NSW COMMITTED TO VOCATIONAL EDUCATION AND TRAINING

The NSW Government is following through on its election commitment to help more people get quality jobs by committing $2.3 billion in the 2019-20 NSW Budget towards vocational education and training.

Minister for Skills and Tertiary Education Geoff Lee said the Government is dedicated to strengthening our VET sector as a means of preparing the most dynamic, qualified and skilled workforce.

“Providing pathways for people to gain the right skills and training is a key priority for this Government,” Dr Lee said.

“We are working to ensure that you can receive the highest quality education and training, no matter where you live or what your circumstances are.

“We remain committed to reforming TAFE NSW to further strengthen its place as the nation’s biggest education and training provider.”

The NSW Government’s investment in TAFE NSW in the Budget is a commitment of $1.85 billion, an increase of 3.1 per cent. Funding for TAFE NSW accounts for 80 per cent of the State’s skills budget.

The NSW government has allocated $71 million over four years for 100,000 free courses, bringing the total number of free TAFE and VET courses we are offering over the period to almost 700,000 places.

The 100,000 additional courses will be made up of 70,000 new fee-free courses for young jobseekers taking on traineeships and 30,000 free TAFE places for mature-aged workers seeking to retrain or re-enter the workforce.

This is in addition to the existing capital works budget that will deliver over $137 million in investment to support 17 major capital works projects at TAFE NSW in 2019-20.

The NSW Government is also committed to delivering an $80 million new TAFE NSW super campus in Western Sydney, eight additional Connected Learning Centres and two vocational high schools to be located in Western Sydney and the North Coast.

“Investment in education and training is critical to the success of our State’s economy, creating a pipeline of skilled workers to keep driving the NSW economy forward,” Dr Lee said.

FARMER SAFETY REACHES NEW HEIGHTS WITH DRONE FUNDING

The NSW Government is encouraging farmers to embrace new technologies in order to do their work safer and better with new funding announced for drone rebates as part of the 2019 -20 NSW Budget.

Minister for Better Regulation and Innovation Kevin Anderson said the rebate is part of an extra $2.8 million dollars in funding that will also extend the popular Quad Bike Safety Improvement Program.

“On farm safety is extremely important to the agricultural industry and sadly, something that often gets forgotten,” Mr Anderson said.

“We’re serious about helping farmers make better choices when it comes to on farm safety, which is why this significant funding extension is such a critical investment.

Mr Anderson said camera-equipped drone technology is helping farmers carry out a range of activities without the risk of injury or death as a result of a quad bike accident.

“Tragically there have been seven quad bike related fatalities in NSW since 2017, including two children under the age of 16,” Mr Anderson said.

“The good news is we are making a difference with this program – fatalities and incidents are trending downwards.” Since SafeWork’s Quad Bike Safety Improvement Program was introduced, more than 3,000 farmers have accessed it, and about 250 training events have been held around NSW.

The program offers a rebate of up to $500 to purchase drone technology and two rebates worth up to $1,000 each to replace an existing quad bike, or have it fitted with safety equipment like roll bars, as well as a free helmet and training. Each farming ABN is eligible for up to $2000 in rebates.

Farmers can apply for the Quad Bike Safety rebates on the SafeWork website. For more information visit http://www.safework.nsw.gov.au or call 13 10 50

A STATE-BUILDING BUDGET FOR A BETTER FUTURE

The NSW Government is getting on with the job of building a better NSW by delivering on its election commitments, investing a record $93 billion in infrastructure, supporting drought-affected communities, cutting taxes and boosting cost of living relief to families in the 2019-20 NSW Budget.

A surplus of $802 million is projected for 2018-19, with surpluses averaging $1.7 billion over the four years to 2022-23 continuing the NSW Liberals & Nationals’ strong financial management even in the face of tougher economic conditions.

Net debt is negative for a fourth consecutive year with the Government’s record infrastructure pipeline over two terms boosting economic activity and contributing to the continued growth in the State’s net worth which is set to reach $311 billion by 2023.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian said the NSW Liberals & Nationals Government is determined to deliver the benefits of a strong Budget to people across NSW.

“This Budget delivers on our promise to provide greater opportunities and quality of life for all citizens across NSW, no matter where they live or their personal circumstances,” Ms Berejiklian said.

“Only through a strong Budget are we able to provide cost of living relief to households, invest unprecedented amounts in infrastructure and services, and support the most vulnerable in our community.”

