NSW Mini-Budget 2008-09

The NSW Treasurer, Eric Roozendaal, has delivered a prudent 2008-09 mini-budget for the Rees Government, strictly designed to maintain NSW’s Triple A credit rating.

The mini-budget result and major initiatives are outlined below.

Budget Result

  • $915 million deficit (as compared to the $268 million budget surplus forecast in June 2008) – a $1.2 billion difference
  • Introduction of savings totalling $3.3 billion over the next four years, mainly from back-office savings and administrative cuts
  • Revenue measures to raise $3.6 billion
  • 2008-09 stamp duty receipts are down 24 per cent from June 2008 budgeted levels  – budgeted to receive $3.8 billion, now expected to bring in $2.8 billion
  • GST revenue will fall $450 million short of the year’s forecast due to the overall economic downturn
  • 2008-09 growth in state final demand is expected to slow to 1.5 per cent (from 4.3 per cent in 2007-08), gross state product to 1.25 per cent (from 2.5 per cent in 2007-08) and employment growth 1.5 per cent (from 2.4 per cent in 2007-08)
  • Unemployment growth is expected to rise 5.25 per cent (from 4.6 per cent in 2007-08)
  • Level of capital spending has dropped only by $1 million, from $57.6 billion to $56.8 billion over 4 years


  • Cost of CTP green slips raised by $10
  • Land tax increased from 1.6 per cent to 2 per cent on investment property land worth more than $2.25 million
  • $500 million annual increase to coal levies

Sale of Government Assets

  • NSW Lotteries
  • WSN Environmental Solutions
  • Superannuation fund back office manager Pillar Administration
  • Roads and Traffic Authority’s non-standard licence plate business
  • Government electricity retailers – Energy Australia, Integral Energy, Country Energy
  • Power station development sites near Lithgow, Hunter Valley
  • Power generation trading rights

Program Cuts

  • North West Metro – $12 billion
  • South West Rail Link – $1.4 billion
  • Vineyard-Schofields rail duplication – $200 million
  • Back-to-school payment – $60 million ($50 per child)
  • $330 million cut from Pacific Highway upgrade program over four years
  • 20 per cent cut to senior executive public servants salaries to save $170 million
  • Staff freeze on recruitment of all non-frontline public servants until June 2009
  • Abolition of all overseas ministerial state tours saving $1.3 million over four years
  • 25 per cent cut to Government advertising saving $31 million a year
  • $500 million school transport subsidy to be cut – $45 co-payment primary school student, $90 for high school students

Select new programs

  • Differential tolling will be introduced on the Sydney Harbour Bridge.  Peak periods (between 6.30 am-9.30am, 4pm-7pm Mon-Fri) will pay $4; shoulder peak (between 9.30am-4pm Mon-Fri, 8am-8pm weekends and public hols) of $3; off peak of $2.50
  • $150 million for 300 new buses to offset scrapping of North West Metro Rail Line
  • $370 million to buy new outer suburban rail carriages (OSCars)
  • New commuter car spaces in greater Sydney – funded by increases to parking space levies in CBD (up from $950 to $2000 per car park per annum)
  • $1.8 billion towards the Sydney CBD Metro system, including redevelopment of Central Station
  • $21 million saving from discontinuing the Manly Jet Cat
  • $7 million revenue from ferry commuters paying an extra 50 cents on top of normal ferry fare for ferry wharf upgrades
  • 99-year leases for commercial assets and leases belonging to Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority and Australian Technology Park at Redfern
  • $150 million in advanced expenditure and $25 million in interest by delaying the construction of the Barangaroo Headland Park until 2011
  • Other property divestments include office accommodation managed by Energy Australia and vacant schools and surplus land managed by Department of Education
  • Scrapping of $181 million upgrade of convention facilities at the Sydney Showgrounds
  • $20 million saved from axing the back-to-school payment to be used for special need programs at disadvantaged schools, hiring 80 special-needs teachers for children with dyslexia, autism and mental health problems
  • $150 million a year to fund 500 new maintenance projects at schools
  • $13.2 billion health budget maintained through internal efficiencies and productivity improvements
  • $3000 bonus for first home buyers purchasing new dwellings
Community Services
  • $40 million extra funding for out-of home care
  • $1.75 million to help improve the user-friendliness of the DoCS Key Information Directory Systems
Climate change and the environment
  • Increase in the Waste and Environment Levy – increase of $3 per tonne to $10 per tonne per year in the Greater Sydney region
  • Coal mining waste will also attract a $15 per tonne levy from November 2009
  • Guaranteed $100 million for clean coal technology funding
  • Scrapping of North West Metro public private partnership, to be potentially replaced by private financing for the Sydney Metro project

For more information, see http://www.treasury.nsw.gov.au/bp08-09/2008-09_mini-budget