BUILDING SAFER COMMUNITIES OF THE FUTURE

The NSW Government has committed a record $4 billion for the NSW Police Force in the 2019-20 NSW Budget and will deliver five new world-class stations and a new education and training centre.

Police infrastructure will get a $100 million boost, with new stations to be built in Bega, Goulburn, Jindabyne, Perisher and Thredbo, and significant upgrades for police stations in Bathurst and Bourke.

A new state of the art training and education facility in Dubbo will ensure police officers receive the very best training as they put their lives on the line every day to prevent and disrupt crime.

The NSW Government will also commit $16.6 million over four years to continue preventative health and wellbeing initiatives for police officers as part of the Workforce Improvement Program.

A $5 million CCTV grant scheme for small businesses and community organisations in Western and South-Western Sydney will help clamp down on street crime and anti-social behaviour while gathering intelligence for investigators.

A commitment of $1.6 million for 800 MobiPol devices will expand on the field access to police systems and databases and will support the state-wide rollout of the Digital Driver Licence.

“There has never been a Government with such a relentless determination to assist police as they work to protect our communities. These new and upgraded stations and a new training centre are examples of the vital infrastructure required to ensure officers have the right support,” Minister for Police David Elliott said.

The NSW Government’s $100 million investment in NSW Police Force infrastructure includes:

  • $13 million for Bega Police Station;
  • $25 million for Goulburn Police Station;
  • $13 million for Jindabyne Area Police Stations Program, including Perisher and Thredbo;
  • $7 million for major upgrades to Bourke Police Station;
  • $7 million for major upgrades to Bathurst Police Station; and
  • $35 million for the Dubbo Regional Education and Training Centre.

“Police Commissioner Mick Fuller has the frontline officers, new infrastructure and advanced technologies to combat and reduce crime in both regional and metropolitan NSW. Only the Liberals & Nationals have an economic record which can deliver the funding to support police on the ground as they work to keep us safe, no matter where you live in NSW,” he said.

BIG BUDGET BOOST TO NSW SMALL BUSINESSES

The 2019-20 NSW Budget is making it easier for small businesses to grow and prosper through payroll tax cuts, simplifying the process of setting up a business, offering business advisory support and paying businesses faster.

Other measures to boost the State’s 760,000 small businesses will include cheaper insurance premiums and access to the Energy Switch program.

Minister for Small Business Damien Tudehope said NSW was powered by entrepreneurs and mum and dad operators who help provide local jobs and the everyday services we all rely on.

“Small businesses are the heart and soul of our economy. They make up almost 98 per cent of all businesses, employ about 1.65 million people and generate about $55.53 billion in annual wages and salaries so we need to do whatever we can to support them,” Mr Tudehope said.

In last year’s budget, the NSW Government raised the payroll tax threshold from $750,000 to $850,000 eliminating the need for about 2,000 small businesses to pay payroll tax.

The 2019-20 Budget continues to deliver on the NSW Liberals & Nationals Government’s promise to further increase the tax threshold to $900,000. The payroll tax threshold will continue to increase each year until it reaches $1 million in 2021-22, which will see $881 million given back to NSW businesses in payroll tax cuts over four years with individual businesses saving up to $13,625 a year.

Small businesses will continue to have access to professional advice from a network of trusted business advisory services with $6.7 million allocated in the Budget while the NSW Small Business Commission will receive $6 million to continue important advocacy work on behalf of small businesses.

To cement NSW as the best place to do business, $48.5 million has been allocated to the Easy to do Business program which is making it easier to establish a new business through a concierge service and slashing the time and complexity taken to get approvals.

Mr Tudehope said the Budget built upon existing NSW Government initiatives that were making a real difference to small businesses such as the Faster Payments Terms Policy, which will see Government agencies pay small business bills of up to $1 million within five working days in 2019, an Australian first.

ROAD AND RAIL INFRASTRUCTURE SPEND SURGES AHEAD

Unprecedented investment in road and rail projects across NSW will be taken to the next level, with $55.6 billion allocated across the next four years to invest in transport infrastructure, easing congestion and keeping the community moving.

This includes $32.2 billion for public transport projects and $23.4 billion for road projects.

Minister for Transport and Roads Andrew Constance said this investment will deliver on
the massive commitments made to improve transport connections and services.

