$14M REPAIR BILL
Backlog: St Marys Senior High heads schools shortfall list
SCHOOLS in the Mt Druitt and St Marys region are $14 million in maintenance arrears. The NSW Labor Party revealed the funding shortfall after requesting information from the Education Department under the Freedom of Information Act.
St Marys Senior High tops the local list with $1.23 million of outstanding works. Some of the backlog included replacement of floor coverings and stormwater works. Mt Druitt state Labor MP Edmond Atalla said “it simply isn’t good enough”.
SCHOOLS in Mt Druitt and St Marys region are waiting for at least $14 million of repair works to be done.
A maintenance backlog list, obtained by the NSW Opposition, gives the dollar amount of maintenance work each school needs to be brought up to new-school standard and is calculated each year. The released amounts are accurate from June 30, 2015.
The combined bill across NSW is $732 million, with more than 400 schools waiting on more than $500,000 of works to be completed – 13 of them in Mt Druitt and St Marys.
St Marys Senior High School tops the local list with $1.23 million in maintenance work waiting to be done.
Two Chifley College campuses also are waiting on more than $1 million in works: Bidwill Campus is listed at $1.2 million while the Dunheved Campus needs $1.04 million of work.
St Clair High is waiting for $920,874, Rooty Hill High $795,195, and Tregear Public $699,559. The Education Department stated works included in the outstanding maintenance included “painting, repair or replacement of floor coverings, playground works and stormwater or sewerage projects”.
The department noted it was not “feasible” to have no backlog of maintenance. “The Education Department is focused on ensuring the backlog maintenance liability in our schools is kept as low as possible,’’ a spokesman said.
Rooty Hill High School principal Christine Cawsey said she was pleased with the work in the last couple of years by the Mt Druitt schools asset management unit.
She said the school received about $66,000 of works per year recently, which allowed it to bring three blocks of classes up to standard. She said an injection of $795,000 would put them in a “very good place”.
Chifley College Bidwill principal Mark Burnard said he would welcome more funding.
“We’ve got work coming up on general things like roofing and guttering and some additional maintenance in the gym,” he said.
Compounding the problem of maintenance backlogs in NSW schools is new Australian Bureau of Statistics data showing capital works spending is lower than it has been since 2005.
We could get the rest of the school up to the level we need Christine Cawsey
Lisa D'Angelo with sons Thomas and Matthew who both attend Hassall Grove Public School.