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Class is not out on Green Vouchers.



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The Hon Bob Baldwin MP Federal Member for Paterson

Shadow Minister for Defence Science, Personnel and Assisting Shadow Minister for Defence

14 April 2008

CLASS IS NOT OUT ON GREEN VOUCHERS

Member for Paterson Bob Baldwin says the clock is ticking for schools to apply for the Coalition’s $50,000 rainwater tank funding from the Federal Government.

Mr Baldwin said the Howard Government’s Green Vouchers for Schools programme was still taking applications.

“The Green Vouchers scheme, requested and designed by school principals, has not yet been scrapped by the Rudd Labor Government,” he said.

“Schools still have time to apply for funding under the Howard Government’s model, where schools were eligible to spend up to $50,000 on a combination of rainwater tanks and solar hot water systems to help tackle climate change. The Green Vouchers scheme will not be superseded until June 30 2008.

“So far 110 schools have entered into contracts for works to install rainwater tanks and solar hot water services on their buildings, saving significant amounts of water and energy and shrinking their environmental footprint.

“Mr Rudd’s revised scheme is to be called the National Solar Schools Programme and it will maintain funding to schools of $50,000 but will limit expenditure on rainwater tanks to just $30,000. The remaining $20,000 in funding may be spent on solar panels and alternative energy generation systems.

“Unfortunately school principals and the school community will have less flexibility to meet their unique environmental circumstances. The restriction on the amount to be spent on tanks will leave some schools scratching their heads.

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“School communities designed the Green Vouchers scheme in close consultation with the Howard Government. While the Rudd government’s scheme appear to maintain the level of funding, the huge diversity of school needs will now need to be straight-jacketed into the Labor Government’s view of what is ideal.

“I therefore encourage school principals to apply for their Green Voucher before June 30 2008 if they wish to maximise the flexibility possible through the Coalition’s grant.

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Media enquiries: Bob Baldwin - 0419 694 620

www.patersononline.com

Electorate: PO Box 156 Raymond Terrace NSW 2324, 35 Sturgeon Street Raymond Terrace. Phone (02) 4983 1330 Canberra: Parliament House Canberra ACT 2600 Phone (02) 6277 4200

Email: bob.baldwin.mp@aph.gov.au