Govt to inject $3.4 million into region's public schools

PUBLIC schools in the Ballina electorate will be prioritised by the State Government in the coming years as it struggles to reduce mounting school maintenance backlogs.

A Department of Education spokesperson said over the next two years it is expected about $3.4 million will be spent in the Ballina electorate and $2 million in the Tweed electorate on planned and priority maintenance.

The State Government's ballooning backlog woes were forced back into the spotlight late last week when Fairfax Media revealed new data about growing backlog costs that were obtained by the Opposition under the Government Information (Public Access) Act.

The new statistics show a jump in costs for the majority of NSW public schools compared to those reported by the department in May.

Southern Cross School is the worst of our public schools in the North Coast with its latest backlog blow-out of $2,024,703 - an increase of $361,919 since June last year.

The department spokesperson said it is consulting with principals to plan these works to ensure high priority maintenance items are undertaken first.

Ballina MP Tamara Smith and Lismore MP Thomas George were contacted for comment.

Top 10 highest school maintenance backlogs Northern Rivers

Southern Cross School: $2,024,703

Murwillumbah High School: $1,371,082

Ballina Public School: $717,783

Kyogle High School: $866,772

Mullumbimby Public School: $622,578

Woodenbong Central School: $503,951

The Rivers Secondary College Richmond River High Campus: $452,877

Mullumbimby High School: $449,062

Ballina High School: $421,288

The Rivers Secondary College Lismore High Campus: $410,214