It is an honour to present the 2019-20 Budget – a budget that delivers on our commitments and gets on with the job, making record investments in the services and infrastructure that make a real difference to people’s lives.
Over the last 12 months, the global and national economies have slowed and here in NSW, local challenges have arisen too. Our farmers are enduring the worst drought in living memory, the housing market has cooled and households are feeling the pinch.
Our budget is firmly in the black, with healthy but modest surpluses forecast for the next four years and net debt is still negative – the lowest of all the states.
With almost the entire state now affected by drought, our farming communities are being put to the ultimate test. This budget brings more critical relief in their time of need, with more funding to better secure our precious water supplies.
We’re easing cost of living pressures for families and individuals with new initiatives like our $50 weekly Opal fare cap and no-interest loans for solar panels and batteries for up to 300,000 homes. To further reduce the cost of getting kids into sport, we’re doubling the Active Kids voucher program, with two $100 vouchers now available to families for each child every year.
To give our kids the best chance at success, we’re employing an unprecedented 4,600 new teachers, and funding 40 new and upgraded schools, while setting an ambitious goal of making NSW the best state for education by 2022.
We’re ensuring better care in world-class hospitals, with 29 new hospitals on the way, and 8,300 new nurses, doctors and other health professionals too – the biggest boost to frontline health workers in NSW history.
For those members of our community most in need, we’re doing more to break the cycle of disadvantage, funding better infrastructure in indigenous communities and implementing a new Disability and Ageing Commissioner.
As our vision for a NSW of thriving cities and regions takes shape, and record infrastruture spending will keep delivering the public transport, roads and cultural facilities that make our communities great places to be. We’re connecting NSW like never before.
New employment precincts will be hubs of learning, innovation and entrepreneurship in industries like technology, health and nuclear medicine.
We will continue to grow the Generations Fund to keep debt sustainable for future generations and the next phase of Outcomes Budgeting will ensure government spending is getting real results for the people of our state.