Unflued heaters to stay in schools

    Posted: Tuesday, 28 February 2012 | By: John Robertson ,Carmel Tebbutt

    The O'Farrell Government has backflipped on its election commitment to replace unflued heaters in NSW schools – and introduced a policy which will ensure schools never reach the trigger point to have their unflued heaters replaced.

    The Education Minister has also confirmed no funding has been set aside to pay for the replacement of unflued heaters in the Budget forward estimates.

    "The O'Farrell Government has turned its back on parents, teachers and students and broken its promise to replace unflued gas heaters in NSW public schools," Opposition Leader, John Robertson said today.

    Prior to the election, now Education Minister Adrian Piccoli said:

    "The replacement of these heaters is critical."

    (Adrian Piccoli press release, 17 August 2010)

    "Parents and school communities voted for the O'Farrell Government believing they would replace unflued heaters – but today's announcement has confirmed that is never going to happen," Mr Robertson said.

    "The Education Minister will only replace unflued heaters once the majority of heaters in a school 'reach the end of their serviceable life'.

    "This means the O'Farrell Government will be replacing unflued heaters with unflued heaters - until the school can prove that the majority of their heaters are broken.

    "All this policy will do is ensure schools don't reach the trigger point where their unflued gas heaters will be replaced with flued heaters."

    Shadow Minister for Education and Training, Carmel Tebbutt said: "The Deloitte Report into school heating found unflued heaters were the only heating option which posed adverse health risks."

    "The Woolcock Institute report also advised that unflued gas heaters could cause increased respiratory symptoms, particularly for children already sensitive to allergies.

    "Parents, teachers and students have a right to feel let down by the O'Farrell Government's broken promise.

    "The Education Minister was unequivocal about the need to replace unflued heaters during the election campaign. There is absolutely no excuse for his failure to deliver on this commitment."

    Tags: Adrian Piccoli, Carmel Tebbutt, children, education, health, John Robertson, schools, unflued heaters

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