School backlog boost

Model Farms High School has the biggest school infrastructure backlog in the Baulkham Hills electorate. Picture: Isabelle LettiniSCHOOLS in the Hills region is set to receive almost $5 million during the next two years to deal with the region’s educationinfrastructure needs.

The state government opposition released Department of Education figures, revealing school maintenance backlogs of $5.9 million and $3.6 million in the Baulkham Hills and Castle Hill electorates.

A Department of Education spokesman said the government has plans to improve school resources and cut down the backlog..

“In the 2016/17 state budget, $330 million was allocated over the next two years to allow for planned and prioritymaintenanceworks to be undertaken in schools across the state,” the spokesman said.

“This is an addition to our ongoingmaintenance and is the single largest increase inmaintenancefunding in the last 20 years.

“Over the next two years it is expected that approximately $3.1 million will be spent in the Baulkham Hills electorate and approximately $1.6 million in the Castle Hill electorate on planned and prioritymaintenance.”

Model Farms High School in Baulkham Hillshas the highest backlog, needing $1.02 million to fix school resources.

At the other end of the scale, Ironbark Ridge Public School in Rouse Hillonly has a $1076 backlog.

Castle Hill MP Ray Williams said the state government is trying to play catch-up on school infrastructure backlogs because it was not addressed by Labor when they were in government.

“During 16 years under state Labor, our NSW schools were neglected leaving us with a maintenance backlog of over $1 billion,” he said.

“I’m very proud our government is not only investing in twonew schools for the Hills, but also investing in important maintenance to improve the standards of our educational facilities.”

Baulkham Hills MP David Elliott said he will visit 10 schools in his electorate to talk to students, staff and parents during the next month.

“Every parent would agree about the importance of investing in our schools,” he said.

The Department of Education assured parents that all Hills schools are compliant.

“This increase in funding will target roofs, floor coverings and painting, as well as other backlogmaintenance works selected byschoolprincipals,” aspokesman said.

“The department is currently consulting with principals to plan these works to ensure high prioritymaintenanceitems are undertaken first.”

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