19 Sep 2023

Member for Kiama Gareth Ward has slammed the NSW State Budget for delaying infrastructure, cutting services and increasing taxes.

“If you think a good Labor budget delays infrastructure, cuts services and increases taxes, then today’s budget is a good Labor budget. But it’s bad for people struggling with the cost of living, it delays much needed infrastructure, and it cuts important services to our community,” Mr Ward said.   

“Having secured funding and delivered actual results, I know this budget is full of classic Labor smoke and mirror moves.  

“Whilst the government has allocated planning money to promised infrastructure projects, the funding is so infinitesimal that none of these projects will have a chance of starting for years. We need commitments on start dates, not chickenfeed planning money.  Many of these projects have been in the pipeline for years, and we should be building, not planning. 

“It appears that the Dapto M1 access ramps, the East Nowra Sub Arterial, the Milton-Ulladulla Bypass and the Nowra bypass will not even come close to starting for years into the future. Just like the last Labor Government talked about the Gerringong upgrade, the Berry Bypass and the Berry to Bomaderry upgrade; they only ever talked – never actually delivered. 

“Today’s budget is the highest taxing NSW budget in the history of our State. One of the most concerning tax hikes is the increase in coal royalties that the NSW Minerals Council claims will be more than 30%. This cost increase will simply be passed on to families through their household electricity bills. 

“When Labor tax more, you pay more. 

“And this budget confirms the Regional Seniors Travel Card has been cut and supports to families like the Active Kids Rebate, the Creative Kids Rebate and the First Lap Voucher have all been scaled back. 

“This budget is great for Sydney, but it’s terrible for our community – it’s terrible for regional NSW. It’s full of ‘planning money’ but has little ‘doing’ money. This budget proves that Labor MPs were more interested in winning the election than delivering for our local community. 

“Labor MPs like the Member for South Coast and the Member for Bega have said one thing during the election but have failed to deliver after the election. 

“I will continue to stand up for our community. I’ll fight for our fair share, and I’ll continue to hold this mean and tricky Labor Government to account,” Mr Ward concluded.