economic reformSwift and unprecedented government action has mitigated the worst economic and health impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic in NSW. While this assistance is critical to shielding business and the broader community from this extraordinary event, the longer-term health of our economy requires a steady return to robust competition and a business-led recovery.

Productivity reform is the most powerful tool we have to sustain and drive real improvement. Unlike fiscal support, productivity reform doesn’t create debt for future generations, and the benefits are long-lasting.

To build upon the success of changes introduced during COVID-19, this Budget includes an ambitious reform agenda to ensure prosperity for future generations.

Leveraging the NSW Productivity Commission’s Green Paper and the Thodey review of Federal Financial Relations, the 2020-21 Budget provides additional investment for a suite of reforms. These reforms are designed to:

  • Take the first steps in reforming inefficient taxes.
  • Deliver a more streamlined and timely planning system to accommodate new businesses.
  • Improve student outcomes and ensure workforce flexibility.
  • Introduce regulatory changes to support innovation, competition and economic growth. 


To tackle an inefficient property tax system, over the coming months the Government will seek feedback from the public on a possible transition away from the current transfer duty and land tax system. The outcome of this transition would be lower barriers to home ownership, and a boost to long-term growth.


  • Cutting assessment times
    Reducing red tape and complexity in the planning system to bring NSW approval assessment times in line with other jurisdictions.
  • Optimising industrial land use
    The Government will review the retain-and-manage category of industrial and urban services lands to enable greater flexibility of land use to generate greater economic value and employment.
  • Reforming infrastructure contributions
    To increase certainty and simplicity across the contributions system, drawing on the recommendations of the Review of Infrastructure Contributions.
  • Consolidating employment zones
    The Government will increase flexibility within employment zones to allow a broader range of activities to allow land to adapt as the economy evolves, reducing constraints on businesses that do not fit neatly into current definitions.


  • Mid-career teaching pathways
    Developing a bespoke model in partnership with Teach for Australia to attract mid-career professionals into teaching. This program will target subject areas in STEM, and help fill critical shortages in disadvantaged and remote schools.
  • Skills reforms
    The Government is pursuing ambitious reforms to ensure longer-term labour force efficiency and flexibility. This includes establishing the Trades Skills Pathways Centre to introduce new pathways into trades, particularly for mature workers and women; and investing in growing jobs in the care sector (refer to the Investing in our people and their future section 2).


  • Automatic mutual recognition of occupational licences
    NSW is working with the Commonwealth and other States and Territories to remove requirements for occupational licensees to apply and pay licence fees when temporarily working in another jurisdiction, promoting the free flow of labour between jurisdictions.
  • Improving the regulatory experience
    The Treasurer will lead a whole-of-government evaluation of targeted regulatory relaxations implemented at the height of the pandemic to assess their costs and benefits. By retaining the best of these reforms, the Government will promote a stronger recovery.