BAY VISIT: State Opposition leader Tim Nicholls in Hervey Bay yesterday.
BAY VISIT: State Opposition leader Tim Nicholls in Hervey Bay yesterday. Blake Antrobus

$2 million for air conditioning in Hervey Bay classrooms

STATE Opposition Leader Tim Nicholls has pledged to commit $2 million to air-condition Hervey Bay schools as a start to giving Fraser Coast kids a fair go.

This paper's Fair Go campaign found the Fraser Coast's school completion rates were struggling behind other areas across the state.

ABS data reveals just 54 per cent of students finished Year 12 on the Fraser Coast, compared with 57 per cent in Bundaberg and 81 per cent in Brisbane.

The same data found just 20 per cent of school leavers in the Fraser Coast were going to university.

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Mr Nicholls said introducing air-conditioning in Hervey Bay classrooms would be a start to addressing the growing regional divide.

"This is about a better classroom environment for our kids' learning, and a better classroom environment for our kids," Mr Nicholls said.

"This is part of a program to improve standards of education for kids throughout the state, and to address some of the concerns of inequality and outcomes for kids in regional Queensland."

Hervey Bay MP Ted Sorensen said he had called for air-conditioning after listening to concerns from P&C meetings.

Mr Nicholls said his announcement was tied in with an additional program to tackle truancy rates in Queensland.

If elected, the party will trial the roll out of four Education Truancy Prevention Officers in Cairns and Townsville, where attendance figures remain a problem.

"Our investment of $3 million is aimed at getting kids and their families re-engaged in the school community," Mr Nicholls said.

"If the trial is successful in Cairns and Townsville, the LNP will consider expanding the program to other areas in the state."