BY RACHEL STORER
|Hunter Schools will take decades to fix on current funding scheme. Picture: theherald.com.au|
Labor is calling on the state government to direct some of the massive profits from the property boom to address the serious school maintenance backlog in the Hunter.
The state opposition has obtained figures under Freedom of Information laws which show the cost of repairs and maintenance now exceeds $1 million at 11 Hunter schools.
Hunter Sports High tops the lists with $2 million worth of work needed.
Based on the current funding allocations in the state, most Hunter schools repairs will take two or three decades to complete.
Shadow Minister for the Hunter, Kate Washington says the massive backlog won’t be addressed until there’s an overhaul in the system.
“There are some real systemic issues. At the end of the day we’ve got kids and teachers in schools that have got leaking roofs, gutters that are broken, toilets that are broken.
“These aren’t just cosmetic issues. They are basic everyday items.”
Ms Washington says that the government has the money to address these crucial repairs.
“They’re raking in stamp duty and there is great opportunity to do the right thing and focus on what’s important, and that is education.
“That is what will strengthen our communities for the future, but the priorities are just completely wrong.”
Opposition Leader, Luke Foley agrees with Ms Washington and says new Premier Gladys Berejiklian needs to make schools a top priority.