Massive Hornsby School Maintenance Backlog: $10 Million In Repairs Urgently Needed

The State Labor Opposition has released an official list showing that 18 Hornsby schools needed urgent repairs amounting to $10 million – including four schools needing over $1 million each.

This week, the NSW Labor Opposition released Education Department documents revealing the full extent of crumbling schools in Hornsby and the Upper North Shore – as part of a massive $732 million state-wide maintenance backlog.

The documents obtained under freedom of information laws reveal the individual maintenance backlogs for 2,173 primary and high schools across the state – as at 30 June 2015.

In the Hornsby electorate, Galston Public School needs more than $1.15 million in repairs, Hornsby Girls High School needs $1.1 million in repairs and Waitara Public and Pennant Hills Public Schools need more than $1 million in repairs each.

A wide range of works are needed across the schools including toilet and sewer upgrades, carpet replacement, painting, fixing damaged rooves, installing guttering, replacing windows and other general repairs.

Statewide analysis of the data shows:

  • 120 schools have an individual maintenance backlog in excess of $1 million each;
  • 486 schools have a backlog in excess of $500,000; and
  • Less than three percent of schools (64) have a backlog bill of less than $10,000.

Under the Baird government, the school maintenance backlog has surged.

The independent NSW Auditor-General reported that between 2013-2014 and 2014-2015, the maintenance backlog jumped $195 million in one year – more than 36 per cent.

In 2014-2015, the State government spent just $158 million on the school maintenance backlog.  The maintenance bill is growing faster than the maintenance spend across the state, meaning many schools cannot get up to scratch.

While the government pursues a seemingly limitless upgrade of stadia across Sydney, there is no plan to fix crumbling schools across Hornsby and the Upper North Shore.

Labor MLC for Hornsby, Greg Donnelly said this was a total failure by the state member for Hornsby, Matt Kean.

Leader of the Opposition, Luke Foley said schools across the state are crumbling under the Liberal/Nationals Government.

“The maintenance backlog is spiraling out control. Hornsby schools are being neglected while the government brawls with itself over how to spend billions on sporting stadiums in Sydney. Local schools need to be properly maintained to ensure the best environment for learning”, Mr Foley said.

Below is a list of schools across Hornsby and the Upper North Shore that have a maintenance backlog of works:


School $
Galston Public School 1,159,797
Hornsby Girls High School 1,117,958
Waitara Public School 1,064,991
Pennant Hills Public School 1,007,878
Thornleigh West Public School 973,286
Asquith Boys High School 750,406
Galston High School 732,650
Asquith Girls High School 561,887
Normanhurst West Public School 480,398
Mount Colah Public School 444,223
Berowra Public School 306,789
Hornsby North Public School 303,693
Hornsby South Public School 292,614
Asquith Public School 238,182
Pennant Hills High School 156,294
Brooklyn Public School 154,584
Hornsby Heights Public School 136,964
Cherrybrook Technology High School 117,352
Total Maintenance Backlog $9,999,946


“Our schools with huge maintenance backlogs need an urgent cash injection. If the schools are unsuitable and unsafe, teachers cannot teach and kids cannot learn.

“The government isn’t keeping up with the repairs bill and the reality is many local schools will never be up to scratch under the Liberal/Nationals Government. It’s yet another example of the Liberals/Nationals taking Hornsby for granted”, said Greg Donnelly.

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