Doszpot Calls On Government to Honour Election Commitment

Shadow Minister for Education, Steve Doszpot MLA, moved a motion in the ACT Legislative Assembly Wednesday, calling on the ACT Government to honour its 2012 election commitment to invest $70 million in school infrastructure.

Update: Predictably, Mr Doszpot's motion was heavily amended before being passed.

However, the amended motion did include the following:

That this Assembly... calls on the Government to: provide an update to the Assembly on improvements in energy efficiency and heating and cooling needs in ACT public schools by the last sitting day in June;

The obligation to publicly provide an update on heating and cooling needs to the Assembly is an important step forward. We look forward to a thorough and rigorous report on the state of ACT classrooms in this regard.

Clear and transparent information on the problem of extreme temperatures in our classrooms will increase pressure on the ACT Government to fix the problem. AEU ACT once again calls on the Government to devote a significant share of the $70 million it committed in the 2012 election to school infrastructure upgrades to classroom heating and cooling solutions.

Motion moved by Mr Doszpot

Here is the original motion moved by the Shadow Minister.

Mr Doszpot
: To move—That this Assembly:

(1)     notes:

(a)     that last year there were several incidents with faulty gas, wiring and electrical equipment in Canberra schools that required evacuation and the attendance of emergency services;

(b)     research published in The Canberra Times in September 2014 indicated that many ACT public schools are at capacity or will reach capacity within a few years making overcrowding and hot classrooms even more of an issue; and

(c)     that during 2014 the ACT Branch of the Australian Education Union expressed concern that too many ACT public schools were without sufficient cooling in classrooms, meaning that on days of extreme hot weather students and staff were forced to work in temperatures above published AEU guidelines; and

(2)     calls on the Government to:

(a)     provide details of which ACT public schools are without efficient air cooling in classrooms to allow students and staff to work in acceptable temperatures in line with AEU guidelines;

(b)     commit to deliver improvements to those schools that do not have them this school year; and

(c)     honour their 2012 election commitment to invest $70m new funding for school infrastructure maintenance.

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