NSW Budget 2008-2009

Treasurer Michael Costa today announced the Iemma Government’s 2008-09 budget, delivering a surplus of $268 million – NSW’s 13th consecutive budget surplus.

The 2008-09 budget is marked by the State’s significant investment of $13.9 billion in infrastructure. The ‘lion’s share’ of this funding went to transport, with $106 million for the recently announced North West Metro, $64 million for the South West Rail Link, $353 million to continue the Rail Clearways program and $1.8 billion for new road construction.

The Treasurer also announced $140 billion will be spent over the next decade on the State Infrastructure Strategy, the details of which will be announced next week.

Significant budget initiatives include:


The Government will cut taxes by $344 million in 2008-09, including:

  • Cutting payroll taxes from 6% to 5.5%;
  • Indexing payroll tax to inflation;
  • Early abolition of stamp duty on non-land business assets;
  • Abolishing mortgage duty on residential investment properties from 1 July 2008;
  • Abolishing stamp duty on unquoted marketable securities from 1 January 2009.


$13.9 billion for the State’s infrastructure in 2008-09 including:

  • $1.8 billion on transport;
  • $2.2 billion on roads;
  • $784 million on health;
  • $735 million on education and training;
  • $569 million on housing;
  • $411 million on law and order;
  • $3.5 billion on electricity;
  • $2.2 billion on water;
  • $397 million on ports.

Major capital works projects include:

  • $12 billion North West Metro;
  • $246 million for 19 new school projects and 12 new TAFE projects;
  • $201 million for almost 1300 units of public housing, community housing and crisis accommodation;
  • $27 million towards the Lismore Integrated Cancer Centre;
  • $35 million for Riverstone Police Station and Lake Macquarie Area Local Command;
  • $65 million for the M5 East filtration project;
  • $150 million on the Victoria Road upgrade.


$13.15 billion for health including:

  • $49 million for 180 extra acute care beds (as announced in November);
  • $12.9 million for an additional 52 acute hospital beds;
  • $46.4 million over 4 years for expanded maternity services to support NSW’s baby boom;
  • $19,8 million for an extra 160 community-based residential or aged care places;
  • $10 million for blood and marrow transplants;
  • $7.2 million to recruit 75 additional ambulance staff;
  • $192 over four years for cancer prevention and research.

$839.5 million for health infrastructure including:

  • $61.4 million to start the redevelopment of Royal North Shores Hospital and community health facility;
  • $214 million for the Orange Hospital Campus Redevelopment;
  • $12.2 million for the Lismore Integrated Cancer Care Centre;
  • $5.6 million to start work on the redevelopment of Narrabri Hospital.

Minister Meagher also indicated 2 public private partnerships will begin construction this year.

$1.1 billion for mental health including:

  • $39 million towards capital works projects;
  • $9.4 million to open new mental health facilities;
  • $6.85 million over 2 years to expand 24-hour community mental health emergency care;
  • $2.1 million to enhance specialist mental health services for older people.


$3.75 billion for public transport including:

  • $2.5 billion for Railcorp including:
  • $106 million North West Metro;
  • $64 million South West Rail Link;
  • $353 million for Clearways Plan;
  • $24.6 million for commuter car parks;
  • $25.3 million for Easy Access station upgrades
  • $903.3 million including:
  • 150 new environmentally friendly bendy buses;
  • $50 million for bus depot upgrades
  • $80.5 million including:
  • $3.2 million for Ferry Operations and Customer Information System


$4 billion for roads including:

  • $1.8 billion in road construction, including widening of the Great Western Highway between Leura and Katoomba and $42 million Alfords Point Bridget duplication;
  • $613 million for the Pacific highway;
  • $40 million continue roll out of the Sydney strategic bus priority network;
  • $15 million to continue the Pinch Point Program to improve travel times;
  • $18.7 million for the Safety Around Schools program.


$11.8 billion on education including:

  • $733 million for construction of new school and TAFE facilities, including 16 new school building projects and 12 new TAFE building projects;
  • $267 million on maintenance of public schools and TAFEs;
  • $31.3 million over four years for improving the quality and retention of teachers in public schools;
  • $1.42 billion for equity initiatives including programs for students with disabilities, indigenous students and students in rural areas, the Priority Action Schools and Funding Schools programs and English as a Second Language program.

Industrial Relations

$22.6 million on industrial relations, including;

  • $10 million for 350 targeted compliance campaigns;
  • $6 million for information and assistance to employers and workers.


$797 million for Attorney General’s including:

  • $2 million for super-sized civil courtroom in Supreme Court of NSW;
  • $13 million for upgrade of Parramatta Courthouse;
  • $3.25 million for remote witness facilities.

$1 billion for Corrective Services including:

  • $97 million for capital works program including $11 million for 250 bed expansion of Cessnock Correction Centre and $59 million for first stage of a 500-bed correction centre at Nowra.

$169 million for juvenile justice including:

  • $3.2 million towards the development of a Corporate Information System and Ellipse System.


$2.4 billion on police, including:

  • 100 extra police officers;
  • $6.7 million for enhanced DNA testing;
  • $26.4 million boost for upgrading of the Core Operating Policing System (COPS);
  • $16.6 million for enhancement to Police Radio communications;
  • $133 million of upgrading of police stations and major works.

Community Services

$1.35 billion for community services including:

  • $495 million for out of home care;
  • $395 million for statutory child protection ;
  • $263 million for the Prevention and Early Intervention Program;
  • $30 million to improve preschool access for children in the year before school;
  • $29.8 million for the capital works program, largely for office upgrades.

