Infrastructure Budget



About this Item
SpeakersSpeaker; Collier Mr Barry; Iemma Mr Morris
BusinessQuestions Without Notice, QWN


INFRASTRUCTURE BUDGET
Page: 7924

      Mr BARRY COLLIER: Will the Premier update the House on the Government's plans to deliver better services and new infrastructure for families across New South Wales?

The SPEAKER: Order! I call the member for Murray-Darling to order.

Mr Andrew Stoner: For the hardworking families of New South Wales.

Mr MORRIS IEMMA: Yes. As the Leader of The Nationals says, for hardworking families, the budget delivers the trifecta—record investment in infrastructure, expansion of services and tax cuts. This morning, the New South Wales Business Chamber referred to "the trifecta", record infrastructure, expansion of services and tax cuts. I could add, under the surplus umbrella, that the budget delivers the thirteenth consecutive surplus. The budget also provides $57.6 billion for capital works over the next four years—$14 billion this year.

[Interruption]

The member for Upper Hunter might obtain a copy of Budget Paper No. 4 and go through it and tell the Government which projects he does not want it to proceed with. I am more than happy to accommodate him. He can go through the budget papers and tell the Government where he does not want investment in infrastructure in the electorate of Upper Hunter.

The SPEAKER: Order! I call the member for Upper Hunter to order.

Mr MORRIS IEMMA: He was all smiles on the day that the Denman multipurpose centre opened, which was delivered by this Government. That is the kind of project that the Health budget delivers: a massive increase of a quarter of a billion dollars in health infrastructure in rural and regional New South Wales. In particular, the next phase of development is in small hospitals, in redeveloping rural hospitals. I note that Budget Paper No. 4 provides $5 million for Narrabri Hospital and makes other provision for small rural hospitals as part of the record investment, including the next phase of investment in the upgrade of Lismore Hospital, $12 million.

      Mr Thomas George: It was not mentioned.

      Mr MORRIS IEMMA: It was not mentioned? That is not what the member for Lismore said last week.
The SPEAKER: Order! The member for Lismore will cease interjecting.

      Mr MORRIS IEMMA: The member for Lismore was all praise when the television cameras were rolling at Lismore Base Hospital as we opened the $40 million mental health facility, which I call a hospital because it is so big. Stage one of the redevelopment of that hospital is finished. I direct the member for Lismore to Budget Paper No. 4 to see the provision for the first instalment of the $27 million stage two integrated cancer care centre at Lismore Base Hospital. In transport infrastructure a record $5.9 billion has been provided, and that includes the first carriages under the $150 million program. There will be three types of rail carriages. The Hunter cars will be delivered and in service this financial year. The outer suburban cars will be completed for the Blue Mountains services. They are already operating in the Illawarra and on the Central Coast.

The manufacture of 626 new rail cars will be commenced as part of the record $5.9 billion program, as the member for East Hills has pointed out. This budget adds another $900 million for the program. The budget provides also for an additional 100 police, front-line workers and expanding services, keeping the community safe. For the benefit of the Leader of The Nationals I point out that the budget provides an extra 100 police officers and 300 more nurses and 120 more disability workers. The budget also provides funding for non-government organisations to employ an additional 1,500 disability workers. That is part of another record investment in expanding services. I will highlight some of the more informed commentary on the budget. Today's Daily Telegraph states:
      a surplus of $268 million, a capital works program of $14 billion for this year and a much awaited cut to the payroll tax for NSW businesses has secured a tight but fiscally sound budget which has been given a big tick by economists.
Economist Ross Gittins wrote:
      The big increase in spending on infrastructure is welcome, with the limited increase in Government borrowings nothing to worry about.

Patricia Forsythe from the Sydney Chamber of Commerce said:
      The budget is about big, bold infrastructure investment. The reduction in payroll tax—the holy grail of tax relief for the business community—is a major boost
Paul Ritchie of the New South Wales Business Chamber said:
      This is the trifecta for NSW—payroll tax cuts of $1.9 billion, a record $57 billion infrastructure Budget and increased funding of key government services.
It is a budget that delivers and secures the prosperity of New South Wales.