The Member for Lismore, Janelle Saffin, wants to know why 11 Northern Rivers schools have missed out on Cooler Classrooms funding for much needed air conditioning – despite being eligible.
Ms Saffin said under the Cooler Classroom’s criteria, schools where the mean maximum January temperature is above 30 degrees are automatically eligible for air conditioning.
“The Bureau of Meteorology data from 2003 gives an average maximum for Lismore of 30.3 degrees. If you measure the last five years, that maximum goes up to 31.5 degrees.
“There is no question that the Lismore region schools that applied for air conditioning under the Cooler Classrooms second round should have automatically been given the tick of approval. .
“But not only have these schools missed out, but the air conditioning is going to 15 schools in areas of the state with lower temperatures.
“The Cooler classrooms program is designed to support students and teachers in the hottest parts of the state. Yet here we are- in one of the hottest parts of the state – being ignored while funding goes to schools in Sydney , Bathurst, the Central Coast and South Coast.
“I am concerned that once again there has been a lack of transparency when handing out Government grants.
“It appears to help if your school is in electorates held by the Premier, the Health Minister, the Regional Transport and Roads Minister and former Deputy Premier – regardless of the temperature.
“School children and students in our region from kindergarten to Year 12 have been struggling with hot humid classrooms year in year out, and we know in recent years temperatures have been rising.
“As the Cooler Classrooms website says – the smart air conditioning systems provide the best possible learning environments for our students and deliver benefits beyond cooler classrooms, including better air quality and comfort.
“That’s what our students need and deserve.”
Friday 3 December 2021