A message from Deputy Premier John Barilaro:
As regional NSW continues to overcome and recover from the challenges of COVID-19, drought, bushfires, mice plagues and floods the NSW Nationals in Government are determined to see the regions get back on their feet as quickly as possible as we continue to build a safer and stronger future.
Your NSW Nationals team has made sure Regional NSW is at the centre of the 2021-22 NSW Budget with massive investment in roads, hospitals, education, recovery and resilience efforts and transformational infrastructure.
In today’s budget we have announced an unprecedented $2.8 billion to continue to help regional communities grow, move through recovery and build on the benefits of regional living. More than $800 million going towards water infrastructure in the bush including funding for farmers to help with upgrading to telephony-based water metering.
This year we are investing $900 million to build and upgrade regional hospitals and healthcare facilities across regional NSW, delivering improved services for families in rural and remote areas and more than $1 billion for regional schools, ensuring quality education no matter where you live in the State.
We are harnessing the transformational Regional Growth Fund via the delivery of new rounds of popular programs including $100 million for Round Four of the Stronger Country Communities Fund, plus a further $75 million for Resources for Regions Round Eight.
Essential funding will continue for programs over the next two years with a dedicated focus on social, economic and industry recovery, to provide stimulus, restore destroyed structures, retain existing jobs, maintain production, strengthen supply chains and develop industry sustainability.
To aid recovery and resilience in regional communities, we are continuing to invest in bushfire and flood recovery support with more than $5 billion committed to date. This budget also includes $100 million for the Regional Job Creation Fund to generate at least 5000 new jobs. Total drought and water security support has reached $4.5 billion and we’ve secured $150 million for the mouse control package to help farmers, small businesses and households fight the current mice plague.
We’ve also secured a record $9 billion for regional roads and transport and extended and expanded our Regional Seniors Travel Card. Seniors in the bush deserve the same subsidised public transport benefits as those in Sydney and it’s the NSW Nationals in Government delivering this.
Today’s budget is about bridging the city/bush divide and making sure people living in regional, rural and remote areas have access to the same facilities and services as those in the city enjoy.
This record funding will deliver legacy projects and historic benefit to regional communities for generations to come, because we know that the regions are unparalleled and there is nowhere else we’d rather be.
Highlights from the 2021-22 Budget for regional NSW include:
- Commencement of new works at Moree Hospital, Gunnedah Hospital, Muswellbrook Hospital Stage 3 and Wentworth Hospital
- $255.9 million to continue the record health infrastructure investment in Albury, Coffs Harbour, Cooma, Cowra, Deniliquin, Dubbo, Eurobodalla, Glen Innes, Grafton, Griffith, Inverell, John Hunter, Leeton, Lismore, Manning, Shoalhaven, Tumut, Wagga Wagga and Wyong hospitals
- $353.4 million to continue building new hospitals at Macksville, Maitland, Shellharbour and Tweed
- Approximately $9 million towards the ongoing delivery of $296.5 million Multipurpose Services (MPS) Program to provide a range of health and aged care services for communities in small and remote rural areas.
- $102.3 million in 2021-22 to continue the $232.1 million Rural Ambulance Infrastructure Reconfiguration Program (Stages 1 & 2)
- The continued delivery of six regional hospital car parks at Dubbo, Maitland, Port Macquarie, New Shellharbour, Tweed and Wagga Wagga hospitals.
- $36.4 million over four years for 57 mental health Response and Recovery Specialists
- $34 million over four years to convert NSW Ambulance paramedics to intensive Care Paramedics with 203 to be located in regional NSW
- $48 million for an expanded Farms of the Future program to help farmers adapt on-farm technology to boost productivity and resource management
- $50 million for the Mobile Coverage Project, part of the Regional Digital Connectivity program,
- $462 million into Special Activation Precincts, including the implementation of Parkes and Wagga Wagga, development of the Narrabri precinct and continued planning for Moree, Williamtown and the Snowy Mountains precincts
- $246 million to extend and expand the Regional Seniors Travel Card for another two years
- $240 million over three years to support the upgrades of regional roads transferred to the state as part of the Regional Road Reclassification
- $66.6 million for infrastructure upgrades at racecourses across Regional NSW
- $150 million for the Mouse Control Package
- $100 million for Round Four of the Stronger Country Communities Fund
- $75 million for Round Eight of the Resources for Regions program
- $30 million for the Regional Tourism Activation Fund
- $20 million for the Regional Events Acceleration Fund
- $64 million for the Future Ready Regions strategy to help farmers prepare for the next drought
For more information about the NSW Government’s 2021-22 Budget, please go to budget.nsw.gov.au.