NSW has accelerated its infrastructure spending boom, as windfall tax receipts from a housing price surge has enabled the state to bring forward an extra $590 million in funding to fast track delivery of big ticket projects.
Unveiling an underlying projected fiscal surplus of $712.6 million in 2015/16, rising to $895 million in 2018/19, NSW Treasurer Gladys Berejiklian said the state had its fiscal situation under control and was now pursuing a rebuilding phase.
“This Budget delivers on our election commitments, maintains our triple-A credit rating and delivers record spending in both services and infrastructure,” Berejiklian said.
“After four years of fiscal repair and strong government, we are in complete control of the Budget and have the strongest economy in Australia.”
A key feature of the Budget revolves around a record $68.6 billion spending over four years (Federal and State spending combined) on capital works, including $38 billion on roads, $5 billion on health facility upgrades, $2.1 billion on schools and $20 billion from the Rebuilding New South Wales program set to be funded by asset sales.
In addition, the government has used windfall gains associated with higher than expected windfall gains from stamp duty brought about by the booming housing sector to bring forward $590 million worth of spending on projects such as Sydney Metro (City and South West), Parramatta Light Rail, Regional Road Freight Corridor and Western Harbour Tunnel.
The government has also announced a new underground rail station at the Barangaroo development in Sydney, which is part of the Sydney Metro development.
Property Council of Australia NSW Executive Director Glen Byres welcomed the bringing forward of ‘game changing’ infrastructure projects.
“This is a goodbudget that makes the right choices on the infrastructure needed to underpin the growth and liveability of our cities,” Byres said.
Housing Industry Association New South Wales Executive Director also welcomed an allocation of $400 million to the Housing Acceleration Fund, but warns reforms to inefficient taxation and supply side impediments are needed if housing affordability is to be addressed.
“NSW will build around 54,000 new dwellings this financial year and needs to continue building 50,000 new dwellings year on year to arrest and meet underlying demand in this state,” Bare said.
“Only then will affordability be positively impacted.”
Key project funding in 2015/16:
- $1.7 billion towards building WestConnex
- $1.4 billion to help ensure the Pacific Highway is duplicated between Hexham and the Queensland border
- $977 million towards delivering the Sydney Metro Northwest, with the line due to open in the first half of 2019
- $120 million to keep progressing the CBD and South East Light Rail
- $51 million to continue delivering NorthConnex, in addition to a $224 million contribution to the project.
- $72.1 million for the next stage of the Westmead Hospital redevelopment (including the car park) $30 million for the next stage of the redevelopment of Blacktown and Mt Druitt Hospitals
- $30.2 million for the next stage of the Lismore Hospital redevelopment
- $12.9 million to commence work at Armidale, Bowral, Broken Hill, Grafton, Macksville, Manning, Muswellbrook, Ryde and St Vincent’s hospitals.
- New schools will be established at Bella Vista, Narellan, the Old Kings School site at Parramatta and a Networked Specialist school in Dubbo
- Significant upgrades and extra classrooms will be provided at Artarmon, Bardia, Cherrybrook, Homebush West, Rainbow Street, and Randwick schools
- $172 million will be provided to continue 27 major government school projects
- Another $101 million will be provided for TAFE construction and IT projects.
- $641 million for social and affordable housing projects
- funding for a new 600-bed Northern Region Correctional Centre at Grafton and a 400-bed expansion of Parklea Correctional Centre.