Treasurer Dominic Perrottet said: “This is a state building budget that stays the course in the face of economic headwinds, because it is built on the foundation of eight years of strong financial management.”

“Our financial strength means we can do more to help those most in need, while delivering on our commitments and continuing to transform our state.”

A drought relief package now at $1.8 billion will help farmers endure the present crisis and build long term resilience while the $4.2 billion proceeds from the sale of the State’s share of the Snowy Hydro will be invested in major and transformational regional infrastructure, such as projects designed to secure NSW’s long-term water security.

“We’re also investing further funds for mental health support for those in the regions struggling with the current crisis,” said Mr Perrottet.

“This is also Budget for the bush with farmers and regional communities at its heart.”

The Budget is also taking the pressure off family budgets, building on existing measures such as toll relief, transfer duty exemptions and energy rebate.

New measures including the $50 weekly Opal fare cap, interest-free loans for rooftop solar to keep energy bills down and helping fund a second $100 Active Kids Voucher for every school child each year.

Education is front and centre, with funding for 2,300 new early childhood education places, 4,600 more teachers, 190 new and upgraded schools, before and after school care and $500 million for better facilities in non-government schools.

An unprecedented boost to frontline health services will deliver better quality healthcare, funding an historic 8,300 additional nurses, midwives, doctors and medical and support staff, 45 per cent of which will be located in regional NSW.

More than $10 billion will be spent on hospital and health infrastructure to deliver 29 new and upgraded hospitals and health facility projects over the next four years. A new record $55.6 billion budget for road and transport projects propels the state’s overall infrastructure investment to $93 billion, with funding for major projects already underway including WestConnex and Metro City and Southwest and breaking ground on the West Metro next year.

“The scale of transformation is unprecedented and is only possible because our Government has backed our words with action and delivered to cement NSW as the premier state,” Mr Perrottet said.

To help break the cycle of disadvantage, the Budget funds a new Disability and Ageing Commissioner as well as $55 million for new infrastructure in our most disadvantaged remote indigenous communities, $15 million for spinal research and $8 million to partner with Foodbank to provide school breakfasts at an additional 500 schools.

To support the Government’s goal of creating 250,000 more jobs and strengthen our economy, the Budget continues to cut payroll tax allowing businesses to employ more people and increase wages, and 100,000 fee free VET and TAFE courses will build on last year’s 100,000 free apprenticeships, to build the workforce of the future.

“Right now the economic headwinds are picking up, but we are taking steps to keep our economy strong. While other states are raising taxes, we’re cutting them, because we want our workers and businesses to have every opportunity to keep getting ahead,” Mr Perrottet said.

The Budget commits to a new NSW Economic Blueprint to identify the jobs, industries and opportunities where our future prosperity lies. It also kicks off a formal review of Federal Financial Relations, to find ways to make Federation more dynamic, with greater financial autonomy for states like NSW that embrace reform.

“This is a Budget that only the NSW Liberals & Nationals could deliver, because we manage the finances well so we can get the job done,” Mr Perrottet said.

“We are delivering what the people of NSW deserve – world-class services, record infrastructure, and help for those in need, while at the same time laying the foundations for a future filled with opportunity for all.”

RECORD $10.1 BILLION HEALTH INFRASTRUCTURE SPEND

One of the largest health projects in NSW is on track to deliver world-class care to local communities for decades to come following the 2019-20 Budget’s commitment to a record $26.7 billion investment in health.

This includes a $2.7 billion spend on health infrastructure in 2019-20, up 27 per cent on last year. This brings the Government’s health capital spending over the next four years to a record $10.1 billion – a 25 per cent increase on last year’s Budget.

Premier Gladys Berejiklian joined Treasurer Dominic Perrottet and Minister for Health and Medical Research Brad Hazzard at Westmead to mark a major milestone for the Central Acute Services Building.

“This redevelopment is just one of 200 health projects completed or in progress since 2011 that the Liberals & Nationals Government has funded, and the 2019-20 Budget will ensure the cranes keep moving,” Ms Berejiklian said.

“This Government has a strong track record when it comes to delivering new and upgraded hospitals and health facilities, and this year’s Budget is no exception.”

Mr Perrottet said the building, due for completion in 2020, was an investment in the future health of the people of NSW.