Ageing and Disability Services

$2.024 billion for the Department of Ageing, Disability and Home Care in 2008-09 including:

  • $109.3 million for supported accommodation, providing community-based residential support for people with a disability;
  • $17.7 million to prevent young people with disabilities entering nursing homes;
  • $14.1 million for attendant care places;
  • $47.4 million to increase support from three to four days per week for people with disabilities who have left school but cannot enter the workforce;
  • $115.2 million in capital expenditure.


$803.9 million for housing including:

  • $415.1 million for the housing supply program to fund capital works, including $268.5 million for public housing and $122.7 million for community housing;
  • $25.8 million to fund Rentstart, providing rental financial assistance;
  • $195.8 million to improve the standard of housing stock;
  • $114.8 million for new homes for the elderly;
  • $38.8 million over five years towards new dwellings under the Federal Government’s ‘A Place to Call Home’ strategy to address homelessness.

Primary Industries and Mineral Resources

$467 million for primary industries including:

  • $134 million for bio-security measures, increasing disaster response capacity and the Drought Support Workers program;
  • $138 million for scientific research;
  • $24.1 million on infrastructure and capital expenditure;
  • $67.4 million to manage the sustainable commercial and recreational use of NSW fisheries resources, conservation of aquatic biodiversity and sustainable development of the aquaculture industry;
  • $52.9 million for mineral resources, including expansion of mineral exploration.

State and Regional Development

$185.9 million for state development including:

  • $44.9 million for regional development;
  • $22.1 million for small business development;
  • $36.8 million for science and medical research;
  • $43.7 million for tourism.


$74.373 million for youth including:

  • $21.5 million for existing community youth projects;
  • $41.2 million for existing youth accommodation projects.

Aboriginal Affairs

  • $29.6 million in 2008-09 four housing and environmental health work under the Aboriginal Communities Development Program;
  • $22.9 million over four years to combat child sexual abuse.


$3.5 billion Budget for electricity infrastructure and energy rebates, including:

  • In 2008-09, Energy Australia is expected to spend $1.1 billion. It will spend $883 million on capital works, metering and streetlighting and $178 million on smaller capital projects to support the electricity network.
  • Country Energy has a 2008-09 capital budget of $668.5 million. This includes $37.1 million to upgrade the Mid North Coast electricity network and $16.3 million to upgrade the network on the far North Coast, as part of a multi-year $70 million project.
  • Integral Energy’s total capital expenditure for 2008-09 is $545 million, including $449.2 million in network capital expenditure and $97.7 million in non-system capital expenditure for items such as buildings and IT.
  • Integral Energy has allocated $351.2 million capital refurbishment to provide a reliable electricity supply to customers in Western Sydney, and $73.4 million for Illawarra and south coast customers.
  • Transgrid will spend $538 million in 2008-09. This includes $143 million for the upgrade of the Bayswater – Mt Piper – Marulan transmission system, for stage one of the $320 million Western Development Transmission line.
  • The state-owned generators will have 2008-09 capital works allocations of $401 million by Delta Electricity, $100.7 million by Macquarie Generation and $187.8 million by Eraring Energy. This includes Delta Energy’s $289.7 million for construction of the Colongra gas-fired power station.


$1.9 billion will be invested through Sydney Water for water infrastructure, including:

  • $886 million for the desalination project, including the plant itself, and the distribution pipelines;
  • $139 million on recycling projects;
  • $53 milllion for the North Head sewerage treatment plant;
  • $83 million for the Priority Sewerage Program;
  • $19 million for the North West Sector infrastructure development;
  • $24 million for renewable energy projects;
  • $123 million to maintain the water distribution network;
  • $22 million to renew the critical water distribution network;
  • $63 million to reduce sewer overflows;
  • $81 million on reliability upgrades and renewing the sewerage distribution network;
  • $44 million for improving efficiency of service delivery, including $29 million on IT systems for Sydney Water.

Country water infrastructure funding includes:

  • $53.3 million for the Country Towns Water Supply and Sewerage Program;
  • $26.8 million for ongoing rural and regional works programs in irrigation areas;
  • $23 million for State Water.

Ports and Waterways

  • $397 million for capital works at Port Botany, Port Kembla and Newcastle Ports, including $287 million for expanding Port Botany;
  • NSW Maritime has planned capital expenditure of $12.3 million, including $4.2 million to increase safety at Sydney Harbour’s commuter wharves.

Climate Change and Environment

$986 million is allocated to the environment budget including:

  • $30 million for upgrading fire fighting and communications in national parks, including $16.38 million to upgrade radio networks;
  • $90 million to help combat global warming, including over $20 million for rebates under the $340 million Climate Change Fund, and $35 million for water and energy saving projects in business operations and public facilities;
  • $137.4 million for the water fund, including $98 million for the purchase of water entitlements under the Living Murray Program.

Emergency Services

$872 million for emergency services including:

  • $578.3 million for the NSW Fire Brigades;
  • $201.7 million for the Rural Fire Fighting Fund;
  • $57.6 million for the SES.

Fair Trading

  • $10 million is invested to expand online services, with a fully integrated customer and complaint management IT system.

Planning and Lands

  • $212.5 million to acquire land for South West Rail link and North West Metro;
  • $19 million to expand the land mapping information service;
  • $1 million towards preparation for a national e-conveyancing system.


$250 million for Arts including:

  • $10 million for the Museum of Contemporary Arts towards education facilities, extended gallery space and a fully accessible entrance;
  • $8.3 million in funding for performing arts companies.

Gaming and Racing

$15.2 million for the Department of Gaming and Racing including:

  • $9.84 million for problem gambling treatment and support services;
  • $3.6 million, as part of the $10.8 million which will be provided over three years to implement the new Liquor Act.