Failure to spend on schools shows Piccoli can't be trusted

-->

Shadow Minister for Education Linda Burney has condemned the Baird Government for depriving NSW schools of $40 million for school building and infrastructure last year, as revealed in this week’s budget.

The effective cut in spending on school capital works comes despite the fact that there were around 4,500 demountable classrooms in need of replacement across the state last year, and hundreds of schools waiting for upgrades.

Quotes attributable to Shadow Minister for Education Linda Burney                                                                                         

"Adrian Piccoli is fudging the numbers – inflating this year’s budget for new schools by cutting by stealth last year. Will he do the same in 2015/16?”

“I’d love to believe the Minister’s promise of a capital investment bonanza in 2015/16, but this claim is hard to swallow in light of his previous failure to spend allocated funds.”

“$40 million is enough to build a new school from scratch but schools in NSW missed out, simply because the Minister wanted to inflate this year’s budget figures.

“Public schools across the state are crying out to have ageing demountable classrooms replaced or buildings upgraded but Adrian Piccoli wants you to believe he just couldn’t find anywhere to spend $40 million last year.”

“Not only did the Minister fail to spend last year’s allocated funds, this year he has offered up a list of new schools he promises to build without any details. The Minister won’t even say how much he plans to spend on each school.”

“Schools in our state are stretched to breaking point – we need action on building school capacity, not just talk.”

“This budget proves the Minister’s promises cannot be trusted – who knows how much of this year’s funding he is planning to secretly cut.”