This Budget is about reform - reform to build a better, brighter future for everyone in NSW.
The story of the past few years is the story of the strength and resilience of the people of this state, as they rose to the challenges that have confronted them.
Throughout these times, the NSW Government has stood with the NSW people. We have committed $53 billion, including Commonwealth contributions, during Covid to keep our people safe and get them through. We have also partnered with the Commonwealth to commit $3.5 billion to support our flood-affected communities.
But while the state’s economy has rebounded strongly from the Delta and Omicron waves, the aftershocks of the pandemic and the lingering impact of the floods continue to create challenges. In this Budget, we will invest $7.2 billion over the next financial year in new and existing measures to address the cost-of-living pressures that global inflation has brought, and $4.5 billion over four years to bolster the resilience of our health system.
Our strong record of economic management meant we were able to mobilise the State’s finances to support the NSW people throughout the trials of the past few years, and we will continue to do so to help them meet the challenges of today.
But the government also understands the importance of ensuring that the Budget returns to surplus to rebuild our fiscal buffers and honour our covenant to future generations.
We will return the Budget to surplus in 2024-25. This is the same year we committed to in last year’s 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 NSW.
However, good economic management is about more than merely leaving the finances in good shape. It is also about investing today, so that we may enjoy the returns of a more prosperous tomorrow.
The government has always understood this. Over the past decade we have made a record investment in the infrastructure projects that have transformed our economy, and we will deliver a record $112.7 billion infrastructure program over the next four years.
However, if our State is to reach its full potential, we must invest in more than just bricks and steel. We must choose to invest in our greatest asset – our people.
We choose to give our children the best start in life so that they can not only reach their dreams but dream bigger in the first place. We choose to make sure that families can continue to buy a slice of the Australian dream. We choose to harness the wonders of modern science, and the power of our wind and sun. We choose to leave a better planet for future generations.
We choose to make sure that a little girl born today has the same opportunities and liberties in life as the little boy born in the hospital room next door, because it is their contribution, and the contribution of every other person in our state, that will help us reach the highest heights of our fullest potential and together build a brighter future for NSW.
21 June 2022