SCHOOL MAINTENANCE FUNDING FALLS SHORT

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The Berejiklian Government is putting less than 1 per cent of the $6.8 billion blowout on its WestConnex toll road into fixing the growing school maintenance backlog.

An addition of only a paltry $60 million is being tipped into fix the three quarters of a billion dollar school maintenance backlog. The allocations for schools with the biggest backlog fall considerably short of what is needed (see table below).

Under this Government’s watch the bill for fixing the school’s ailing facilities has blown out to $775 million, according to the latest Government figures. 

In one financial year alone (2014-2015) the bill grew by $195 million because of the Government’s inaction on the issue.

Only now, because of pressure from Labor and the community, is it finally doing something about it. It is far too little too late.

Whether it is fixing roofs, repairing carpets or leaky toilets, creating the right learning environment for our children is of paramount importance.

And yet this Government chooses to spend more money on stadiums and toll roads than on fixing up the state’s crumbling schools. 

Quotes attributable to NSW Opposition Leader Luke Foley

“This doesn’t even touch the sides.

“I’m angry that under this Government the cost of a single road project, WestConnex, has blown out by nearly $7 billion and today we get less than one per cent of that figure allocated to school maintenance.

“Once again the Government is failing on the basics. We’ve got a crisis of overcrowding while kids in classrooms have no ceiling fans in summer, busted heaters in winter, broken toilets and leaking roofs.”

Quotes attributable to Shadow Education Minister Jihad Dib

“Whether you’re a student or a teacher, it’s difficult to work in an environment that’s not conducive to learning.

“When you’re trying to teach or learn in an environment where things are falling apart it’s near impossible to be able to concentrate on what needs to take place.

“This Government is not sending a message that our students and teachers are valued; whilst they gloat about their budget surpluses, our children are forced to suffer.”