North Coast schools have $16 mill backlog of urgent repairs

MORE than 40 North Coast schools need urgent repairs amounting to more than $16 million, it has been revealed.

NSW Labor Opposition have released an official list showing these figures, which include three schools needing $1 million each.

This week, the NSW Labor Opposition released Education Department documents revealing the full extent of crumbling schools in the North Coast - as part of a massive $732 million state-wide maintenance backlog.

The documents obtained under freedom of information laws reveal the individual maintenance backlogs for 2,173 primary and high schools across the state - as at June 30 2015.

On the North Coast, Southern Cross School in East Ballina needs $1.66 million in repairs; Grafton High School needs more than $1.12 million in repairs and Murwillumbah High School needs $998,257 in works.

A wide range of works are needed across North Coast schools including toilet and sewer upgrades, carpet replacement, painting, fixing damaged rooves, installing guttering, replacing windows and other general repairs.

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

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 North Coast.

Mr Secord said this was a total failure by the State Government and North Coast Nationals MPs Chris Gulaptis, Geoff Provest, Thomas George and Nationals Upper House MLC, Ben Franklin.

Leader of the Opposition Luke Foley said "Schools across the State are crumbling under the Nationals".

"The maintenance backlog is spiraling out control," Mr Foley said.

"North Coast schools are being neglected while the government brawls 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."

Shadow Minister for the North Coast Walt Secord said: "North Coast schools with huge maintenance backlogs need an urgent cash injection.

"If the schools are unsuitable and unsafe, teachers cannot teach and kids cannot learn.

"The government isn't keeping up with the repairs bill and the reality is many local schools will never be up to scratch under the Nationals.

"It's yet another example of the Nationals taking the North Coast for granted."

Repairs needed for North Coast schools:

  • Southern Cross School $1,662,784
  • Grafton High School $1,125,892
  • Murwillumbah High School $998,257
  • Kingscliff High School $906,140
  • Kingscliff High School $906,140
  • Evans River Community School $594,604
  • Maclean High School $587,060
  • Ballina Public School $553,840
  • Mullumbimby Public School $540,367
  • South Grafton High School $511,314
  • Casino High School $466,587
  • Tweed River High School $421,443
  • Lismore High School $393,445
  • Ballina High School $377,048
  • Bilambil Public School $375,523
  • Lismore Public School $366,890
  • Nimbin Central School $332,315
  • Ocean Shores Public School $330,677
  • South Grafton Public School $321,652
  • Maclean Public School $268,138
  • Alstonville High School $262,098
  • Byron Bay Public School $261,239
  • Terranora Public School $249,962
  • Casino West Public School $245,747
  • Lismore Heights Public School $238,562
  • Pottsville Beach Public School $233,773
  • Lismore South Public School $227,295
  • Murwillumbah Public School $225,377
  • Brunswick Heads Public School $213,575
  • Murwillumbah East Public School $199,949
  • Mullumbimby High School $196,214
  • Banora Point High School $190,572
  • Kingscliff Public School $190,002
  • Grafton Public School $187,609
  • Tweed Heads Public School $183,725
  • Lennox Head Public School $137,511
  • Tweed Heads South Public School $131,077
  • Albert Park Public School $119,537
  • Broadwater Public School $112,957
  • Woodburn Public School $103,847
  • Stokers Siding Public School $89,817
  • Murwillumbah South Infants School $64,813
  • Bogangar Public School $62,338

Total Backlog $16,357,714

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