Premier announces extra $449M to clear maintenance backlog during Heathcote High School visit

Updated

The maintenance backlog at NSW Government schools will be cut to zero by July, 2020, Premier Gladys Berejiklian promised while visiting Heathcote High School.

Ms Berejiklian said the move would “ensure students across NSW enjoy the best possible learning environments”.

Opposition Leader Michael Daley responded that Labor would also wipe out the backlog.

The Premier said a re-elected Coalition government would  invest a further $449 million to clear the backlog by July, 2020.

This would mean a total investment of nearly $1.3 billion, and would clear every maintenance job currently outstanding at the state’s 2200 public schools.

The extra funds will be spent on projects such as roofing, painting and carpeting.

“We inherited a $1 billion school maintenance backlog from the former Labor government and will now be reducing that number to zero,” she said.

“It is only because of the strong economic management of the NSW Liberals and Nationals that we are in a position to keep our schools in their best possible condition, and fix the problems created by Labor.

“When Labor was last in government, they closed schools, sacked teachers and racked up a huge maintenance liability as our schools fell into disrepair.

“We have worked hard to reduce the maintenance backlog and I am delighted to confirm we will now clear it completely.

Education Minister Rob Stokes said the funding would allow schools to accelerate important work.

Mr Daley said the Coalition could not be trusted to deliver the promise.

​Mr Daley said the backlog grew by 335 per cent since they came to office, .

Government documents, obtained by Labor and released today, revealed, during that time, the average maintenance backlog had risen to $242,000 per school.

“Now, weeks from election day they’re telling people to trust them to fix the problem they created,” Mr Daley said.

“Labor will always do more for schools. We will spend the $1.3 billion needed to wipe out the maintenance backlog to zero because we won’t be spending $2.2 billion on stadiums.”