State Member for Wallsend, Ms Sonia Hornery MP, has called on the Education Minister to put her money where her mouth is, after seven local schools were forced to apply for Community Building Partnership grants for basic maintenance issues.
Ms Hornery recently wrote to the Education Minister regarding previous issues of school applying for grants for things such as drainage. The Minister responded saying that schools need to speak to the Department to have their maintenance issues fixed. Local P&C’s have been left with no other option but to look to fundraise and chase grant money to fix the basic issues as the Department has refused to.
In the latest round of Community Building Partnership grant applications, local schools have applied for more than $400,000 worth of maintenance and infrastructure replacement items, such as improving disabled access to buildings, renovating existing girl’s toilets to improve appearance, hygiene and amenity, and earthworks and drainage associated with the surface renewal of an existing multi-purpose court.
Ms Hornery will move a Notice of Motion and ask a number of Questions on Notice this week to raise the issue with the Minister.
Quotes attributable to Member for Wallsend, Sonia Hornery
“You know things are bad when your local school is forced to apply for grants money to do basic things like renovate and improve hygiene in the school toilets.”
“This Government have talked up their election promise to fix the huge maintenance backlog, but it is obviously just lip service because parents are beyond frustrated and are being forced to look at other funding options due to inaction from the Department.”
“When I raised this with the Minister’s office in September after local schools applied for grants in the My Community Grant program, she replied saying schools didn’t need to apply.”
“Well Minister, they are still being forced to apply and you need to immediately look into why the Department are refusing to provide the basic maintenance these schools require.”
“Principals are not allowed to take the issue any further so it is falling at the feet of the P&C’s to find extra money.”
“The Minister needs to crack open the cheque book and make sure these issues are funded and paid for immediately.”
“I will be raising this matter in Parliament today and I hope that she is listening.”