$400 MILLION TO EMPOWER ABORIGINAL COMMUNITIES & DELIVER OUTCOMES

The NSW Government has announced $401 million in additional funding over four years in the 2022-23 Budget, to prioritise Closing the Gap and other projects that improve outcomes for Aboriginal people across the state.

Member for Goulburn Wendy Tuckerman welcomed the investment into Aboriginal communities and outcomes from the NSW Government.

“The NSW Government is committed to improving outcomes for Aboriginal people throughout NSW by empowering them and enabling them to invest in projects that reflect their priorities,” Mrs Tuckerman said.

“This record investment will go a long way towards NSW meeting its targets under the National Closing the Gap agreement and see meaningful change in the lives of Aboriginal children, families and communities.”

The NSW Coalition of Aboriginal Peak Organisations (NSW CAPO) will lead the innovative partnership.

The package also includes a $30 million ‘Community and Place Grants Program’, offering grants of up to $250,000 to Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisations (ACCOs) to deliver practical, immediate, and locally-focused activities targeting Closing the Gap outcomes.

This package includes a strong focus on the below outcomes:

  • investing in Aboriginal economic empowerment
  • supporting Aboriginal children and young people to thrive
  • delivering health and wellbeing in Aboriginal communities
  • improving the justice system
  • investing in appropriate Aboriginal housing and infrastructure, and improving land rights for Aboriginal communities
  • supporting Aboriginal languages and culture, and respecting and acknowledging the past as the cornerstone to a diverse NSW
  • delivering improved data and governance in partnership with Aboriginal people

Councillor Charles Lynch, NSW Aboriginal Land Council, co-chair of the NSW Coalition of Aboriginal Peak Organisations welcomed this funding by the NSW Government.

“This is a very significant moment for Aboriginal people and communities, and for the first time we are seeing a government that is genuinely investing in the needs of Aboriginal people to address the disparities under Closing the Gap,” Mr Lynch said.

UNPRECEDENTED CHILDCARE BOOST FOR FAMILIES

Young families in the Goulburn electorate will save thousands of dollars a year on childcare costs thanks to the NSW Government’s $5 billion landmark investment over the next decade to expand access to high quality, affordable care.

Under the reforms, a middle-income western Sydney family with one child in full-time childcare is expected to save about $3,900 a year, while the equivalent family living in regional NSW with two children in childcare is expected to save around $7,800.

Member for Goulburn Wendy Tuckerman said she was thrilled to hear that local families are set to have access to affordable childcare.

“Improving the affordability and accessibility of childcare is a once in a generation economic reform,” Mrs Tuckerman said.

“This will benefit hundreds of families in our community that will be able to better balance work and family responsibilities.

“The NSW Liberals and Nationals are focused on building a brighter future for NSW and this childcare package is a clear example of us doing just that.”

Minister for Education and Early Learning Sarah Mitchell said early childhood education and care providers will be able to apply for funding to help deliver more accessible and affordable care.

“This is one of the most important things we can do to give children the best start in life, helping young children develop their social skills and open up lifelong opportunities from their earliest years,” Ms Mitchell said

“We will work with the sector on the detailed design of the fund to ensure it delivers the best outcomes for children, families and providers.”

The NSW Government’s investment will be made through the Affordable and Accessible Childcare and Economic Participation Fund, which will be established in this year’s budget. The Fund will:

  • Provide grants to childcare providers to expand infrastructure and establish new centres,
  • Target areas with limited access to childcare centres or where a shortage of childcare places poses the highest disincentive to parents returning to work,  Complement the Commonwealth’s demand-side childcare policy framework through flexible supply side funding,
  • Invest $775 million over the next four years, and
  • Trial new service models to meet the needs of modern families.


For more information go to https://www.treasury.nsw.gov.au/childcare-fund.

NSW SETS A NEW STANDARD ON PARENTAL LEAVE

Teachers, nurses, firefighters and other public sector workers across the State will be encouraged to share childcaring responsibilities between partners under an overhaul of the NSW Government’s paid parental leave scheme.

From October, there will no longer be a distinction between a ‘primary’ or ‘secondary’ carer, meaning every mother and father in the public sector will be entitled to at least 14 weeks’ paid parental leave.

