The LNP has again failed to provide any detail on its proposal to air-condition every state school classroom in Queensland, Education Minister Grace Grace said today.
“Deb Frecklington had an opportunity in her budget reply speech today to tell Queenslanders how she would fund her commitment and she failed to do so,” Ms Grace said.
“To start, she has a half-billion-dollar black hole in her costings. She says she can air-condition every state school classroom in the state for $1.5 billion despite the fact that John-Paul Langbroek, when he was the Education Minister in the Newman Government, said in 2014 it would cost $2 billion.
“Then there’s the question of where the money will come from.”
Ms Grace said the LNP leader’s commitment to a resources royalty freeze and no new taxes meant there was only one way the air-conditioning policy could be funded.
“The LNP will revert to past form and close and sell-off schools and cut the number of principals, teachers, teacher aides and school support staff.
“Which teachers in which communities will they cut? What employment and training programs will they cut?”
Ms Grace said the Palaszczuk Government’s record investment in education ensured all Queensland kids were receiving a world-class education wherever they lived.
“The 2019-20 Budget included a record $13.8 billion allocation for the Department of Education, including a massive $1.564 billion in school infrastructure at both state and non-government schools,” she said.
“The budget is further proof of the measured approach the Palaszczuk Government is taking with the installation of air-conditioning in our state schools.
“More than 3,500 classrooms in 390 state schools in the hottest and most humid parts of the state, known as the Cooler Schools Zone, already have air-conditioning installed.
“The budget includes an additional $100 million dollars over four years for priority air-conditioning projects in areas outside the existing Cooler Schools Zone as identified through a review of state school air-conditioning needs.
“We look forward to working with school communities to implement this program.”