The budget has established a NSW Generations Fund to guard against intergenerational budgetary pressures with a capital of $3 billion. The fund will grow through future contributions and investment returns.
Half the returns from this fund will go to My Community Dividend, a NSW state initiative which will provide funds to local projects worth between $20,000 and $200,000. This budget has a surplus of $3.9 billion, being the last one before the next election in March 2019.
There will be $8 billion over four years to fund 40 new and upgraded hospitals, including $740 million to transform Liverpool Hospital into a world leading health and academic facility, completing in 2026.
The budget allocated $1.1 billion for 950 nurses and midwives, 300 doctors and 120 allied health workers. An allocation of $60 million is made for cardiovascular disease research. More than $1 billion is available to employ 750 paramedics and ambulance officers. Over $157 million will be used for parent packages on treatment of children’s diseases and a $150 hamper for newborns.
An allocation of $15 billion is made to employ 900 full-time science and mathematics teachers in public schools. An extra $6 billion is allocated for 170 new and upgraded schools along with an additional $500 million to install air conditioning in 1,000 public schools. Over $160 million is allocated for public school maintenance.
There is an amount of $32 million over four years for Catholic and independent schools including Muslim schools to build more classrooms. Over $285 million is funded to provide skill and training packages for 100,000 free apprenticeships. The budget provides an annual $100 per child rebate which could be used towards the cost of registration or tuition fees for creative and cultural activities. Subsidised pre-school for all 3-year olds.
An allocation of $3 billion is provided for a new metro train line between Sydney CBD and Parramatta. A funding of $880 million is available to improve technology on the Sydney Trains network and increase train services during peak hours.
Over $133 million will be used to upgrade 11 train stations. An amount of $15.6 million over the next 12 months is available for extra bus services in the northern beaches, Wentworth Point, Penrith, Blacktown and Lane Cove. Free vehicle registration for motorist spending over $25 a week on tolls from 1 July 2018.
Law & Order
The budget allocated $3.9 billion to boost NSW Police numbers including $118.5 million to build six new police stations and $12 million for facial matching services. More than $106 million is provided for NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC).
Over $12 million will be used for community legal centres and over $7 million for civil justice initiatives. An allocation of $7 million over four years is available to help small businesses and individuals resolve disputes.
Payroll tax for businesses will be reduced, lifting the threshold at which the tax is paid from $750,000 to $1 million by 2021-22. The threshold will rise to $850,000 in 2018-19 and then $50,000 increments until it reaches $1 million in 2021-22.
Almost 40,000 businesses will either have their payroll tax reduced or drop out of the payroll tax net altogether. Payroll tax is the second largest revenue source in NSW after stamp duty and the State government expects to collect $9 billion in 2017-18. Caravan registration will be cut by 40 per cent from 1 July 2018.