NSW Budget delivers record spend on infrastructure
UPDATE: The Australian Constructors Assosciation has also welcomed the increased infrastructure spending, saying that the budget provides a major job and investment boost for the construction industry in the state.
The ACA also noted that investments in vocational programs would increase employment across the sector, with $100 million over two years earmarked for the Smart, Skilled and Hired Program and $97 million over the next 12 months for new and improved TAFE facilities.
"The rate of change in construction processes and the impact of technology and innovation on the industry require a fundamental re-think of training and the apprenticeship system if the construction industry is to provide the work opportunities that young people require and remain sustainable in years to come,", ACA executive director Lindsay Le Compte said.
The New South Wales state government delivered its 2016-17 budget today, with record levels of infrastructure spending announced.
Premier Mike Baird and Treasurer Gladys Berejiklian boasted that the government was investing a record amount into schools, hospitals, public transport and roads, while almost completely eliminating the state’s debt.
The projects include $2.9 billion for Sydney’s WestConnex project, $338 million for road upgrade projects to support the Badgery’s Creek airport as well as the addition of 70,000 new homes annually.
The government also announced it would be delivering budget surpluses of approximately $2 billion per year over the next four years.
"After five years of fiscal repair, we now have the nation’s strongest Budget and economy," Baird says.
"All economic and financial indicators in this Budget are in an ideal position and we are the envy of the other states. This hasn’t happened by accident. Our record infrastructure investment of $73.3 billion over four years is boosting consumer and business confidence – making NSW the number one destination to live, work and do business."
The Australian Industry Group (Ai Group) welcomed the boost to infrastructure funding and also the removal of three state taxes.
"The $73 billion four-year infrastructure program is very welcome and all the more so for its underpinning of relative funding certainty," NSW Ai Group head Mark Goodsell says.
"The program is not an end in itself, although it provides very welcome jobs and wider economic stimulus on the way through. It is building our capacity to support a broadly-based, innovative, productive economy that is globally engaged.
"Other elements are essential for that outcome, and we note progress in the Budget on the fronts of reducing business costs, and building skills, industry-research collaboration, export capability and an innovation culture."
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