I am honoured to present the NSW Budget 2018-19 – a budget for everyone in our great state who aspires to a better life, doing more to ease the pressure on individuals and families, strengthen businesses, and unleash the opportunities on offer in our resurgent economy.
It is also a Budget for the generations to come, whose future we must prepare for by building and reinforcing the critical infrastructure and financial security that will sustain our State in the years and decades ahead.
Despite fluctuating revenues, our finances remain in exceptional health, with surpluses forecast this year and across the next four years, net debt in the negative for the third year running, a secure triple-A credit rating, and net worth that will very shortly reach a quarter of a trillion dollars.
This is no accident – our financial strength is the result of years of hard work to live within our means, keep expenses under control, and make better use of the resources we already have.
It has enabled us to undertake a once-in-a-generation pipeline of public investment that has lifted the entire State, restoring confidence in our economy, boosting growth, and contributing to a jobs boom that has put more than 500,000 men and women in jobs since we first came to office.
There is no doubt about it: New South Wales is thriving again. This Budget harnesses our financial and economic strength to deliver for the people of our state today, while taking concrete steps to secure our future.
For families, we’re easing the cost of living with initiatives like our new Creative Kids Rebate, and doing more to give our young people the best start in life, with stronger support for newborns and their mothers, expanded access to early childhood education, and the new NSW Baby Bundle – packed with practical items to support new parents.
We’re boosting the ranks of our police, teachers, nurses and paramedics, to better support those who make our state’s frontline services among the very best in the world.
We’ll keep the economic engine humming, cutting payroll tax for thousands of businesses to keep the jobs boom going, and we’re investing in the skilled workforce of tomorrow with 100,000 free apprenticeships in high-demand industries.
We’re also making sure those who need a helping hand have the support they need, and a chance to start fresh and get ahead. This includes a concerted effort to make a real difference to the lives of our Indigenous citizens with new opportunities to participate in our State’s economic success.
All the while we will continue to deliver a new record pipeline of projects that will help make New South Wales a better place to live for communities today, and set our state up for success in the long term.
That means building on last year’s unprecedented commitments with new record investments in schools, hospitals and transport links in our cities and regions, and getting started on the next game-changing projects for Sydney, including Metro West and the new F6.
We are also doing more to conserve our natural wonders, and we’re building world-class sporting and cultural facilities, because that’s what citizens of a world-class state deserve.
As we transform and renew the state, we are also reinforcing its financial future with another game-changing reform: the NSW Generations Fund. It’s a world-first sovereign wealth fund to guard against intergenerational budgetary pressures and keep debt sustainable.
It will also deliver for communities today, through My Community Dividend – an exciting new program that delivers up to half of the returns from the Generations Fund into the hands of local communities, empowering citizens to nominate and vote on the projects to make their neighbourhoods better places to live.
The turnaround our state has achieved in the last seven years has been remarkable, but there is always more to do. Our future success will depend on the continued financial discipline and sound economic stewardship that have been the hallmarks of the Liberal and National Government in New South Wales.
This budget takes us another step closer to realising the vision we have for this great state: a New South Wales that is stronger, fairer and more free. A state abounding with opportunity for those who want it. The best place anywhere in the world to live, work and raise a family, now and into the future.
It’s a budget for families and communities doing the heavy lifting to take our state to greater heights; and for generations to come, whose quality of life will depend on our efforts to secure their future.
It’s a budget that reflects our Government’s steadfast commitment: to build for tomorrow, and deliver for today.
The Hon. Dominic Perrottet MP
Treasurer, and Minister for Industrial Relations
Member for Hawkesbury