18 Jun 2024 state budget

Like all budgets, the budget handed down today had its winners and losers.

I’m pleased our community campaign for a new primary school at Calderwood has been successful. We started this campaign several years ago and today’s budget confirms the government’s commitment to the project.

However, there is still no detail on when the school will start construction or be open to the public. The school site is already identified on the Calderwood master plan; let’s just get on with it.

Having secured a previous commitment to upgrade my old high school, I’m pleased the government has reaffirmed its commitment to renovations at Bomaderry. These are long overdue, and I welcome this bipartisan commitment.

However, there are still many schools in my community needing further investments including several spaces at Cambewarra Public School which are covered in mould. This is totally unacceptable, and I have written to the Minister asking for urgent assistance.

I note the total lack of visionary or new region-building projects. This budget also doesn’t appear to fast-track any major infrastructure in our region.

Whilst this budget has lots of ‘planning money’ there isn’t much ‘doing money’. Many projects like the Dapto on-off ramps and the East Nowra Sub-Arterial won’t even commence until after the next State election.

Whilst today’s announcements concerning payroll tax and bulk-billing GPs is welcomed, the government shouldn’t stop there. Payroll tax is a tax on jobs and so many small businesses are struggling to keep up.

Whilst the Treasurer talked a lot about GST and tax arrangements, he was conspicuously silent on how he’s advocating to fix it.

Why can’t he pick up the phone to his Labor colleagues in Canberra?

Any discussions in Canberra around Commonwealth-State taxation arrangements should include the phase-out of payroll tax to boost business and jobs in NSW.

Today’s budget did not include much in the way of cost-of-living relief with the election promise by Labor to retain the Regional Seniors Travel Card or previous arrangements for the Active Kids and Creative Kids vouchers not being funded in today’s state budget.

Whilst we’ve had some wins today, I’ll keep on fighting for even more.