Making Canberra schools the best and safest learning environment

Canberra school students deserve the best and safest learning spaces in Australia. That’s why the recent lead contamination which has exposed students to health risks and forced them out of classrooms at Yarralumla Primary School needs to be urgently investigated. 

Within its first weeks in office, a Canberra Liberals Government will establish an urgent inquiry into the ongoing ordeal which has left school children locked out of classrooms for much of the school year. Considering a significant proportion of other government schools also have hazardous materials, a Canberra Liberals Government will also commission an urgent infrastructure audit of all ACT government schools.

The Shadow Minister for Education Elizabeth Lee said hazardous and failing infrastructure was not isolated to Yarralumla Primary School.

“Distressed parents are sharing their concerns about the safety of their children’s learning environments,” Ms Lee said.

“In addition to lead paint, there have been issues involving asbestos, mould, significant leaking, gas and electrical failures. Some students have gone without access to water from taps due to plumbing issues.

“Rather than dismissing concerns and taking years to resolve issues as the current government does, school infrastructure risks should be assessed properly and a plan for resolution confirmed as soon as it is discovered. Our school communities deserve a better way.

“Only a Canberra Liberals Government will take immediate action to make sure Canberra’s schools are the best and safest learning spaces in Australia,” Ms Lee said.

The Education Minister knew about the presence of hazardous material at Yarralumla Primary School for at least 15 months and she has still not been able to satisfy the school community that it is being taken seriously.

Ms Lee first personally raised the issue of lead contamination with the Minister in March 2019. Parents say they have been raising concerns about hazardous and failing infrastructure at Yarralumla Primary School for years.