Western Sydney is one of New South Wales’ great economic and cultural powerhouses. From its major centres to its 191,000 businesses, Western Sydney is a key driver of our entire State’s economic prosperity.
The past year has seen Western Sydney families and communities hit by COVID-19, storms, floods and now, cost of living pressures. Faced with these challenges, the people of Western Sydney have shown remarkable strength and resilience. Economic activity and employment in the region have bounced back to exceed pre- COVID-19 levels, with employment levels now 3.3 per cent higher compared to pre-COVID-19.
Our priority is to make sure Western Sydney is a great place to live, work and raise a family.
Central to this is our $5 billion WestInvest program, which will deliver transformational change to Western Sydney communities by creating more green space, building community infrastructure such as sports fields and pools, providing more arts and cultural facilities and improving high streets and traffic congestion.
$478 million from WestInvest will modernise nine Western Sydney schools to give children and young people the best start to life. The $2 billion Community Project Fund is also well underway and I look forward to announcing successful projects later this year.
This year's Budget also focuses on supporting families and boosting household budgets with our new broad-based Toll Rebate Scheme, Energy Bill Buster program and Back to School vouchers.
Importantly, we are investing up to $5 billion in high quality, affordable childcare saving many families thousands of dollars a year. We know that many Western Sydney families live in a 'childcare desert'. This funding, with the proposed reforms to the Commonwealth Child Care Subsidy, is expected to boost the number of childcare places in New South Wales by up to 47,000.
The NSW Government is focusing on the future and investing in vital long-term infrastructure like the Parramatta Light Rail. We have committed $236 million to continue work on Stage 1 in 2022-23 and we recently announced our commitment to invest $602.4 million to start works and planning for Stage 2. This, along with $1.5 billion towards the Western Sydney Growth Roads Program will enable residents to get where they're going faster and put valuable time back in their day.
We want to establish Western Sydney's reputation as a world leader in industries of the future. The new Advanced Manufacturing Research Facility in the Bradfield aerotropolis precinct will deliver the largest and most advanced industrial ecosystem in the nation. Development of a world-leading commercial-scale viral vector manufacturing facility in Westmead is also underway. This will provide ground-breaking trial therapies for infections, cancer and genetic diseases – the first of its kind in Australia.
In this Budget, the NSW Government is committed to building a brighter future for Western Sydney while delivering for its people today.
The Hon. Matt Kean MP
NSW Treasurer, Minister for Energy