Schools maintenance backlog a ‘to-do’ list
FIGURES released by the NSW Opposition showing a multi-million schools maintenance backlog have been dismissed by local MPs as an out-of-context scare campaign.
The NSW Opposition released figures showing a backlog of outstanding maintenance work across the state, including in the Tweed Shire.
But Tweed MP Geoff Provest dismissed the report.
“There is a difference between repair works and upgrade works, ” he said.
“Maintenance affecting teaching and learning is treated as a priority to ensure the well being of students and staff.
“It is carried out as is required, but planned upgrades occur over a period of time. Projected expenditure for such upgrades – the figures referred to as the backlog - is not a list of work needing immediate attention.
“It represents a budget allocation to bring parts of buildings nearing the end of life back to new, or to provide additional resources that are not considered urgent.”
Mr Provest said some works were subject to a tender process, including works at Kingscliff and Tweed River high schools, as well as at Tweed Heads South Public School.
“Maintenance is ongoing and prioritised in consultation with local principals, with an annual program of works developed for each individual school,” he said.
In the current financial year total capital investment in public schools was almost $456 million – a 27% increase on last year.
In the Tweed electorate (not including Murwillumbah) public schools received funding of $12.765m for works and maintenance.
A NSW Education spokesperson said in the 2014-15 financial year, planned maintenance at Murwillumbah High included internal painting, replacement of floor coverings and windows and cupboard repairs, costing $258,873.
At Kingscliff High, painting, replacing ceiling tiles, toilet partitions and kitchen cupboards and maintenance cost $280,776.
At Banora Point High, maintenance was $163,812.
“On an asset portfolio of this size ... it is not feasible to have no backlog in maintenance,” the spokesperson said.
“The Department of Education is focused on ensuring the backlog maintenance liability in our schools is kept as low as possible.
“The Government will be providing additional funding support over the coming years to ensure that outstanding maintenance items are addressed in a timely manner and that our students and staff continue to be provided with educational facilities that meet contemporary teaching and learning requirements.”
- Murwillumbah High $998,257
- Kingscliff High $906,140
- Tweed River High $421,443
- Bilambil $375,000
- Terranora $249,962
- Pottsville Beach Public $233,773
- Mur’bah Public $225,377
- Mur’bah East $199,949
- Banora Point High $190,572
- Kingscliff Public $190,002
- Tweed Heads Public $183,725
- Tweed Heads South $131,077
- Stokers Siding Public $89,817
- Murwillumbah South Infants $64,813
- Bogangar Public $62,338