- New South Wales State Budget 2018-19
Making New South Wales a better place to live by “Building for tomorrow, and delivering for today” was Treasurer Dominic Perrottet’s motto as he handed down his 2018-19 budget speech on 19 June 2018.
Headline items from the Budget are:
- An expected surplus of $3.9 billion in 2017-18 and surpluses averaging $1.6 billion a year over the forward estimates to 2021-22
- Introduction of the NSW Generations Fund (NGF) to support the State’s triple-A credit rating over the longer term
- Spend of $87.2 billion over four years on schools, hospitals and major transport projects
- 500,000 jobs created since 2011
The Government’s focus with this budget is on improving New South Wales for the entire community and easing the cost of living. Hence, the spending announced, which is not balanced with the introduction of any new taxes or duties for the majority of the business community (in fact, a payroll tax tax-free threshold increase was announced), is likely to be well received by the business.
Specifically, the Budget delivers the following:
- The government is investing in health infrastructure with $8 billion over four years, including:
- Investment of $700 million in the state-wide Mental Health Infrastructure Program.
- $156.5 million Parents Package for new parents with children.
- $115 million in 2018-19 for medical and scientific innovations to fight diseases and keep the community healthier including $15 million for cardiovascular disease research capacity development as part of the Government’s $150 million commitment over 10 years.
- $4.3 billion in 2018-19 towards delivery of Sydney Metro including $2.4 billion on Sydney Metro Northwest linking North West Sydney with Chatswood, and $1.9 billion on Sydney Metro City and Southwest linking Chatswood with Bankstown.
- A new $3.0 billion Restart NSW reservation for the Sydney Metro West, the city’s next underground metro railway between the Sydney CBD and Greater Parramatta. This funding, subject to the final business case, will fund completion of project development and commencement of land acquisition, early works and tunnelling. This is in addition to the NSW Government investment of $28.1 million in 2018-19 to fast track the planning and the final business case for this project
- $1.8 billion in 2018-19 to continue the development and delivery of WestConnex.
- $1.2 billion in 2018-19 to continue the Pacific Highway upgrade program, including continuing construction between Woolgoolga and Ballina, and planning for the Coffs Harbour bypass.
- $648.2 million ($1.6 billion over four years) for the More Trains, More Services Program, which will enhance rail infrastructure and fleet to increase and improve rail services, including express services for Western Sydney.
- $438.9 million in 2018-19 (co-funded by NSW and Commonwealth Governments) for road upgrades to support the new Western Sydney Airport at Badgerys Creek, including continuing construction on the remainder of Bringelly Road as well as the Northern Road between Narellan and Penrith.
- $282.8 million in 2018-19 ($3 billion over four years) to continue planning or delivery of missing links on motorways and major routes in Sydney, including the new projects such as F6 extension Stage 1, Western Harbour Tunnel and Beaches Link and Sydney Gateway, and continuing NorthConnex.
- $281.3 million in 2018-19 to reduce congestion on Sydney roads by addressing critical pinch points, and continuing works for the M4 Smart Motorway.
- $258 million in 2018-19 ($2.1 billion over four years) of new investment in the Parramatta Light Rail Stage 1 to support growth in Western Sydney.
- $11.6 million in 2018-19 as a new investment to plan upgrades of Heathcote Road, including widening the Woronora River bridge and road widening between Holsworthy and Voyager Point.
$6 billion over four years to deliver over 170 new and upgraded schools.
- $500 million over 5 years for the installation of reverse cycle air-conditioning in New South Wales schools.
- $197.8 million over four years to extend universal access to preschool for three-year olds.
- $160 million for planned maintenance of New South Wales schools.
- Funding for the New South Wales transition to the full National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) on 1 July 2018 with:
- $3.2 billion in 2018-19 as the NSW Government contribution to support the transition to the NDIS. This consists of an estimated $2.7 billion cash contribution and $477.5 million in kind contribution through services provided by NSW Government agencies.
- $97.5 million in 2018-19 ($230 million over three years) for operational services until full transition to the NGO sector.
- $87 million in 2018-19 ($150 million over three years) for residual disability functions.
