The government of New South Wales in Australia has allowed the escalating school maintenance backlog to increase by an additional $40 million during the past year, as shown in the obtained documents under the freedom of information laws.
NSW’s most neglected schools
NSW’s most neglected school, in terms of value of repairs and maintenance needed, is Great Lakes College located in Forster that requires $3,328,868 worth of work to be done.
Next is Marsden High School located in Ryde, having a maintenance backlog amounting to $2,882,626.
The others which also require a lot of work are the Sydney Boys High School located in Moore Park, and Epping Public and Epping West both located in Epping.
During the 2014 – 2015 period, the repairs and maintenance amounting to $732 million just sat on NSW’s books, which is a 36% growth from the past year.
Recent data indicated that there is currently $775 million worth of work logged, but nothing is being done. This was gathered by the Opposition through the Government Information Act.
The number of those neglected schools which are waiting for at least $1 million worth of work already increased from 120 to now 147 from the 2181 government schools in the state.
The usual works asked are leaking roof repairs, sewer and toilet upgrades, painting, carpet replacement, broken window replacements and guttering.
This is regardless of the $342 million budgeted by the department in 2015 – 2016, where $80 million was going to supposedly address this backlog.
Some schools are still on the neediest list for their second year running, which includes Great Lakes, Marsden, Colo High School, Tamworth High School, and Northmead Creative and Performing Arts High School.
The department does not allow the individual principals to talk to the media.
A department spokesman mentioned that an increase to the maintenance budget for 2016 – 2017 is already added to the continuing maintenance program and will assist in tackling this problem.
Hopefully, this year, there is going to be progress for the repairs and maintenance for these schools that need various services – whether that be roof repair in Sydney schools or repainting in Auburn schools.