We choose to build a brighter future by unleashing aspiration and empowering our people.

The people of this State have, again and again over the past few years, demonstrated their determination, creativity and limitless potential. Confronted by the Black Summer bushfires, a global pandemic and once-in-a-generation floods, families and businesses across New South Wales stepped up to help each other through.

The fall in employment during the Delta outbreak has since been recovered. At 4 per cent in May, the NSW unemployment rate has fallen to a historically low level.

However, while our economy has recovered, we continue to feel the aftershocks of the pandemic— generationally high inflation driven by supply-chain constraints and intensified by Russia's invasion of Ukraine

Just as the NSW Government was there to support the people of New South Wales through the hardship wrought by COVID-19 and the floods, we will support our State in navigating today's challenges as well.

But we will also not lose sight of tomorrow. This Budget makes investments that will throw open the doors of opportunity to everyone, so they can follow their own hopes and aspirations for a better future.

We choose to make these investments because they are the right thing to do by our principles and for our future prosperity. The great promise of our country is to honour the equal human dignity of every person by affording them the freedom to choose the path of their own life. This is not just a foundational principle of our politics, it should also be the common sense of our commerce: while a great society needs a strong economyso too a great economy needs a strong society.

That is why, in this Budget, we have laid out a plan of transformational reform to unleash the great productive potential of the people of this State.

We will invest an additional $5.6 billion over the next decade to address the barriers that stand between women and their aspirations for greater financial prosperity.

$3.8 billion will be spent to help ensure that our children get the best possible start in life, so they can not only reach their dreams, but dream bigger in the first place

A $2.8 billion package will expand access to quality, affordable housing for every family in New South Wales.

$1.0 billion will go towards backing in our best and brightest to unlock the wonders of modern science, to help them develop the technologies and products of tomorrow.

And $1.4 billion will be invested to help transform New South Wales into a renewable-energy superpower, and hand the planet to our children in a better state than we found it.

At the same time, you cannot build a stronger future without safeguarding the States finances. We will return the Budget to surplus in 2024-25. This is the same year we committed to in last years Budget, before we were faced with Delta, Omicron and the floods. This is a testament to the economic management of this Government, but also to the people of New South Wales.

Together, we have weathered the storm of the past few years. Together, we will meet the challenges of the moment. And, together, we will turn towards tomorrow, to build a better, brighter future for the people of this State.

The Hon. Matt Kean MP

NSW Treasurer, Minister for Energy