The NSW Government is getting on with the job of delivering the biggest school building program in the State’s history – $4.2 billion over four years – as Labor releases an air conditioning policy that is full of hot air and light on detail.
Treasurer Dominic Perrottet said the idea announced by Labor today will cool only a fraction of NSW government schools while burdening the taxpayer with unknown running and long-term maintenance costs.
“Labor’s hastily cobbled together policy wouldn’t even touch the sides,” Mr Perrottet said.
“Don’t be fooled. In fact, Labor’s meagre investment would fund air conditioning for just 10 per cent of all NSW schools.
“If Labor were so concerned, why then during their 16 years in office did they fail to air condition schools, both in Western Sydney and across the State,” he said.
Education Minister Rob Stokes said Luke Foley and Labor have simply failed to do their homework.
“Under Labor, just 50 per cent of schools had air conditioning while today two thirds have air conditioning,” he said.
When Labor was in government they closed more than 90 schools between 1995 and 2011, including Macquarie Boys High School, Beacon Hill High School, Maroubra High School and Redfern Public School.
“The NSW Government‘s unprecedented $4.2 billion investment on major school building projects announced in last year’s Budget is delivering 120 new and upgraded schools, creating 32,000 more student places and 1500 new classrooms. This latest investment brings the total investment since 2011 to 210 new and upgraded schools,” Mr Stokes said.
A record $747 million is also being spent on school maintenance over the next four years, with almost every school in the State seeing important maintenance work carried out this year.
Labor committed just $214 million for maintenance in its final four years of Government, less than a third of what the NSW Government has committed.
“We are succeeding in reducing the massive school maintenance backlog left by Labor,” Mr Stokes said.
“Our strong economic management means only the NSW Liberals and Nationals can deliver the school infrastructure our local communities deserve.”