Volume Two 2012 - Major capital works planned for NSW universities
Auditor-General's Report to Parliament
30 May 2012
NSW universities have committed billions of dollars towards major construction of new state-of-the-art facilities and to improve infrastructure and services.
“This is an exciting time for our universities,” said the NSW Auditor-General, Mr Peter Achterstraat, following the release of his financial audit report today. “Between 2010 and 2013, NSW universities plan to have spent over $5 billion collectively on major building and enhancement projects.”
The Auditor-General noted that universities are planning to spend $3.1 billion on capital projects in the next two years.
“Major projects are planned for 2012 and 2013, which will benefit students, staff and local economies,” said Mr Achterstraat.
New facilities include:
- University of NSW’s Tyree Energy Technologies Building, which has facilities for research into clean energy
- University of Sydney’s development of the Charles Perkins Centre to deliver world-class research into obesity, diabetes and cardiovascular disease
- University of Technology’s Dr Chau Chak Building to provide teaching, learning, research and office accommodation for the University’s Business School
- University of Western Sydney’s campus regeneration project which includes building refurbishments and new student residences
- Wollongong University ‘s development of its Innovation Campus and student accommodation
- Southern Cross University’s development of its Gold Coast campus.
Universities are forecasting borrowings will fund 33 per cent of the 2012 capital programs.
“Increased borrowings bring increased risks from exposure to interest rate variability and managing cash flows to meet repayments over a number of years,” noted Mr Achterstraat.
In addition, other risks associated with constructions can come from late delivery and specification changes.
“It is important for universities’ project steering committees to closely monitor projects to ensure the expected benefits are achieved within budgeted costs and timeframes,” said Mr Achterstraat.
The increase in universities’ facilities has ongoing maintenance implications. Maintenance expenditure across all NSW universities was $192 million. Despite a 27 per cent increase in maintenance expenditure over last year, the maintenance backlog remains high at $763 million, down from $782 million last year.
The Auditor-General’s Volume 2, 2012, reports on the audits of all ten NSW universities’ 2011 financial statements.
Emily Watson, on 02 9275 7408 or 0425 329 363 and email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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