Mr Constance said the 2019-20 Budget also provides more than $300 million to improve
accessibility for rail customers, part of an $885 million spend on the Transport Access Program over 4 years. The Government has committed to deliver a further 68 station upgrades. This includes the renewal of Redfern, Beecroft, Bexley North, Canley Vale, Como, Faulconbridge, Goulburn, Hawkesbury River, Lapstone, Mittagong, Roseville, Wahroonga, Warrawee, Wyee and Wollstonecraft stations.

These upgrades will make 90 per cent of all public transport journeys accessible and bring the total spend to $2 billion.

In addition to this infrastructure investment, the recurrent transport budget of $14.4 billion will fund operation of transport services and commitments such as the Regional Seniors Transport Card.

$50 MILLION FOR REGIONAL YOUTH PROGRAMS AND INFRASTRUCTURE

The NSW Government is delivering on its commitment to prioritise the welfare and needs of young people living in regional NSW with $50 million dedicated to youth programs and infrastructure in the 2019-20 NSW Budget.

Minister for Regional Youth Bronnie Taylor said the funding allocated through the NSW Government’s Stronger Country Communities Fund will enhance regional youth programs and build or upgrade infrastructure.

“We know regional NSW is a fantastic place to grow up but there’s more we can do. We want to improve the overall wellbeing of young people and make sure they are connected, job ready and have things to do,” Mrs Taylor said.

“Whether it be supporting sports programs, social inclusion programs, youth centre upgrades, technology training or job skills mentoring, having a proportion of the Stronger Country Communities fund solely for regional youth will allow local areas to address local issues.”

Mrs Taylor said the NSW Government has already delivered on its promise to establish an Office of Regional Youth, which is now working alongside a vast regional network of representatives to develop the Regional Youth Strategy and Regional Youth Taskforce.

“We’re building the NSW Government’s first ever Regional Youth Strategy, which will focus on youth unemployment, skills and education, transport, access to services, recreation and mental health, to ensure our young people’s wellbeing remains a top priority,” Mrs Taylor said.

“The Regional Youth Taskforce will provide us with ongoing advice about the issues affecting young people across regional NSW and ensure their voices are central to the actions of this Government.”

These initiatives will strengthen the NSW Government’s existing youth programs, which include 100,000 fee free apprenticeships and Regional Industry Education Partnership officers that work with local schools and industries to provide employment opportunities for young people in the regions.

“The NSW Government will continue to put country and coastal communities at the top of our agenda so that everyone has the opportunity to live, work, play and thrive in regional NSW,” Mrs Taylor said.

“Whether they ask for more recreational spaces, better job pathways or greater access to mental health services, this Government has proved it will listen.”

RECORD $19.7 MILLION FOR SUICIDE PREVENTION AND EXPANDED MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES

The State’s highest ever investment in suicide prevention and mental health services will help vulnerable members of our community as a result of the 2019-2020 NSW Budget.

Treasurer Dominic Perrottet and Minister for Mental Health Bronnie Taylor today announced the NSW Government will invest $19.7 million in the first stage of a three-year, record $90 million commitment to improve mental health services.

Mr Perrottet said this funding comes on top of a record investment of $2.1 billion in mental health services and infrastructure funding in the 2018 Budget, as well as the announcement of a $700 million State Wide Mental Health Infrastructure Program.

“Suicide prevention is everybody’s business, and our vision is that everyone in NSW lives with hope, wellbeing and good health, with far fewer lives lost to suicide. We expect this investment to have the biggest impact on suicide prevention that NSW has ever seen,” Mr Perrottet said.

Mrs Taylor said an additional $23 million will also expand the capacity of Lifeline and Kids Helpline over four years.

“This Budget will support a range of initiatives targeted at providing communities with the most effective tools so they have the strength, resilience and capacity to prevent and respond to members of our community struggling with mental health issues,”

Mrs Taylor said. “The $700 million investment in mental health infrastructure across the State will deliver more specialist beds for children, mothers and their babies and older persons and up to 230 new community-based beds to help people who experience mental illness live independently.

“Increasing the capacity of the mental health workforce also remains a priority for the NSW Government,” Mrs Taylor said.

The NSW Government’s commitment of $9.4 million over four years will hire extra mental health nurses for specialist mental health units and more mental health workers to improve access to psychological help for drought sufferers and victims / survivors of domestic violence in rural and regional areas of NSW.

The Government is building specialised beds for mothers and their babies at Westmead and Royal Prince Alfred hospitals, allowing new mothers who need a hospital admission for mental health issues to stay with their baby. In addition, a child and adolescent mental health unit will be built at Nepean Hospital.