Coalition promises end to demountable classrooms and air-conditioning for all students

DEMOUNTABLE DELIGHT: Upper Hunter MP Michael Johnsen and Rob Stokes were pleased to make their announcement to MSPS assistant principals Sarah Winning and Tahnea Terzian.
DEMOUNTABLE DELIGHT: Upper Hunter MP Michael Johnsen and Rob Stokes were pleased to make their announcement to MSPS assistant principals Sarah Winning and Tahnea Terzian.

THE current NSW Government has revealed that, if re-elected on March 23, they will get rid of all demountable buildings and assure every classroom has an air-conditioner.

NSW Minister for Education Rob Stokes made the announcement at Muswellbrook South Public School (MSPS) on Monday, where he was flanked by Upper Hunter MP Michael Johnsen.

However, there is not yet a timeline or budget guarantee to go with the pledge, which is of an extraordinary scale.

“It’s part of an overall funding envelope for a series of schools we're committing to as part of this election campaign,” he said.

“The precise budget will be a matter to determine once the scope of works is finalised with the school community.”

But, Mr Stokes assured the cash was in the bank and it had been ticked off and costed by the parliamentary budget office.

The beginning and end date of the project is also a mystery and the minister said it would largely rely on feedback from the schools.

“That will all depend upon what is designed and how long that takes place, but it’s part of a pipeline,” he explained.

“This is just the next tranche in the pipeline of school developments right across NSW, the biggest that we’ve ever seen in NSW history.”

The planning aspect of the new buildings will leave a lot of responsibility to the schools so they can design classrooms that suit their current needs and complement existing facilities.

“We’ve set up Schools Infrastructure, which is a specialist unit of architects, urban designers and projects managers within the Department of Education to work with school communities to co-design these schools,” Mr Stokes said.

He revealed they would be going as far as speaking to parents, too, regarding what they thought was best for the school and community in the pursuit of finding an appropriate option.

It was also declared that every class would receive an air-conditioner as part of the new plan, which he said was something governments had been dreaming of being able to accomplish for decades.

This adds to the growing list of election promises and will see the government maintain a busy schedule if they come out on top later this month.

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