The NSW Government will also offer parents an additional 2 weeks’ ‘bonus leave’ if paid parental leave entitlements are more equally shared between partners.

Member for Goulburn Wendy Tuckerman welcomed the announcement which is part of the 2022-23 NSW Budget.

“This initiative is about supporting families by allowing them to share child care responsibilities”, Mrs Tuckerman said.

“It is part of recognising that both parents deserve the ability to choose a career, have a family or have both.”

The NSW Government will also expand the window in which public servants can take paid parental leave from one year to two years after birth, and extend paid parental leave to long-term or permanent foster carers.

The ‘bonus leave’ scheme is one of the first of its kind in Australia and will apply where each parent (including parents employed outside the public sector) takes at least 12 weeks’ parental leave and exhausts any paid parental leave offered by their employers. Single parents will be entitled to the full 16 weeks of paid parental leave.

The paid parental leave reform comes following the NSW Government’s recent announcement that it will start offering workers in the public sector five days’ fertility leave, recognising the time demands of IVF and other reproductive treatments.

END-OF-LIFE CARE ENHANCED IN NSW

Member for Goulburn Wendy Tuckerman welcomes the NSW Government’s injection of $743 million into palliative care and other specialist health services, saying it will bring greater comfort and dignity to NSW residents with life-limiting illnesses.

Mrs Tuckerman said the five-year funding is on top of the $300 million the NSW Government invests in palliative care services each year. 

“Today’s announcement will significantly boost funding for end-of-life palliative care, delivering equitable access to pain management services, avoiding unnecessary hospitals stays and providing comfort and dignity to NSW residents at end of life.”

Mrs Tuckerman said palliative care and end-of-life health professionals provide an untold amount of comfort to patients and families.

“I am pleased that this funding boost will allow us to support staff and services to continue that high-quality and compassionate care into the future,” Mrs Tuckerman said.

“Bed capacity and the number of palliative care nurses will be increased across the health system, which means people in regional NSW will spend less time in the ED and more time in a comfortable setting when being assessed or treated.”

“We will also deliver more outpatient services including extra community health staff, additional home support packages, and virtual care in regional NSW, allowing people to receive care closer to their families.”

The $743 million funding over five years includes $650 million to:

  • employ an extra 600 nurses, allied health professionals, doctors, and support staff
  • boost hospital capacity and implement best-practice models for supportive and palliative care
  • improve access to pain management services for patients with life-limiting illness, to help patients and their family and carers
  • improve services for people with late stage chronic and degenerative conditions, and cancer
  • further strengthen outpatient and community health services
  • support consumer choice and excellence in end-of-life and palliative care
  • strengthen virtual care, transport and equipment programs
  • improve partnership with non-Government organisations, primary care and aged care services. 

A further $93 million will be used for capital investment, to redevelop and refurbish NSW Health facilities, including new dedicated palliative care units at Westmead Hospital and Nepean Hospital.

MORE THAN 2,000 EXTRA STAFF FOR NSW AMBULANCE


The NSW Government has announced a $1.76 billion boost to frontline emergency care to deliver 2,128 new recruits and 30 more ambulance stations as part of the NSW Government’s 2022-23 Budget.

Member for Goulburn Wendy Tuckerman said the record investment will ensure the community has access to a quality Ambulance service for years to come.

“With ambulance services across the country experiencing unprecedented demand, the NSW Government is ensuring our communities and our paramedics are well placed for the challenges ahead,” Mrs Tuckerman said.

“The Goulburn electorate has already benefitted from the new stations in Yass and Goulburn. These stations were delivered as part of the NSW Government’s Rural Ambulance Infrastructure Reconfiguration (RAIR) program.

“This record funding will deliver extra paramedics, ambulance support staff, nurses and doctors, increasing capacity from call centres to call outs. NSW Ambulance will have the largest paramedic workforce in the country.”

“This is great news for our community. We rely on our local paramedics and now they’ll have additional support to continue the invaluable work they do for us.”

The $1.76 billion over four years will provide NSW with 1,857 extra paramedics, 210 ambulance support staff, 52 nurses and eight doctors.

In this Budget, the NSW Government will deliver 30 new stations including at Warilla, Kincumber, Lisarow, Gateshead, Swansea, Cherrybrook, Raby and Narellan in the coming year, with 22 more stations to come over the following three years.