Canberra parents are calling for a visionary plan and funding scheme to replace unsafe and ageing infrastructure in ACT public schools.
The ACT Council of Parents and Friends Association has called on all political parties to pledge funding for new schools for central Woden, the inner north, central Belconnen and a college in Gungahlin while upgrading older schools to make them more accessible, be equipped with modern specialist teaching facilities and removing hazardous materials.
Council president Kirsty McGovern-Hooley said while the spotlight had been on lead contamination at Yarralumla Primary School, there were many ageing school buildings containing hazardous materials that would need to be upgraded or replaced in coming years.
"You either spend this money now or you're going to spend twice as much five or 10 years down the track, or you're going to have to spend four times as much 15 to 20 years down the track because these buildings aren't going to stay up forever," she said.
"So wouldn't it be better to establish a fund, start looking at the long term. How we can fund this in an ongoing way because this is really big public infrastructure [investment] over a long period of time."
She said a lack of air conditioning and bushfire smoke infiltrating schools were also major concerns.
Council vice president Paul Buckley said transportable classrooms were not a good long-term solution and that new schools in older inner Canberra suburbs and refurbishment of existing schools were needed.
"When you're in the inner suburbs and you have an old school and then you drive out to Gungahlin and you see a new school, you wonder why this school here has been left in the dark ages," he said.
"You really feel for them because they really don't have that modern school experience."
When Education Minister Yvette Berry was asked if Labor would commit funds for the council's priority items, a spokeswoman for the minister said: "Labor will announce our plans to continue to make sure every school in Canberra is a great school."
Opposition spokeswoman for education Elizabeth Lee did not respond by deadline.