- $632.3 million ($2.5 billion over 4 years) for national parks, public parklands and gardens to grow tourism and improve liveability and sustainability.
- $250 million to support the NSW Government’s participation in the Commonwealth Redress Scheme for survivors of institutional child sexual abuse in NSW government institutions.
- $285.2 million to fund 1,000 apprenticeships over six years.
- $102.1 million (part of a five-year $1.4 billion program) to deliver outcomes that help communities and businesses adapt to a changing climate.
- $1.9 billion in 2018-19 on regional capacity enhancements with the continuation of upgrades to the Pacific and Princes Highways, and Central Coast and Hunter Roads, various projects and programs on roads in regional New South Wales and procurement of the Regional Rail Fleet Program.
- An additional $250 million over four years towards the Farm Innovation Fund, which provides concessional loans of up to $250,000 for investments in on-farm infrastructure to provide greater drought resilience, and $50,000 seven-year interest-free loans to allow farmers to buy feed, more livestock and preserve stock bloodlines.
- A new reservation of $155 million from Restart NSW for the new Shoalhaven River bridge at Nowra, subject to Restart NSW assurance.
- $153.4 million over four years (total of $178.4 million over five years from 2017-18) in new investments for the Regional Road Freight Corridor program as part of Restart NSW.
- $137.3 million over four years for Fixing Country Rail (Restart NSW) projects including $60.4 million towards the Junee to Griffith Line Upgrade, $40 million for the Berry to Bomaderry Rail Line and the OMEGA Tunnels Track Upgrade.
- $71.8 million new investment over four years towards the forestry sector including $34 million over four years for a loan scheme as part of the Forestry Innovation Fund to support innovation and productivity growth and an equity injection of $24 million to Forestry Corporation to support plantation investment.
- Additional $151.1 million in 2018-19 ($467.3 million over four years) in the Critical Communications Enhancement Program to expand the coverage of the Government radio network and improve critical communications during emergencies.
- $288.2 million over four years to further support the re-engineering of the NSW Police Force and provide the Police Commissioner with the flexibility to deploy resources according to need, as well as effectively address and respond to crime.
Sports, Arts and Culture
- $245 million in 2018-19 as part of the Government’s $645 million contribution to build a new Powerhouse museum in Parramatta, undertake master planning for a creative industries precinct in Ultimo, as well as expand and upgrade the Museums Discovery Centre at Castle Hill.
- Major stadia investment to attract world-class sporting and entertainment events and address the State’s ageing stadium infrastructure, including:
- $729 million over four years for the construction of a new stadium at Moore Park to replace the Sydney Football Stadium; and
- $183.7 million in 2018-19 for the construction of the Western Sydney Stadium at Parramatta.
- $173 million for Destination NSW to support delivery of the Visitor Economy Industry Action Plan. This includes:
- $82 million for promotion of major events; and
- $54 million for NSW tourism promotion including the continued delivery of initiatives in regional and rural New South Wales to increase visitor spend, and attract more events and conferences.
- $100 million over five years, including $25 million in 2018-19 for the Regional Sport Infrastructure Fund to increase the number and quality of regional sporting facilities.
State taxes changes
The budget delivers the following State taxes changes:
- The payroll tax threshold will be increased progressively from its current level of $750,000 to $1 million over the next 4 years, starting with an increased $850,000 threshold in 2018-19.
- From 1 November 2018, caravan motor vehicle weight tax will be reduced by 40 per cent to align registration fees with other States and Territories. Customers with private-use caravans and purpose-built camper trailers with a gross vehicle mass between 255kg and 4.5 tonnes, whose registration is due from 1 November 2018, will be eligible for the reduction.
- Ten of the most common level 2 parking fines, when issued by the NSW Government, will be reduced by 25 per cent. In addition, the Government will also introduce new legislation to set maximum State fine amounts.
- From 1 January 2019, the NSW Government will introduce a 10 per cent point of consumption (PoC) tax on wagering to follow other States introduction of similar taxes. A tax-free threshold of $1 million per year will apply for all operators.
- The Government has announced a number of revenue measures involving driver testing and speed cameras to essentially fund the State Priority Target of a 30 per cent reduction in road fatalities by 2021 (compared to 2008-2010 levels).