Lismore MP Thomas George used a building bungle at Tyalgum Public School in his inquiry submission.
Lismore MP Thomas George used a building bungle at Tyalgum Public School in his inquiry submission.

Concerns over Education Revolution

SEVERAL Tweed schools have raised concerns about the value-for-money of the Federal Government’s Building the Education Revolution scheme.

Lismore MP Thomas George, whose electorate includes Murwillumbah, has written to the inquiry into the Building the Education Revolution (BER) program over the matter.

He said principals and P&C committees have expressed concern over the value for money in government schools.

“Although not one school has complained about having work done, many schools have complained about the quality and size of the work supplied for the amount of dollars paid,” Mr George said.

He made special mention of Tyalgum Public School, which has yet to receive a new school library and office building for $850,000 after it was unveiled by the Tweed Daily News that the prefabricated building did not fit the footings. The buildings have yet to be handed over to the school.

Mr George said it would cost an additional $500,000 to complete the project.

“This is a terrible story of incompetence, waste and mismanagement,” he said.

Teachers Federation north coast country organiser Nicole Major said she was not surprised by the level of complaints from Tweed government schools.

“I deal with 135 schools in the far north coast area and we’ve had constant complaints since the inception of the program,” Ms Major said. Ms Major said she had received 60 complaints from north coast NSW schools.

“The value for the money is a big concern for a lot of the schools. One school received one prefabricated class room with $700,000. That wasn’t seen as great value for money by them,” she said.

“The other thing incredibly infuriating is when principals look up the road at a private school which have some money and get buildings double the size or far more significant than what they had received.”

Problems

Stokers Siding Public School. $800,000 received for two classrooms and play equipment was on budget, but did not receive much-needed undercover walkway.

Uki Public School. Happy with library and computer lab, but believed it was $40,000 over budget.

Source: Thomas George BER inquiry submission.

Angry calls

There were 134 submissions into the BER inquiry



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