State Budget



About this Item
SpeakersSpeaker; Stokes Mr Rob; Baird Mr Mike
BusinessQuestions Without Notice, QWN



STATE BUDGET
Page: 4981

Mr ROB STOKES: My question is addressed to the Treasurer. How will the tough reforms and savings measures announced in today's budget deliver long-term benefits for the people of New South Wales?

Mr MIKE BAIRD: I thank the member for Pittwater for his question and his advocacy on behalf of his community.
    The SPEAKER: Order! I call the Leader of the Opposition to order.

    Mr MIKE BAIRD: If this is the best the Opposition has got, it will be a long few months.

    The SPEAKER: Order! I call the Leader of the Opposition to order for the second time.

    Mr MIKE BAIRD: It is important for the people of this State to hear some of the reactions to the budget—to know what the community is saying.

    The SPEAKER: Order! I call the member for Mount Druitt to order.

    Mr MIKE BAIRD: Infrastructure Partnerships Australia stated that the New South Wales Government has passed its first budget with flying colours because it begins a long process to get New South Wales back on track.

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

    Mr MIKE BAIRD: New South Wales has to get back on track because the former Government wrecked this State. I should have thought that today the Leader of the Opposition and the shadow Treasurer would apologise to the people of New South Wales. They should have said, "Gotcha. Yes, we haven't been telling the truth. Yes, we have wrecked the economy. Yes, we have ruined services, and we are sorry."

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

    Mr MIKE BAIRD: They should have said, "We are sorry for what we did to the State." Thank goodness someone is here to fix the big mess left behind by the former Government. The New South Wales Business Chamber stated, "The O'Farrell Government has laid a strong fiscal foundation for New South Wales. It is on the way." The Urban Taskforce has welcomed the initiative in relation to first homeowners. "This is good public policy", it stated. That is exactly what communities across the State are saying.

    The SPEAKER: Order! I call the member for member for Auburn to order. The Leader of the Opposition will come to order.

    Mr MIKE BAIRD: The Government has made some of these decisions today because the former Government left behind such a mess. We have made some hard decisions across the agencies. We have had some honest discussions with the people of New South Wales so that we can improve services across the State, as the Premier has articulated. I am not sure that members of the Opposition understand this concept, but we speak to people in our communities and we understand the challenges they are facing.

    The SPEAKER: Order! I call the member for Canterbury to order for the second time. I call the member for Wollongong to order.

    Mr MIKE BAIRD: Of all members representing their electorates in this Chamber how many are asking for more nurses in their communities? They are all asking for more nurses, and that is what this Government is delivering. They are asking for more police, and that is what this budget is delivering. They are asking for improved transport services across the range, for more peak hour services, and for more buses, and that is exactly what they get in this budget. Many members in this House represent electorates through which the Pacific Highway runs. We all remember what happened under the former Government when it had the opportunity to cut funding to the Pacific Highway. What did it do? It slashed funding. This budget delivers $1 billion for Pacific Highway communities. It also delivers money to other electorates across the State through which the Princes Highway runs.

    We are not only delivering better services—the Premier has told us about the infrastructure we are delivering—we are also looking after the vulnerable. I know that the member for Heffron raised this matter, and I am happy to acknowledge that the former Labor Government introduced some initiatives in this regard. With Stronger Together II the former Government may have started the process, but this Government has found a way to fund it and to make it happen, and we are proud to do so. I heard the Federal Treasurer, Wayne Swan, ark up today complaining about New South Wales standing up in relation to the carbon tax. Our simple message back to him is that we are happy to stand up for New South Wales and to protect the services that he is trying to rip away. If Wayne Swan thinks we are going to go away, I say to him that we are not going to go away.