The NSW Nationals in the state government are working to get the state back on track to people back into jobs, assist small businesses and support the physical and mental health and wellbeing of the community through the 2020-21 NSW Budget.

NSW Nationals Member of the Legislative Council Ben Franklin said that the budget focused on COVID-19 recovery, increasing employment and supporting families and businesses to come out the other side.

“No one could have predicted this one-in-one-hundred-year pandemic and the devastating impact it would have on so many people’s lives,” Mr Franklin said.

“This budget is all about supporting our community to recover, rebuild and help people get their lives back to normal.

“There are lots of winners in this budget and there is significant support to help people re-enter jobs in hospitality, entertainment and construction. There is support to help small businesses recover and grow. There is also support for medical research and access to palliative care and mental health care.”

Across NSW, this budget will deliver:
• Four x $25 vouchers to every adult resident in NSW to spend at food and entertainment venues
• $1500 worth of digital vouchers for small and medium businesses to help pay for government fees and charges
• $17 million to support pregnant women suffering from hyperemesis gravidarum
• $56 million for more palliative care services
• $49.6 million for lifesaving gene therapy for blood cancer patients
• $57.4 million to help mature workers and women take up a trade
• $39.3 million boost for the Business Connect program
• $10 million grants program to assist women back into the workforce with up to $5000 available to individuals

The Northern Rivers will continue to see investment from the NSW Nationals in the state government across the region.

Some key highlights of the 2020-21 budget include:

Ballina Electorate:
• $786,000 for Bangalow Public School Upgrades
• $1.14 million for social housing upgrades and improvements
• $5.49 million to continue construction of Byron Bay Interchange
• $928,000 to construct a shared path along Balemo Drive, Ocean Shores
• $2.2 million for safety upgrades to the Bruxner Highway
• $307,000 towards a new school hall for Teven-Tintenbar Public School

Lismore Electorate:
• $21.42 million for the Lismore Hospital Redevelopment
• $1.5 million on Essential Energy connection for Casino to Urbenville subtransmission line
• $335,000 for Fire and Rescue NSW
• $36.25 million for the new Murwillumbah Education Campus
• $1.35 million for social housing upgrades and improvements
• $1.03 million to construct and upgrade walking and cycling paths
• $8.31 million to complete the Mount Lindesay Road Upgrade
• $621,000 for upgrades to Bexhill Public School

Mr Franklin said that he had again pushed hard to make sure the Northern Rivers got their fair share of investment and support.

“The Electorates of Ballina and Lismore are home to over 140,000 people who play a crucial role in our economy and I fought hard to make sure this was not forgotten,” Mr Franklin said.

“The Northern Rivers, like much of regional NSW, has helped carry the state this year, especially through tourism, and it is only fair that our communities receive the support they deserve.”

For more information about the NSW Government’s 2020/21 Budget, please go to budget.nsw.gov.au.