Port Stephens Duty MLC, Catherine Cusack and local Liberal Candidate, Jaimie Abbott today visited Hunter River High School to announce the first schools to receive air conditioning under the Berejiklian Government’s Cooler Classrooms program, with schools in Port Stephens set to benefit.
“I’m so pleased that schools such as Tomaree Public School and Hunter River High School will benefit from the Cooler Classrooms Fund. This is part of the Berejiklian Government’s continued commitment to providing environments where our students and teachers can best succeed,” Ms Abbott said.
“If there is one thing we know in Port Stephens, it’s that the weather is volatile. Severe storms and intense temperature fluctuations are common.”
“The Berejiklian Government’s $500 million Cooler Classrooms fund is the largest school air conditioning program in our state’s history and I’m so glad that six of our local schools in Port Stephens will benefit from the first round of funding.”
“I would really love to see all our schools air conditioned and encourage them all to apply in the next round of funding,” Ms Abbott said.
Schools in areas that have an average maximum January temperature of 30 degrees or more such as Hinton Public School and Iona Public School – will now automatically receive air conditioning in their classrooms and libraries, while all other schools can apply for funding under the Cooler Classrooms Fund on a needs basis. Previously only schools with an average maximum January temperature of 33 degrees or more were air conditioned.
Schools that will have their classrooms and libraries air conditioned under round one of the Cooler Classrooms Fund in Port Stephens include:
- Hinton Public School
- Hunter River High School
- Iona Public School
- Shoal Bay Public School
- Tomaree Public School
- Tomaree High School
The first round of applications took place throughout Term 3 this year. A second round will open in the new year.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian and Education Minister Rob Stokes said more than 900 schools would be the first to receive funding under the NSW Liberals & Nationals Government’s record $500 million program – the largest investment of its kind in NSW history.
“We’re thrilled to be delivering on our commitment to provide healthy learning environments in which our students and teachers can thrive, no matter the weather,” Ms Berejiklian said.
“From Tumbarumba to Mullumbimby, Bathurst South to Cecil Hills, students and teachers around NSW will benefit from new air conditioning in their school.
“Delivering air conditioning to more schools than ever before is only possible due to the strong economic management of the Liberals & Nationals Government.”
Mr Stokes said, unlike Labor’s plans, the NSW Liberals & Nationals’ Cooler Classrooms program was both economically and environmentally sustainable.
“We’re installing solar panels and ‘smart systems’ alongside the air conditioning units, so schools can offset their additional energy use and efficiently heat and cool their schools,” he said.
In addition to the hundreds of schools benefiting under the Cooler Classrooms program, air conditioning will be delivered in all new and upgraded schools under the Government’s record $6 billion school building program over the next four years.
“Every one of our 170 new and upgraded schools, including more than 2000 new classrooms, will also receive the new sustainable air conditioning systems,” Mr Stokes said.
School principals are encouraged to apply to the second round of the Fund, which will open on Day 1 of Term 1 next year. More information can be found at www.schoolinfrastructure.nsw.gov.au.