“The $1 billion-plus Westmead precinct redevelopment provides NSW with a cuttingedge health, innovation and education precinct,” Mr Perrottet said.

“When the NSW Liberals & Nationals Government promises to deliver world-class health services we do it and our record speaks for itself.”

Mr Perrottet said $10.1 billion, including hospital redevelopments and lease acquisitions, will be invested over four years to continue current works and commence upgrading and building a further 29 health infrastructure projects.

Within the next term, funding will ensure the delivery of four new hospitals on greenfield sites for communities at Maitland, Macksville, Mudgee and in the Tweed.

Mr Hazzard said the record investment in health infrastructure mirrors the neverbefore-seen funding in services and the frontline health workforce, with 8,300 additional frontline staff over the next four years.

“Whether you’re in the Tweed or in Tumut, Westmead or Wyong, Macksville or Mona Vale, all across NSW, direct and indirect jobs are being created through health builds,” Mr Hazzard said.

“We are future-proofing the health system to ensure no matter where you live in this vast State, you and your loved ones have access to care and support close to home.”

The record $2.7 billion health infrastructure investment in 2019-20 will enable the following works:

  • Commencement of new works John Hunter Hospital ($780 million), the Children’s Hospital at Westmead ($619 million) and Tumut Hospital ($50 million)
  • Continuing works at Griffith Hospital, Goulburn Hospital, Hornsby Hospital and Mona Vale Hospital
  • New hospital car parks at Liverpool, Shellharbour and Wagga Wagga
  • Planning for major projects including Sutherland Hospital, Sydney Children’s Hospitals Network at Randwick and the Comprehensive Children’s Cancer Centre, and Royal Prince Alfred Hospital.

Other highlights of the health capital works investment for 2019-20 includes continuing work on the Nepean Hospital and Integrated Ambulatory Services redevelopment, the Randwick campus reconfiguration and expansion, the Concord Hospital upgrade and the Campbelltown Hospital redevelopment.

The new Westmead building, a collaboration between Westmead Hospital, The Children’s Hospital at Westmead and the University of Sydney, will transform healthcare in western Sydney and provide a base for ground-breaking health research to benefit every Australian.

Key features of the new building include:

  • Two new emergency departments – one for adults and one for children
  • Digital operating theatres
  • Expanded imaging, pharmacy and logistics
  • Additional patient rooms, and
  • Education, training and research embedded into every floor.

ARTS, SCREEN & CULTURE ACROSS NSW TO FLOURISH WITH $871 MILLION INVESTMENT

Arts, screen and culture are alive and well with the NSW Government delivering an $871 million total investment in the sector, including a 22 per cent increase in recurrent funding for the 2019-20 NSW Budget.

Minister for the Arts Don Harwin said following four years of unprecedented investment in cultural endeavours across NSW, the Government is reaffirming its commitment to the sector.

“The NSW Government is creating an arts, screen and culture landscape that is the envy of the nation. These industries play a pivotal role in delivering significant economic and social benefits to our State,” Mr Harwin said.

“This year we are increasing overall Arts and Cultural Development Program (ACDP) funding to $61 million, including funding for the National Art School. The Australian Museum will receive $40 million to continue the delivery of a new touring exhibition hall for the King Tutankhamun exhibition in 2021, as well as education and visitor facilities.

“To drive screen investment from domestic and international producers we are increasing our Made in NSW fund to $15 million this year and $55 million over the next four years to attract productions to our State.

“The fund’s $43 million investment to date has already delivered an estimated $700 million to the NSW economy – I can’t wait to see what the future holds for production in our State.

“As part of the Sydney Opera House renewal we are also delivering an important investment in ongoing operational security measures,” Mr Harwin said.

Investment in arts, screen and culture in 2019-20 will include:

  • Arts and Cultural Development Program (ACDP) in 2019/20, inclusive of National Art School funding: $61 million
  • Made in NSW fund: $15 million in 2019/20 and $55 million over the next four years
  • Australian Museum operational budget: an increase of $9.7 million in 2019-20 and $39 million over the next four years

Ongoing funding for 2019-20 capital projects includes:

  • Sydney Modern Project – Art Gallery of NSW: $103.4 million
  • MAAS Powerhouse Precinct Parramatta: $167.2 million
  • Walsh Bay Arts Precinct: $113.5 million
  • Sydney Opera House Renewal Program and security measures: $76.6 million
  • Australian Museum: $40 million