LABOR WON'T MATCH LIBS SCHOOL AIR CONDITIONING PROGRAM

Written on the 19 June 2018 by Kevin Conolly

"The Hills Shire Times story about the NSW Government's school air conditioning is just plain wrong," said Kevin Conolly, Member for Riverstone.

The report correctly identified that all new schools and upgrades will have air conditioning included.

But it relied on the old policy which the government has just announced will be overturned to suggest that existing local schools would not qualify for the new program.

The report totally failed to recognise that new and upgraded schools account for only 170 schools, within the 1,000 schools to be included the program. The vast majority of schools to be included are existing schools in hot locations which do not currently have air conditioning.

"The Liberal government has committed $500 million to provide air conditioning to 1,000 schools, far more than would ever have been eligible under the old policy, which was inherited from the former Labor government, and far more than the Labor opposition are prepared to commit to.

"One thousand schools represents almost half the 2,200 schools in the entire state.

"As a small number of schools already have air conditioning, the Liberals' program means that about half of the remaining schools in the state will be included," said Mr Conolly.

"Western Sydney obviously experiences hotter weather than coastal Sydney, or the Central Coast or Illawarra or a number of other areas of the state. So I fully expect that when the schedule of existing schools to be retrofitted with air conditioning over the 5 year program is finalised, western Sydney schools will be among those included.

"The Hills Shire Times report incredibly quotes the old policy which has just been replaced as a basis for claiming that local schools will miss out under the new program.

"If the Labor candidate pushing this line is arguing that this policy would apply to the Government's  $500 million program, then clearly she doesn't believe that the smaller Labor promise would apply to any local schools at all.

"Let's be clear. Under Labor fewer schools would get air conditioning. Under Labor local schools would be far less likely to be included.

"The reality is that it is the Liberals who are delivering air conditioning to schools, just as it is the Liberals who are building new schools.

"This program is great news for local students and their families. It deserves to be accurately reported," said Mr Conolly.


Author: Kevin Conolly

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