NSW Budget: Billion-dollar infrastructure blitz for NSW public schools

NSW Gov

Hundreds of public schools across metropolitan and regional NSW will benefit from improved facilities following a billion-dollar boost for maintenance and minor upgrades.

The investment in our schools is part of the NSW Labor Government’s long-term plan to rebuild the state’s education system.

Deputy Premier and Minister for Education and Early Learning Prue Car, and Treasurer Daniel Mookhey, are today visiting Bonnyrigg High School, one of the schools to benefit from the funding injection.

As part of the 2024 to 2025 NSW Budget, following years of campaigning, the school will receive an upgrade to its bathrooms. Planning for the improvements will start in coming weeks, in consultation with the school.

A record $1.08 billion pipeline of investment for minor works in the coming financial year alone will support the delivery of $600 million for school maintenance work, alongside $150 million in essential works to boost disability access and safety, and $200 million for small upgrades and refurbishments.

Projects will focus on lifting standards of important facilities, particularly school bathrooms, as well as improving classrooms, science labs, workshops, performance and arts spaces and vocational education and training (VET) facilities.

Maintenance work in schools includes:

  • painting
  • repairs and replacements of roofs, fences, windows, doors, ceilings, and carpeting
  • electrical repairs and upgrades
  • floor coverings
  • continuing to support urgent repairs in schools when needed.

The Department of Education will work with principals and school leadership over coming months to prioritise projects.

The boost in investment comes as 62,000 longer-term school maintenance tasks have been carried out by the Department of Education in 2023 to 2024 so far, including maintenance works for close to 2 thirds of the state’s public schools, or 1492 schools in 6882 individual buildings.

This includes:

  • more than 837,800sqm of painting, or the equivalent to painting the Sydney Harbour Bridge twice
  • 332,579sqm of new roofing, or the equivalent to installing roofing on 37 Bunnings Warehouse stores
  • installing 271,213sqm of new flooring – or the equivalent to covering the Penrith Panthers’ stadium field 37 times
  • laying 233,537sqm of playground pavement – enough paving to cover a dual carriageway road between Sydney CBD and Parramatta.

Over the same period, the department responded to more than 155,000 callouts from public schools, with workers able to resolve issues in under 5 days on average. This includes responding to:

  • 27,994 blocked toilets, leaking taps or sinks
  • 32,649 electrical faults
  • 10,017 air conditioning or HVAC systems.

Our plan to build a better NSW

Since being elected the Minns Labor Government has been working on a comprehensive plan to invest in and rebuild public education in NSW.

We are making the responsible decisions to ensure every family in NSW has access to free, quality public education.

This includes building new schools and upgrading existing facilities in rapidly-growing communities like those in Western Sydney, where this year’s budget delivers $3.6 billion for a pipeline of more than 60 new and upgraded schools. This includes an overdue new public and high school for Box Hill in Sydney’s North West – with a temporary public school to take enrolments from next year.

Building, maintaining and improving essential services like public schools is key to building better communities and addressing the cost of living as families find it increasingly difficult to make ends meet. It is part of our plan to build a better NSW.

Deputy Premier and Minister for Education and Early Learning Prue Car said:

“This year’s budget will strengthen our commitment to keeping our schools and equipment in the good condition that our communities deserve.

“Our public schools are the lifeblood of our communities, and we want teachers and students to feel proud to study and work in them – central to that is ensuring that they are maintained to a high standard and have the most up-to-date facilities.

“I visited Bonnyrigg High School in November last year, to see first-hand concerns about some of the school facilities. I am pleased to be here today to announce that the school will benefit from this month’s back-to-basics Budget.

“This investment will also give local economies a boost, supporting jobs and opportunities for local trades and businesses.

“We are continuing our record investment in Western Sydney schools, whether it is to build the new and upgraded schools that these communities need or upgrading our existing schools for our teachers and students.”

Treasurer Daniel Mookhey said:

“Improving the conditions of NSW schools is a must-have to ensure that students and teachers have the best environment possible to learn and teach.

“This Government is continuing to deliver on its promise to rebuild the state’s public education system.

“When I visited Bonnyrigg High School earlier this year, I heard from the staff and students about their concerns.

“This billion-dollar investment will make a material difference for 1,400 public schools and their communities.

“We have the cut state’s debt, so that we are paying less on the state’s interest bill. We are now using those savings to make a difference for schools across NSW.”

Member for Cabramatta Tri Vo said:

“It is fantastic to see Bonnyrigg High School will benefit from an upgrade to their school facilities, which has been one of a number of campaigns by the school community.

“I am proud to be part of the NSW Labor Government, who are committed to improving school buildings across NSW, so every public school student can reach their full potential.”

Member for Liverpool Charishma Kaliyanda said:

“Bonnyrigg High School has played a huge role in educating our community for generations, and it’s wonderful to see the school facilities getting an upgrade to ensure it can continue to deliver quality public education.

“Education is the great enabler for families in Western Sydney, so I’m very proud to be part of a NSW Labor Government that is delivering on its promise to ensure our young people have access to quality public education.”

/Public Release. View in full here.