Parents and carers from the Eurobodalla have added their names to an Open Letter asking the Prime Minister, Scott Morrison, to provide federal funding for the installation of solar panels and batteries in schools and early childhood centres around Australia.
The Solar Our Schools (SOS) initiative, led by Australian Parents for Climate Action, calls upon the federal government to provide full funding for solar and batteries for every public and non-profit school, preschool and childcare centre in Australia, and means-tested grants for all privately-owned schools and early learning centres, as part of the nation’s COVID-19 recovery plan.
Installing solar and batteries at every school and early childhood centre will create thousands of renewable energy jobs across Australia, as well as free up funds at schools for more teaching staff and learning resources. Solar Our Schools will also reduce Australia’s carbon emissions by millions of tonnes per year.
More than 6700 parents have already signed the open letter, which is hosted on Australian Parents for Climate Action website. Eighty volunteer parent ‘Champions’ around Australia are leading the campaign from the ground up, including using COVID-friendly craftivism to get their message out. Parents and children are making suns and posting them on social media, using the hashtag #SolarOurSchools (see images provided). The open letter will be delivered to Scott Morrison at the end of this month.
AP4CA Eurobodalla organiser, Dr Michelle Hamrosi of Broulee, said: “This is the type of initiative we want to see in regional and rural communities, not gas or coal. If we embrace our clean energy future, it will help us revitalise our local economies and allow us to be more resilient in the face of future disasters.”
Kathryn McCarthy, mum-of-two from Broulee, said: “Every school and early childhood centre in Australia should have solar and batteries installed – not just the schools that can afford to pay for them.
“As a parent, I’m more interested in our school spending money on resources for our children’s education than in paying tens of thousands of dollars a year in power bills, when there is a simple way to reduce those energy costs.”
The Solar Our Schools campaign draws on data from the recently-released Beyond Zero Emissions’ Million Jobs Plan, which shows installing solar and batteries on Australian schools and early childhood centres will:
- Create at least 6,870 renewable energy jobs in communities across Australia
- Slash school energy bills which frees up more funds for learning resources, saving large schools $114,000 in energy bills per year and small schools $12,700 per year;
- Save millions of tonnes of carbon emissions per year.
The campaign was launched by Australian Parents for Climate Action, a group of concerned parents formed in 2019 with more than 8000 members, and thirty regional groups who are concerned about a safe climate future for our children. Visit www.ap4ca.org/solarourschools to sign the open letter.
AP4CA is one of many local groups that joined the nationwide #FundOurFutureNotGas day of action, today, Friday September 25 joining a local protest that took place at 12 noon, outside Moruya Council Chambers.
Above: Kathryn McCarthy and Juliet, 5, of Broulee support the Solar our Schools campaign