Members' newsflash no.02-20, 27 February 2020
[updated 3.15pm 27 Feb 2020]
Air-conditioning – every classroom in every state school
After last year’s announcement of fast-tracked investment to air-condition more than 300 schools in the hottest parts of Queensland, the Palaszczuk government has today expanded on the original commitment by promising to air-condition every classroom in every state school by June 2022.
After a two-year campaign for climate control in all Queensland schools, the QTU welcomed the initial announcement late in 2019 that air-conditioning would be installed in the hottest 300 schools in the state that did not already have it. Today’s announcement will ensure that air-conditioning, for both cooling and heating, will be delivered sooner and more sustainably than any alternative plan or policy position we are aware of.
Condensing an initial allocation spread over four years, the Queensland Government will now deliver the promised air-conditioning upgrade by mid 2022 through an investment of a $477 million package. The budgeted plan includes necessary electricity upgrades, infrastructure upgrades and an allocation for maintenance and replacement.
But wait there’s more
In an exciting development revealed today, the state government has also committed to air-conditioning every library and staff room in every state school. The QTU has long argued that the work of teachers, school leaders and education support staff would benefit greatly from the improvement of learning conditions for all students. The inclusion of school libraries and staff rooms (used for collaborative work and meal breaks) will improve members’ working conditions throughout the day.
But what about sustainability?
In addition to the hundreds of schools currently being fitted with solar panels 100,000 solar panels, the government has today announced an expansion of the solar program to allow for larger installations generating more renewable energy in each school, to offset the cost of using the air-conditioning. This will result in an extra 80,000 solar panels being installed.
Thanks to parents and community
P&Cs and community supporters of their local state school have done a huge amount to raise funds to install air-conditioning in schools. Our sincere thanks go to all of those parents and community members for their work, their dedication and their contributions. Students have been the direct beneficiaries of your work and their learning has been the better for it.
This is a massive boost for schools and a win of which QTU members should be immensely proud. More details will be posted to the QTU website ASAP.
Authorised by Kate Ruttiman, General Secretary, Queensland Teachers' Union
21 Graham Street, Milton, QLD, Australia, 4064