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Home News NSW budget: a booming state spends its war chest
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TAGS budget, infrastructure, NSW budget, NSW government
Rather than build a larger surplus to prepare for any economic downturn, the 2015-16 NSW budget boasts five areas of record spending, with infrastructure spending estimated to average $10.3 billion over the next four years.
Flush with funds from the longest housing boom in a generation and the nation’s most buoyant economy, the NSW government has fast forwarded $591 million in capital spending, while committing to record four-year spending in infrastructure, health and education.
The 2015-16 budget, announced by new Treasurer Gladys Berejiklian today, promises four years of surpluses in excess of $2 billion each year, with an expected surplus in the coming financial year of $2.6 billion. The surplus doesn’t include the impact of the partial lease of electricity assets and the loss of dividend revenues.
Bringing forward the spending is designed to ensure projects are shovel-ready when the lease proceeds arrive, and includes fast tracking of a second rail link under the harbour, and a new high-profile rail station at the multi-billion-dollar Barangaroo project, which includes a new casino for Mr Packer’s Crown group.
Faced with booming population growth as workers migrate back from the mining states, the Treasurer also announced the government would spend $7 million on a crack planning team to halve the time it takes to assess significant programs.
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Tom Burton is publisher of The Mandarin based in Sydney. He has served in various public administration roles, specialising in digital engagement. He was a Walkley Award-winning journalist and executive editor of The Sydney Morning Herald. He worked as Canberra bureau chief for the Australian Financial Review and as managing editor of smh.com.au. He most recently worked at the Australian Communications and Media Authority.
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