This paper outlines some of the key measures raised in the NSW Government's 2007/08 Budget. It is not intended to be a comprehensive guide to the budget measures. A full copy of the budget papers is available at the NSW Treasury website.
1. General budget information
The key areas of spending for the 2007/08 NSW Budget are on services and infrastructure.
The NSW budget will be a surplus of $376 million for the 2007/08 budget year. The Government predicts surpluses averaging $500 million over the following 3 years.
The 2006/07 budget position was also revised to a surplus of $444 million.
The 2007/08 budget will reduce state taxes worth $343 million in the coming year and $2.6 billion over the next four years. The program includes:
- Mortgage duty on the purchase of owner occupied homes abolished from 1 September this year
- Mortgage duty on the purchase of residential investment and commercial property will be abolisher sooner than previously announced
- Land tax will be cut from 1.7% to 1.6 % for the 2008 land tax year
- Stamp duty on the hire of goods and on leases will be abolished
- A full rebate will be provided for the cost of registering one work vehicle for every new apprentice hired by small businesses
Costs to the government for reducing State Taxes in 2007/08 will be:
- $138 million for abolishing the mortgage duty for 07/08
- $1.36 billion over four years for abolishing mortgage duty on residential and commercial property
- $467 million over four years for the land tax cut
- $570 million over four years for abolishing stamp duty on the hire of goods and leases
- $5 million for the work vehicle rebate
Previously announced revenues measures for NSW in 2007/08 include:
- Harmonising payroll tax administration in NSW and Victoria to reduce red tape
- The First Home Plus One Scheme, giving first homebuyers who enter into a shared equity arrangement access to a proportion of the stamp duty exemption availably under the First Home Plus Scheme
$12.5 billion will be spent for capital works, with almost $50 billion being spent over the next four years - a 29% expenditure increase on the 2006/07 allocation for infrastructure.
Infrastructure spending for 2007-08 includes:
- $2.9 billion on Electricity
- $1.9 billion on Transport
- $657 million on Health
- $617 million on Education
- $2.2 billion on Water
- $1.9 billion on Housing
- $388 million on Law and Order
- In the general government sector, $18.4 billion in infrastructure spending will be partially funded by an increase in net debt of $4.1 billion.
- In the public trading enterprise sector, $31.2 billion in infrastructure spending will be more than half funded by a $17.3 billion increase in net debt.
ICT initiatives include:
- $50 million for information and communication technology, as part of the NSW Police Force's overall IT plan
- An additional $4.3 million in 2007-2008 for integrating and replacing Department of Primary Industries ICT infrastructure
- $38.8 million over four years for the Connected Classrooms initiative to expand technology-based learning in government schools
- Additional $15 million in 2007-2008 for health information management and technology
6.1 Public Transport
$5.8 billion has been allocated to the Transport portfolio in the 2007/08 budget, an increase of 11.2 % on last year's budget. This includes $1.9 billion to fund the previously announced Premier's Urban Transport Statement, which outlines the State's future rail infrastructure projects.
Key features of the Transport budget include:
- Long-term rail safety projects, as recommended by the Waterfall Inquiry
- Easy Access train station upgrades
- Increase of commuter car parks
- Upgrade of major stations
- Funding for private bus operators
- New engines on Sydney Ferries 'First Fleet' vessels
- Funding for the Independent Transport Safety and Reliability Regulator
- School Student Transport Scheme concession program
Key projects for Transport portfolio include:
- Major rail projects such as the Metropolitan Rail Expansion Program and the completion of the Epping to Chatswood Rail Link ($1.9 billion)
- Completing the Epping to Chatswood Rail Line ($297.5 million)
- Land acquisitions in the North West and South West rail corridors ($289 million)
- Clearways Plan to improve trains reliability and capacity ($284.4 million)
- Environmentally friendly buses ($122.3 million)
- Rail rollingstock ($232.1 million)
$3.6 billion has been allocated to road spending in 2007/08. $1.5 billion of this funding has been allocated towards road construction.
Key road projects include:
- Bus priority work in strategic bus corridors ($50 million)
- Widening of Hoxton Park Road, Bankstown Road to Cowpasture Road ($12 million)
- Stage 2 Planning of the Bangor Bypass
Recurrent road projects for 2007/08 include:
- $404 million for the current three year, $1.3 billion State / Federal Pacific Highway Program
- $56.5 million to continue the $460 million upgrade to four lanes of the Great Western Highway between Penrith and Orange
- Completion of the North West Transitway between Blacktown and Parklea ($40 million)
- $79.5 million for the Central Coast including $14 million to continue the upgrading to four lanes of the Central Coast Highway
- $30 million to continue the extension of the Northern Distributor from Bellambi Lane to the Princes Highway at Bulli
The Budget provides for an investment of $2.9 billion in electricity infrastructure
In 2007-2008, Energy Australia is expected to spend $892.7 million. This includes:
- $57 million to boost electricity supply to the Sydney CBD, including the development of a new zone substation
- $42 million for the development of a new integrated sub-transmission zone substation at Argenton
- $23 million for upgrading of the Homebush sub-transmission zone substation and the Auburn zone substation
Country Energy's 2007-2008 capital budget is $600 million. This includes:
- Network upgrade project in Lismore
- $5.8 million to construct a new zone substation at Moonee
Integral Energy's 2007-2008 forecast capital expenditure is $447.9 million, of which $362.47 million is network capital. Integral Energy's funding includes:
- $126.4 million for capital refurbishment to help maintain customer service levels and improve the safety and environmental impact across Integral's network
- $30.6 million on the Penrith transmission substation
- $13.1 million on the construction of shared network assets to allow for the connection of new industrial and commercial customers
Transgrid is expected to spend $432.8 million in 2007-2008 expanding the NSW high voltage electricity network.
