JOINT MEDIA RELEASE
The crumbling state of schools across the Illawarra continues to be problematic under the Baird Government with the school maintenance backlog in local schools sitting at more than $39 million.
Documents obtained by the Labor Opposition have revealed the school maintenance backlog has ballooned to more than $775 million; up from $732 million last financial year across NSW. Schools in the Illawarra continue to feature in the Top 20* schools in the State in need of repairs.
- There are seven of schools with an individual maintenance backlog in excess of $1 million in the Illawarra
- 23 schools have a backlog in excess of $500,000;
For the Keira electorate, the ten most dilapidated schools have a combined backlog bill of more than $14.5 million while the top ten in Wollongong is more than $10 million.
A wide range of works are needed in local schools including toilet and sewer upgrades, carpet replacement, painting, fixing damaged rooves, installing guttering, replacing windows and other general repairs.
The school maintenance backlog follows a series of appalling revelations about the state of NSW public schools with the Opposition uncovering a school overcrowding crisis during budget estimate hearings.
The hearings uncovered that more than a third of NSW public schools are at or above capacity including schools here in the Illawarra.
The maintenance backlog has shown once again that the Baird Government has no plan to bring our overcrowded schools up to standard.
Quotes attributable to Shadow Minister for Illawarra, Ryan Park:
Schools in our region continue to be neglected by this Liberal Government.
We have a Premier and Treasurer who pats themselves on the back for have a huge surplus while they allow our schools to crumble.
As a former teacher I know how vital it is for students to have access to be best possible learning facilities and this simply isn’t possible thanks to this Government.
Quotes attributable to Labor Candidate for Wollongong, Paul Scully:
“Students in the Wollongong electorate are being forced to learn in second rate environments because the Baird Government has failed to address the growing maintenance backlog.
“Principals in Wollongong are doing the best they can with the meagre resources that they have at their disposal.
Quotes attributable to Member for Shellharbour, Anna Watson:
“Mr Baird needs to explain to parents why he is allowing their children to sit in classrooms that fail to make the grade.
“There is simply no end in sight for schools in Shellharbour, they have been left neglected by a Government that is simply out of touch.
Top 10 schools with maintenance backlog in the Illawarra
|Wollongong High School of the Performing Arts||Keira||1,970,115|
|Bulli High School||Keira||1,928,690|
|Smiths Hill High School||Wollongong||1,839,691|
|Oak Flats High School||Shellharbour||1,777,498|
|Shoalhaven High School||South Coast||1,578,436|
|Corrimal High School||Keira||1,226,007|
|Keira High School||Keira||1,085,289|
|Warrawong Public School||Wollongong||977,417|
|Figtree High School||Keira||909,515|
|Nowra East Public School||South Coast||796,516|
* Wollongong High School of the Performing Arts and Bulli High School
7 November 2016