Biggest schools building program in history gets even bigger
The NSW Government will invest a staggering $6 billion over the next four years to deliver more than 170 new and upgraded schools to support communities throughout NSW – representing the largest investment into schools by any state government in history.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian, Treasurer Dominic Perrottet and Education Minister Rob Stokes today announced next week’s Budget would include funding for an extra 20 new and upgraded schools, taking the total education capital program to 170 projects.
“We are in the midst of a school building program NSW has never before experienced and this year’s Budget takes this to a whole new level,” Ms Berejiklian said.
“I am proud that our Government is making this unprecedented investment into schools and our students.”
Mr Perrottet said the Government’s strong economic management had allowed it to invest heavily into schools and this would be at risk if Labor returned to the Treasury benches.
“The NSW Government is investing more on school infrastructure over the next four years than Labor spent in their last 14 years in government.
“The previous Labor government closed more than 90 schools including Macquarie Boys High, Beacon Hill High, Maroubra High and Redfern Public School.”
Planning is set to begin this year on the 20 new projects including new primary schools at Rhodes East, Westmead, Green Square, Murrumbateman, Gregory Hills and Edmondson Park.
Planning will also get underway for a new Edmondson Park High School along with upgrades to Randwick Boys and Girls High Schools, Birrong Boys and Girls High Schools and Cecil Hills High School.
Other projects include an upgrade to Punchbowl Public School, and a joint upgrade to improve facilities for Carlingford West Public School and Cumberland High School students.
During the course of this year, work will commence on 40 new and upgraded school projects, and planning will also begin on a further 20 new and upgraded schools. This complements work that is currently underway on more than 110 ongoing major school infrastructure projects, bringing the total number of projects being delivered across the State to more than 170.
This means that the projects underway across the State will deliver a total of more than 43,500 new student places and more than 2000 new permanent classrooms.
Mr Stokes said all new and upgraded schools are being designed with sustainability in mind and to accommodate best practice in teaching and learning.
“There is more to do, but we remain dedicated to our goal of offering first-class education facilities to every student in NSW,” Mr Stokes said.
Also announced today is a continued blitz on school maintenance, with $160 million set to be spent in 2018/19, as part of the record $747 million investment over four years announced last year.
A maintenance audit by the NSW Department of Education released earlier this year showed the maintenance backlog had been slashed by $200 million, or about a quarter, over an 18 month period.
Projects currently underway across the State include Arthur Phillip High School, the Inner Sydney High School, Ballina Coast High School, the Hunter Sports High School, Oran Park High School, and Picton High School. A number of primary schools projects are also continuing, including Bardia, Penshust, Gledswood Hills, Ultimo and Jordan Springs public schools.