assessed for airconditioning when asked by The Courier-Mail in December.

But Education Minister Grace Grace said the LNP was "full of hot air" when it came to school airconditioning.

Education Minister Grace Grace. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Dan Peled
Education Minister Grace Grace. Picture: NCA NewsWire / Dan Peled

"We are on track to install airconditioning in every school by June 2022 - six years earlier than the LNP promised," she said.

"Under their plan, some of the schools we've already airconditioned might have been waiting until 2028."

A department spokeswoman said the remaining schools were at various stages of installation, electrical works, assessment and design.

"We are getting on with the job of installing airconditioning in every classroom, library and staff room in every state school across the state," she said.  

"Of our 1,254 Queensland state schools (1,249 schools in 2020), 649 schools needed airconditioning installed before our $477 million Cooler Cleaner Schools Program began.

"Of those 649 schools, 533 schools have now had air-conditioning installed and are fully operational - up from 503 on 25 January 2021 when the Minister provided an update for the first day of school."

Originally published as Govt goes silent on schools still struggling without aircon


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