Jo Haylen, Member for Summer Hill, today joined Opposition colleagues in condemning the Baird Government’s appalling school maintenance backlog, with the bill topping $6,614,653 in the Summer Hill electorate alone.
This despite the Government committing $16.8 billion on Westconnex and millions on a stadium Sydney doesn’t need and teams don’t want to play at.
Education Department documents released today by NSW Labor reveal the full extent of crumbling schools in the Summer Hill electorate under a massive $732 million statewide maintenance backlog.
The documents obtained under freedom of information reveal the individual maintenance backlogs for 2,173 government schools across the state as at 30 June 2015. The data shows:
- 120 schools have an individual maintenance backlog in excess of $1 million each;
- 486 schools have a backlog in excess of $500,000;
- Less than three percent of schools (64) have a backlog bill of less than $10,000;
- The average maintenance backlog is more than $337,000 per school.
A wide range of works are needed across NSW schools including toilet and sewer upgrades, carpet replacement, painting, fixing damaged rooves, installing guttering, replacing windows and other general repairs.
Under the Baird Government the school maintenance backlog has surged. According to the NSW Auditor-General, between 2013-14 and 2014-15, the maintenance backlog jumped a whopping $195 million in one year – more than 36 per cent.
In 2014-15 the government spent just $158 million on the school maintenance backlog.
The maintenance bill is growing faster than the maintenance spend across the state, meaning broken and faulty facilities across many schools will never be up to scratch.
For some schools the rate of repairs means it would take decades to clear the maintenance bill – and that’s without any further damage occurring.
The alarming figures come on top of recent reports highlighting the Baird Government’s failure to cope with building new and upgraded schools to meet population growth.
Quotes attributable to the Member for Summer Hill
“The Government is building vanity projects like Westconnex and football stadiums, but schools are left to fall into the ground.
“Mike Baird is turning a blind eye to the needs of local schools.
“These repairs aren’t luxury items. It’s for basic things like heaters and fans that are broken, leaking taps, peeling paint and badly worn carpet.
“Our teachers and Principals do a fantastic job teaching our kids, but this shows how much the Government is letting them down.
“While the Treasurer boasts about stamp duty surpluses, they refuse to spend on basic services, leaving our schools and hospitals to crumble.
“Our kids deserve much better than this.”