Saturday, February 27, 2010

After home insulation, overpriced and unsafe school buildings?

Yet again, us evil neoliberals could have warned the government about the likely consequences of programs designed to spend vast amounts of borrowed money quickly by said government. Maybe that could be the topic of K R Puff'n'Fluff's next article in The Monthly?

Opposition Leader Tony Abbott launched a stinging attack on the $16.1 billion (Building the Edcuation Revolution) program, the most expensive element of the government’s economic rescue package....’’This hurried $16 billion program will end up delivering only $7 billion in value...”

At Berridale Public School in southern NSW, children are unable to use their newly installed $908,000 library as parents believe the building poses a safety risk. While the library, the same model of which is going into hundreds of NSW schools, complies with building codes, it has only one door. Parents say the building needs an emergency exit.

Students and staff at Tyalgum Public School in the state’s north can’t use their $850,000 library and office block as it doesn’t fit its foundations. The building is on temporary footings until the local contractor can rectify the work.... And parents at other schools have been told they will not get items they were promised such as solar panels and rainwater tanks because their projects are over budget.

Original costings by the BER office 12 months ago show significant price discrepancies. Small libraries originally costed at $285,000 are now costing triple that amount. Covered outdoor learning areas have more than doubled in price. (The original costings excluded GST, site works, professional fees and cost escalation beyond February 2009.)

The program is the subject of an Australian National Audit Office investigation, the results of which are due to be tabled this autumn.
The audit may prove deadly to the Government.

Posted via email from Garth's posterous

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