Record air-con funding to expand Cooler Schools Zone

Queensland Treasurer Jackie Trad will hand down the state budget today, which is expected to focus on health and education.

A record spend of $13 billion is expected to be delivered, with a whopping $100 million to be rolled out over four years for school air-conditioning.

The commitment brings the existing pledge for this service to a total fund of $191 million.


Education Minister Grace Grace confirmed the increase yesterday, saying the state government will also look at expanding the area eligible for air-conditioning funding.

Currently, only areas north of Gladstone are able to receive the funding, while Parents and Citizens Associations are carrying the financial burden of air conditioning in the south.

Education Minister Grace Grace says authorities will work with school communities to roll out air-conditioning in some of the hottest parts of the state, including in areas outside of the Cooler Schools Zone.

It is unclear whether the funding will stretch as far south as the Gold Coast.

“We still have money to upgrade and maintain the air-conditioning currently in the Cooler Schools Zone, so that program will continue to roll out.”

However, Ms Grace is unable to confirm how many schools will be cooled as a result of the extra funding.

As early as June last year, Opposition leader Deb Frecklington said the LNP would roll out air conditioning to all Queensland schools within the next decade if her party were successful at the next election.

“Why are Labor relying upon the P&C’s to continue to do this hard work for them?” Ms Frecklington said yesterday.