NSW Nationals putting regional NSW in pole position
I am excited to watch the NSW Treasurer, Dominic Perrottet, deliver the first budget of the Berejiklian-Barilaro Government in Parliament this week.
This budget will see one of the greatest investments in regional infrastructure in the State’s history. Not only in roads and rail but sports fields, schools, hospitals, cultural facilities and regional amenities. Every region and every town will benefit.
Over the last few weeks, you may have seen the Treasurer, Ministers and myself out on road getting an early start on pre-budget announcements.
We have been able to get a jump-start on major projects that your communities have been asking for.
Last week alongside the local member for Tweed, Geoff Provest, the NSW Liberal and Nationals Government announced $534 million to build a new hospital in Tweed.
In Tweed, a region where the population is forecast to grow by more than 40 per cent to 128,000 people by 2031, a new hospital will create jobs and attract new families to regional NSW.
Our sporting clubs are often the heartbeat of our regional communities. One of the key ways we identify with our regional towns and cities is through our sporting clubs and infrastructure.
Mount Panorama in Bathurst is the spiritual home of V8 racing and motorsports in Australia.
It is an international racing icon that brings tourists from across Australia and the world to the Central West. Over the October long weekend, the population of Bathurst triples injecting $50 million to the local economy annually.
Along with the local member, Paul Toole, the NSW Government announced it is investing $10 million dollars from the 2017-18 Budget, in addition to $5 million already allocated by the NSW Government, to build a motor racing precinct in Bathurst.
The Velocity Park precinct proposed by Bathurst Regional Council will transform Mount Panorama from an international racing icon into an international racing hub.
Along with sport, art and culture are vital to thriving regional communities. In the 2017-18 Budget, we have announced a $100 million Regional Culture Fund.
The fund will support projects such as building new or upgrading existing artistic and cultural spaces including galleries, theatres, libraries, museums and halls, as well as repurposing existing infrastructure for arts, screen, and culture or heritage purposes.
Regional NSW has a rich history of contributing to the Australian identity expressed through all forms of the arts. The new Regional Cultural Fund will invest in the organisations and cultural settings that make our regional towns and cities incredible places to live, work and visit.
There are projects across regional NSW, both big and small, that our communities need to grow.
I am confident that the 2017-18 NSW Budget will help rural and regional communities fulfil their dreams.