Member for Shellharbour, Anna Watson MP, has today moved a Notice of Motion in the NSW Parliament, calling on the Government to finally address the school maintenance backlog and deliver additional funding to local schools.
The school maintenance backlog in the Shellharbour electorate currently sits at over $8.2 million, and has received just $743,334 in funding.
The most common issues being reported and included in the backlog relate to toilet and sewer upgrades, roof repairs, flooring, painting, guttering and the replacement of broken windows.
The five schools currently most burdened with their maintenance backlog in the Shellharbour electorate are:
|School||Maintenance Backlog 2016-17||School Allocation||Years to complete (based on current rate of funding)|
|Oak Flats High School||$1,777,498||$96,434||18|
|Kanahooka High School||$953,834||$70,834||13|
|Dapto High School||$709,998||$75,628||9|
|Oak Flats Public School||$708,346||$46,480||15|
|Mount Warrigal Public School||$623,686||$41,540||15|
The Member for Shellharbour has also used this opportunity to condemn the Government for the $11 million cuts they have imposed on local schools under ‘Gonski 2.0’. Warilla High School, Oak Flats High School and Lake Illawarra High School have all lost over $1 million each in additional funding under the new Gonski model.
“When these issues are considered alongside the recent demountable figures for the Shellharbour electorate and the absence of planning for new schools to cater for West Dapto, this data exposes this Government’s indifferent approach to the portfolio of education.”
In contrast, the Member for Kiama, Gareth Ward MP, has today voted against the motion, refusing to call on his Government to address the outstanding school maintenance backlog despite the fact that constituents of his own electorate may be enrolled at the schools in question.
Quotes Attributable to Anna Watson MP:
“The current school maintenance backlog, combined with the appalling cuts to funding in Gonski 2.0, and our state’s over-dependence on demountables – has exposed this Government’s blatant disregard for our students’ futures.
“The issues in the school maintenance backlogs are not luxuries. They are basic rights which urgently need to be addressed.
“When these figures are considered alongside the cruel cuts schools have also suffered under ‘Gonski 2.0’, and the number of demountables clogging up our playgrounds – this Government’s attack on students is clear and undeniable.
“Every child has the right to study in a safe and clean school. By ignoring this maintenance backlog, cutting funding, and refusing to plan for the long-term future of our students – this Government is failing the future of New South Wales.”
14 September 2017