The cost of demountables is building up
Taxpayer spending on maintaining demountable classrooms in NSW has increased by 800 per cent in eight years, from $5 million to $45 million.
The Daily Telegraph
|December 4, 2019
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*Taxpayer spending on maintaining demountable classrooms in NSW has increased by 800 per cent in eight years.
Money spent on a refurbishment program increased from $5 million in 2011 to $45 million last year, supplementary questions to NSW budget estimates hearings reveal.
The surge in demountable spending comes as many of Sydney’s schools have exceeded capacity, with schools such as Carlingford West Public School and The Ponds High School installing demountable toilet blocks to cope with the population increase.
The Ponds High School P&C president Roland de Pree said next year the school would have 41 demountables.
“This really looks like a Third World country solution in Australia in 2019,” he said.
“The school was originally built for 1100 students and next year we will have 1800 students.”
Opposition education spokeswoman Prue Car said the spending showed there was an overcrowding crisis in schools.
“NSW taxpayers are now being slugged $45 million a year simply to keep pop-up classrooms fit for purpose, because the NSW Liberals have failed to build adequate permanent facilities to cope with student growth,” she said.
An Education Department spokesman said most school infrastructure funding was used to build permanent classrooms in growth areas.
“The increase in funding for the refurbishment of demountables is related to the investment in permanent public education infrastructure and technological advances,” he said.