Tackling backlog of school repairs

Story appeared in: Review | February 12th, 2018

FIGURES from the latest NSW Education Department audit of school maintenance backlogs in the Auburn and Granville electorates, show an improvement of nearly 50 per cent since June 2016.
Auburn North Public School had its maintenance backlog slashed by $1.8 million between June 2015 and December 2017, while Blaxcell Street and Guildford Public Schools both had drops of more than $900,000 in the projected liabilities.
Despite the work, some schools still have large maintenance backlogs including Westmead Public School which while experiencing a drop of just over $660,000 in required maintenance, still has $548,112 in work that needs to be done.
The changes follow a record maintenance blitz over the past 18 months addressing repairs to roofs, floors, painting and other maintenance projects which the NSW Government says has slashed the State's planned school maintenance list by more than $200 million.
Education Minister Rob Stokes welcomed the results noting that more progress will be made in the coming months with another $100 million allocated towards further maintenance in the 2017-18 financial year, with schools with the highest need getting top priority.
"The NSW Government's record school maintenance investment is having a real impact in addressing long-term maintenance challenges and we are committed to continuing this process," he said.
"We are investing record amounts on new and upgraded schools while also making sure students enjoy the best learning environment across our existing schools."
However Opposition Education spokesperson Jihad Dib was critical of the Government and said they were prioritising $2.5 billion to rebuild two sports stadiums instead of spending the money on education and health.
"You've actually put stadiums in front of schools," he said.
"There are kids sitting in demountable classrooms, overcrowded classrooms, one third of our schools are at and above capacity."

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Publication: Review | Section: news | Author: Kim Palmer | Story ID: 134750 | Viewcount: 7216