The NSW Liberals & Nationals Government will empower students to create more sustainable schools, by investing in practical programs to help students make their school cleaner and more efficient while learning about energy and the environment at the same time.

Launching the new $10 million Sustainable Schools Program at Murwillumbah High School today with National Party candidate for Lismore Austin Curtin, Education Minister Rob Stokes said the NSW Liberals & Nationals Government will help schools take effective steps to reduce, re-use and recycle their resources.

“We know our students care about the environment and we want to encourage them to work together on ways they can make their schools cleaner and more efficient,” Mr Stokes said.

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“We want to couple the environmental concerns and creativity of our students by providing grants of up to $15,000 to enable projects which will benefit a school’s natural environment.”

Schools will be able to apply annually for funding through the Sustainable Schools Program, which is supported by an investment of $10 million over four years, to develop innovative and hands-on solutions outside the classroom to make their school environments more sustainable.

This could include initiatives to save water, plant more trees, reduce energy consumption and encourage recycling.

Mr Stokes applauded the excellent work already being done by many schools across the State that have implemented their own sustainability programs within their school and local community.


“Kiama High School, for example, implemented its own highly effective waste reduction program, proving that students can be very effective community leaders when it comes to this important issue,” Mr Stokes said.

“We want more schools to adopt their own practical ideas and initiatives, which will help contribute to a cleaner environment and a more sustainable future.”

Mr Curtin said the program provides a wonderful opportunity for students to demonstrate their passion for the environment.

“Students in Lismore are committed to making a difference and the Sustainable Schools program is a great way they can make their local environment cleaner,” Mr Curtin said.

The new program will complement recent measures introduced by the NSW Liberals & Nationals Government to improve the sustainability of schools, including a new Environmental Design in School guide and the Cooler Classrooms program which is seeing energy-efficient air conditioning installed in government schools that operate using solar power and automatically switch off to save energy after hours.