The State Government will investigate using public-private partnerships to build new schools in a bid to cut its enormous maintenance backlog.
Treasurer Mike Nahan said the Government would consider a public-private partnership package of at least $300 million to build 16 new primary schools and three new high schools in the next four years.
Mr Nahan said one of the attractions of public private partnerships was that agreements with private providers included ongoing maintenance.
“The State does not do well at maintaining schools,” Mr Nahan said.
It is understood that Treasury has already started investigating the model.
WA has traditionally built its own school infrastructure, even though it has some of the highest construction costs compared to other states and sectors.
Other States, including Victoria and NSW, have used public private deals to provide new schools in recent years.
Education received a 4.3 per cent boost in yesterday’s Budget, including an additional $188 million to cover student enrolments growth of about 11,000.
The government committed an extra $10 million next year to help with a transition to the Education Department’s new student-centred funding model.
It has also pledged an extra $812 million over four years to provide an estimated 1458 teachers, including 550 for next year.