The three state-owned generators will be investing nearly half a billion dollars in 2007-2008. This includes:
- $300.1 million by Delta Electricity,
- $122.4 million by Macquarie Generation, and
- $75.3 million by Eraring Energy.
8. Education and Training
The Education and Training budget for schools and TAFE totals $11.2 billion.
Key features include:
- $617 million for the construction of new school and TAFE facilities, including 24 major new building projects in schools
- $256 million on school and TAFE maintenance
- Five new Trade Schools, at Penrith, Wyong, Sutherland, Tamworth and Nambucca Heads
- Completion of five new schools in 2007/08. These are part of the program of ten new schools to be constructed under a PPP arrangement at a cost of $106 million
- $81.6 million over four years for the Best Start program to boost literacy and numeracy in the early years of schooling
- $693 million over four years on technology initiatives
- $20 million over four years for the Climate Change initiative to provide water tanks for government schools
9. Law and Order
9.1 NSW Police Force
Police have been allocated $2.27 billion in the 2007/08 Budget, an increase of more than 4% from 2006/07.
Key features of the Police Budget include:
- Boost DNA and forensic resources ($9.2 million)
- Computer Aided Despatch (CAD) program ($1.9 million)
- 10 mobile police stations ($1.062 million)
- Capital works programs for three police stations ($2.1 million)
- Replacement of Police Marine Fleet and enhancements of Police Motor Fleet ($7.3 million)
9.2 Attorney General
- $103.7 million will be spent on the expansion and upgrade of existing courthouses.
9.3 Justice Portfolio
- $965.1 million budget for the Department of Corrective Services, including a $97.1 million capital works program.
$12.5 billion has been allocated to the Health Portfolio for the 2007/08 budget, a 7.1% increase on the 06/07 allocation. The allocation provided to Health makes up 28% of the total state budget.
Key initiatives include:
- $714 million of the 07/08 Health budget will be used to build, redevelop, upgrade and refurbish NSW public hospitals and health facilities, as part of a four-year $2.4 billion health capital program.
- Funding for mental health has been significantly boosted, with an allocation of $105 million being provided for mental health services, an 11% increase on 2006/07. \
New allocation initiatives in 2007/08 include:
- 456 community based bed equivalents and hospital beds ($54 million)
- Five intensive care bed and three neonatal intensive care cots ($6 million)
- More elective surgery funding ($18.5 million)
- Nurse recruitment, training and retention initiatives ($35.8 million over four years)
- Keeping elderly people 'Healthy at Home' ($18 million)
- 12 new after-hours GP clinics ($8 million over four years)
- Oral health program ($8 million)
- Anti-obesity and healthy living campaigns ($6.5 million over four years)
- Establish the NSW Statewide Eyesight Pre-schooler Screening program to check the eyes of all children before they start school ($14.2 million)
- Mental Health Enhancement Program, to continue the expansion of mental health beds and community-based services ($17.7 million)
- Spending of $40 million for 2007-2008 on the Mental Health Community Initiatives program
- Funding of $29 million in 2007-2008 for the Housing and Accommodation Support Initiative to support people with mental illness
Major new capital works for health for the 2007/08 budget include:
- Upgrading Ryde Hospital ($4.5 million)
- Upgrade and enhance a range of medical imaging and patient monitoring equipment in hospitals across NSW including Nepean, St George, and the three Children's hospitals at Newcastle, Westmead and Randwick
- Ambulance Infrastructure Program to enhance the Computer Aided Dispatch system ($3.5 million over 4 years)
Continued funding of capital works for health includes:
- Improved mental health facilities ($66.5 million)
- Auburn Health Services redevelopments - construction of a new hospital on the existing site ($45.2 million)
- Royal North Shore redevelopment ($37.3 million)
- Bathurst Hospital redevelopment ($32.6 million)
- Western Sydney Strategy to complete the major redevelopment of Westmead Hospital ($18.4 million)
Privately financed projects hospital projects will continue in 2007/08 including:
- Forensic Hospital - a new 135 bed facility at Long Bay Correctional Centre
- Calvary Newcastle Mater Hospital redevelopment - expanding radiotherapy services and new accommodation for mental health services