Media Release

26 April 2016

The State Labor Opposition today released the full list of 40 Kiama/South Coast schools needing urgent repairs amounting to more than $12 million. The repairs needed include toilet and sewer upgrades, carpet replacement, painting, fixing damaged rooves, installing guttering, replacing windows and other general repairs.

This release comes as part of the NSW Labor Opposition uncovering the full list of 2173 primary and high schools across NSW that have a $732million backlog worth of maintenance through freedom of information laws.

Statewide analysis of the data shows:
– 120 schools have an individual maintenance backlog in excess of $1 million each;
– 486 schools have a backlog in excess of $500,000;
– Less than three percent of schools (64) have a backlog bill of less than $10,000.

Under Mike Baird and the Liberals, the school maintenance backlog has surged.

The independent NSW Auditor-General reported that between 2013-14 and 2014-15, the maintenance backlog jumped $195 million in one year – more than 36 per cent.

In 2014-15, the State government spent just $158 million on the school maintenance backlog. The maintenance bill is growing faster than the maintenance spend across the state, meaning many schools cannot get up to scratch.

While the government pursues a seemingly limitless upgrade of stadia across Sydney, there is no plan to fix crumbling schools in the South Coast and Illawarra.

In the Gilmore federal electorate, which covers the Kiama and South Coast State electorates, there are 40 schools needing more than $12 million worth of repairs and maintenance.

Quotes attributable to Acting Leader of the Opposition, Adam Searle MLC:

“Schools across the State are crumbling under the Mike Baird and the Liberals. They are letting many regions and communities down.”

“The maintenance backlog is spiraling out control. Schools in this region are being neglected while the government fights with itself over how to spend billions on sporting stadiums in Sydney. Local schools need to be properly maintained to ensure the best environment for learning.”