By Juliano Oliveira
A problem that has been dragging for months in Queensland schools has had a new twist today (27/2).
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk has announced that every state institution will receive an airconditioning system within two years. The refrigeration equipment will cover classrooms, libraries and staff room.
“We want our schools to be places where children can learn in comfortable environments,” the Premier said. The government says that almost two-thirds of Queensland state schools are already air-conditioned.
The $477 million Cooler, Cleaner Schools program foresees an additional 650 schools to be air-conditioned by mid-2022 (including 301 already announced), and 80,000 school rooftop solar panels to meet running costs.
Education Minister Grace Grace said the Palaszczuk Government had taken a methodical approach to rolling out air-conditioning in state schools.
“We have done an audit of state schools outside the Cooler Schools Zone to identify the spaces that aren’t air-conditioned,” Ms Grace said.
“And we have invested more than $200 million since 2015 to air-condition classrooms in all parts of the state.
Last November, the Premier announced the next 301 schools to be air-conditioned. Only 142 have had the airconditioning installed so far.
Ms Grace said the Palaszczuk Government would also install thousands of additional solar panels, to offset the extra energy usage using cleaner, greener electricity generation.
“This will be achieved through a $71 million boost to our Advancing Clean Energy Schools program, creating a virtual solar farm on school rooftops across the state.
“An extra 80,000 solar panels will generate around 26 MW of additional energy to support our drive for cooler classrooms.”