Over the past several years, the great strength of the people of regional New South Wales has shone through. Our regions have faced a series of generationally significant challenges, including a historic drought, the Black Summer bushfires and—most recently— COVID-19 and devastating storms and floods.
The NSW Government stood beside the families and communities of regional New South Wales throughout these times. We have committed $3.5 billion in support to flood-affected communities in partnership with the Commonwealth Government and are continuing to roll out the co-funded $4.5 billion to assist communities recover from the Black Summer bushfires.
The NSW Government stands ready to continue to support our regions overcome the challenges of today.
However, we also believe in the immense capacity of regional New South Wales to help our State build a brighter tomorrow. Regional and rural communities have long formed the engine room of our State’s economy, and this Budget invests to help them drive New South Wales towards a more prosperous future.
By investing to ensure that families across our regional towns and cities enjoy a high quality of life, we can unlock economic growth right across regional New South Wales. Building better frontline services and delivering worldclass infrastructure will see the brightest minds and most exciting new businesses make the regions their home and underwrite the prosperity of their communities for decades to come.
This Budget injects an additional $1.3 billion in the community-boosting Regional Growth Fund, building on its success to date in delivering more than 2,700 transformational projects in our regions and $835.6 million to continue the delivery of a modern, new regional rail fleet.
It also provides a 10-year $2.4 billion investment to boost the rural and regional health workforce, to ensure that every citizen receives the highest quality care. This is in addition to $174.0 million to clear the current wait list for key worker housing and $6.5 billion for 32 new and upgraded hospitals to make sure that access to healthcare is not a lottery based on where you live.
This budget invests $130.0 million to expand our mining industry to unearth and process the critical minerals that will build the technologies of the future. We have also put aside $163.9 million to bolster our biosecurity measures to support families that rely on our $20.9 billion primary industries sector for their livelihoods and $206.2 million for the Sustainable Farming Program, to reward farmers who invest in best practice regenerative farming.
We have committed $1.9 billion to roll out renewable energy infrastructure that will make regional New South Wales ground zero for the State’s emerging clean energy and manufacturing industries. We are also investing $391.3 million in the Snowy Mountains Special Activation Precinct so that even more people can enjoy the natural beauty of the region.
The strength and resilience of regional New South Wales is one of the greatest assets of our State. The investments this Budget makes will help throw open the doors of opportunity and harness the potential of regional New South Wales to build a brighter future for all.
The Hon. Matt Kean MP
Minister for Energy