MP says Labor petition to cool schools is ‘data harvesting’

A LABOR candidate's petition to aircondition every state classroom in a marginal electorate has been slammed as "data harvesting" by the LNP state member.

Ali King, the Labor state candidate for Pumicestone, said she had written to Education Minister Grace Grace for the electorate's schools to be prioritised for airconditioning.

On Sunday, The Courier-Mail revealed work on just 142 of 301 target schools would be complete when children flooded back into classrooms for term one.

"Students and teachers in Pumicestone state schools deserve to have every classroom airconditioned as soon as possible, not over the next eight years like the LNP has proposed," Ms King said.

"Our hardworking P & C's, school communities and principals have made progress on air

conditioning some of our schools, but more needs to be done.

"Specifically, I would like to ask that the Department of Education give priority to

Pumicestone State School, Bribie Island State School and Bribie Island State High School."

Ali King (far right) with Pumicestone State School parents and students, a school which she says needs to prioritised for airconditioning.
Ali King (far right) with Pumicestone State School parents and students, a school which she says needs to prioritised for airconditioning.

She said parents, grandparents and teachers told her that as temperature records broke, classrooms could reach uncomfortably hot levels.

"I want to see all of our kids and teachers learning and working in a comfortable and cool

environment," she said.

In a statement attached to her online petition, Ms King wrote: "there are circumstances that mean our local schools should be given special consideration for airconditioning"

"Our school buildings tend to be older (which means hotter), and high growth in newer local schools means buildings often can't be built to face the coolest way," she said.

Pumicestone has only been won by the LNP twice since it was created in 2001, at the 2012 election and by sitting MP Simone Wilson in 2017, who will step down at the end of this term.

State MP for Pumicestone Simone Wilson
State MP for Pumicestone Simone Wilson

Ms Wilson said if Labor was serious about the issue the electorate's schools would already be airconditioned.

"You know that things are bad when as a candidate you have to petition your own (party's) Government to get something done," she said.

"All it seems to be is Ms King data harvesting through this petition."

The online petition asks for signatories' first and last name, postcode and email address - the postcode and email address are required fields.

Ms Wilson said the LNP had committed to airconditioning every state school classroom in the state, and that Bribie Island State School would be in the first lot if her party was elected to govern.

"The Queensland Labor Government promised airconditioning to several thousand Queensland classrooms by start of term 1 this year but failed to complete that promise.

"Any talk by Labor on school airconditioning is nothing more than a con."

Ms King said she wanted "to show just how much getting airconditioning for all our local State schools matters to local parents, grandparents, kids and teachers".

"I promised I would speak up for this community about what matters to us and that's what I'm doing," she said.