#AceNewsReport – June.23: The New South Wales economy has been given a positive bump, with the state expected to return to surplus in three years, as it continues to recover from the pandemic.
NSW Budget 2021-22 Report: ‘Winners & Losers as the bouy the economy and expect a surplus within 3yrs as they recover from the pandemic’
The Powerhouse Museum in Ultimo has been allocated $500 million in the budget for a major overhaul.
A decision to close the museum was reversed by the state government last year and instead it will now be revamped with a focus on fashion and design.
It’s expected a design competition will be held this year to reorient the building’s entrance with a public square connecting it to Pyrmont and Darling Harbour.
The total spend so far on both the Ultimo and Parramatta sites is about $1.4 billion.
Sydney’s sizzling property market over the past year has resulted in an extra billion dollars spent in stamp duty revenue than anticipated.
The revenue earned from stamp duty has been calculated at $9.379 billion for the 2020-21 financial year.
It means stamp duty is now the state’s largest taxation revenue source, overtaking payroll tax.
Treasurer Dominic Perrottet admits it’s a blow for home buyers who already have to fork out huge amounts of money, in addition to the purchase price of their home.
“The worst thing about stamp duty is that it stops many young families from getting into the property market,” he said.
“We need to look at better ways of doing things and Government’s shouldn’t just rely on rivers of gold from volatile taxes.”
Neutral: Public Service:
The State Government has scrapped its controversial wage cap for public-sector workers and will reinstate the 2.5 per cent increase policy.
In last year’s Budget, the Government decided to introduce a cap of 1.5 per cent.
It was a move that angered unions because it impacted hospital workers, paramedics, and police on the frontline during the pandemic.
The Government has now described the reversal as a “financial thank you”, it could now afford.
“The pandemic has meant making sacrifices and difficult decisions,” Premier Gladys Berejiklian said.
“This included wage restraint during the worst of the crisis.”
It’s also a sign of a rebound for the state’s economy and the hit to the state’s revenue hasn’t been as bad as predicted.
The 2.5 per cent increase will be reinstated from next month.
One of the biggest investments in this years’ budget will go towards TAFE NSW.
More than $2 billion is being put into the construction of TAFE campuses, new facilities, and resources across the state, from Moruya to Western Sydney.
Nearly $6 million will go towards 16 undercover training facilities, $19 million towards technologies, and $11.4 million towards the centres in Cobar, Bateman’s Bay, Jindabyne, Hay, Tomaree, Nambucca Heads, and Byron Bay.
Winner: Local Court:
The Local Courts will see a small win in this budget, with eight new magistrates appointed over the next four years.
The investment of $56.1million will go towards the roles, boosting resources for prosecutors and Legal Aid. The number of magistrates will reach a record total of 149.
Attorney General and Minister for Prevention of Domestic and Sexual Violence Mark Speakman said the roles would be filled in both regional and metropolitan courts.
“The extra magistrates will help to reduce the trauma of waiting for hearing dates and attending court on victims, witnesses and families,” Mr Speakman said.
“We’re committed to easing that burden felt particularly by those involved in domestic violence cases.”
Neutral: Child Care:
Rather than a win, this measure is a continuation of last year’s preschool announcement.
Parents will continue to benefit from the free pre-school scheme which has been extended as part of this year’s budget.
The program began during the height of COVID-19, allowing parents of 44,000 children who attend community preschools to benefit from more than $2,000 in savings. .
The Government has allocated $150 million in the budget to provide 15 hours of free preschool each week for children aged three to five.
The program is now extended beyond the year, with a new intake expected in January 2022.
Winner: Family Support:
There’s a lot in this year’s budget for women and families, including $60 million over two years for domestic violence frontline services to help hold perpetrators to account and raise awareness of available support.
Another $32.5 million will go to the Staying Home Leaving Violence Program over the next four years to expand the service across the state.
The Government has also unveiled 5 days of bereavement leave for public sector workers and their spouses following a miscarriage or stillbirth.
Parents of premature children in the public sector will also be eligible for special leave from the date of birth until the date the birth would have been expected normally. After that parental leave kicks in.
From July, the new provisions will be available for full-time and part-time government employees.
Families with pre-school children aged three to six will be given $100 vouchers to go towards swim lessons, as part of a $43.9 million investment.
The vouchers will be redeemable at registered swim schools.
International border restrictions have hit the NSW economy hard.
Mr Perrottet said keeping borders shut was costing the state $300 million a month.
The loss of migrant workers continues to be felt as greater pressure is placed on our own labour force.
Student migration has also been affected, with $1.8 million lost by the education sector alone.
The budget estimates each international student contributes 0.36 new jobs, meaning in the last year the state lost around 15,000 jobs from this cohort.
As part of a plan to kickstart the ailing education sector, 250 international students a week are being phased back into the state, with special quarantine arrangements to be put in place.
Winner: Electric Cars:
Getting drivers into an electric car will be a priority for the Government after agreeing to more than $400 million in tax cuts for electric vehicle owners.
Stamp duty will be waived for electric cars under $78,000 and $3,000 in rebates will be offered for the first 25,000 people to buy battery and hydrogen fuel cell cars under $68,750.
The Government has said it aims to increase the number of electric cars sold by 50 per cent by 2030.
Loser: Social Housing:
While the government has outlined $2.4 billion to social housing projects, this includes $446.1million already announced in last year’s budget.
The Government estimates more than 800 new houses, as well as upgrades to 16,500 properties, will be delivered in the next two years.
Regional NSW is facing a 50,000 deficit in social housing, according to the community housing industry association of NSW.
Winner: Rural Fire Fighters:
The NSW Rural Fire Service (RFS) will get $268.2 million to upgrade trucks, drones and to fit out two new Black Hawk helicopters.
RFS Commissioner Rob Rogers called the investment necessary to learn from the recent Black Summer bushfires.
“This commitment will assist by increasing mitigation crews on the ground, getting aviation assets in the sky, and most importantly providing safer trucks for our firefighters.”
The funding is in line to meet the 76 recommendations outlined in the NSW Bushfire Inquiry earlier this year.
NSW residents paid more than $3 billion in fines and regulatory fees in 2021-22, which is forecast to grow by 2.3 per cent on average over four years.
NSW residents also lost $2.9 billion to gambling a figure that’s expected to rise to $3.3 billion in 2024-25.
The government expects $141.8 million to be spent on racing and sports wagering over the four years to 2024-25, with revenue revised up by 18.2 per cent. It puts this down to an increase in online gambling and the easing of COVID-19 restrictions.
Winner: Western Sydney:
Sydney’s third CBD, to be known as Bradfield, will be given a huge funding boost to kickstart development.
The Government has allocated $1.15 billion to establish the construction site for the city centre, as well as $943 million to connect the nearby Western Sydney Aerotropolis to the Sydney Metro.
Another $138.5 million will go towards building a high-tech facility to house $22.9 million worth of equipment for research institutions.
There will also be a major road upgrade to link Badgerys Creek to the new airport, including the Northern Road between Narellan and Penrith and the M12, which has been given $269.4 million.
Winner: Community Sport:
A new $200 million fund has been created to build new community sporting facilities, including updating change rooms, lighting and accessibility for women and people with disabilities.
From the fund, $100 million will be available this year and another $100 million next year.
Sport Minister Natalie Ward said the focus would be on getting the community into sport.
“With thousands of sporting clubs and associations across NSW, the fund will see more inclusive, fit-for-purpose facilities built across the state,” she said.
#AceNewsDesk report …………Published: Jun.23: 2021:
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