Picture:istock
Picture:istock

What does the NSW State Budget mean for you?

THE NSW Government will splurge $87 billion over the next four years on health, education and transport projects in a pre-election giveaway designed to keep the Coalition, and Premier Gladys Berejiklian, in Macquarie St.

Treasurer Dominic Perrottet handed down the state Budget today projecting a surplus of $3.9 billion and proclaiming NSW the first state in Australia with an economy worth over half a trillion dollars. If the state was a separate country, it would be the 24th richest in the world.

Mr Perrottet said the Budget was focused on easing cost of living pressures. But the Opposition said many of the initiatives were just "gimmicks" that would make little difference to the hip pocket.

There'll be big bucks for new motorways and a fast suburban rail line speeding up travel times. It's all designed to support the government's vision of transforming Sydney from a "lopsided city" focused on the current CBD to a three-CBD metropolis.

Elsewhere, new mums will get a "baby bundle" of products worth $150; parents will be given a cash bonus to encourage their kids to take up coding and become the new Steve Jobs and some parking fines will go down by 25 per cent.

But there are hidden nasties with a new tax on gambling, Opal fares rising and public sector wages will be capped.

So, what's in the Budget for you?

IF YOU CATCH TRAINS OR BUSES

More than $50 billion will be spent on road and rail. Train and light rail users will get their hands on $14.4 billion of taxpayer funds, with Parramatta becoming a public transport hub for western Sydney.

The big announcement is $3 billion to start work on the Metro West, a new underground rail line cutting travel times from the CBD to Parramatta down to 20 minutes.

A further $4 billion will be splashed out on finishing off the rest of the Metro network, the first section of which, in northwest Sydney, is due to open in 2019.

Clapped out old rattler trains will finally get the heave-ho with $300 million for new suburban and intercity trains.

Trains should be more frequent on the congested T2 and T4 lines and $880m invested into souped-up signalling will mean more trains can be squeezed onto the same tracks.

About $400 million will go towards light rail in Parramatta and Newcastle. The former line will take passengers from the Westmead hospitals, through Parramatta, and up to Carlingford.

A total of $137 million will go towards improving the double decker B-line bus route in Sydney's northern beaches. It was designed to revolutionise bus travel in the region, but there have been complaints of overcrowding and people left in the rain at meagre bus stops.

Also, $1.5 billion will be given to provide more buses in western and northern Sydney.

IF YOU DRIVE TO WORK

Half a billion dollars will be spent over four years on Sydney's Western Harbour tunnel and Beaches Link, the latter to take pressure off the notorious Spit Bridge black spot. But the biggest single project is $1.2 billion in the Budget towards phase one of the F6 motorway between Sydney and Wollongong. The first stage will see an underground road from to the southern suburb of Kogarah, including 23 sets of lights.

About $500 million will upgrade roads near in Western Sydney including the new Badgerys Creek airport.

Almost $2 billion will be thrown at regional roads upgrades including on the Princes and Pacific highways and $315m next year for road safety programs particularly in country black spots.

IF YOU HAVE KIDS OR BABIES

If you reckon your kid could grow up to be the next Beethoven or Steve Jobs, you're in luck because the government has announced an annual Creative Kids rebate of $100 for each child for activities out of school including music, drama and even computer coding.

A total of $9.3 million will be set aside to employ more than 100 midwives and $7.6 million for baby bundles for new parents. Worth $150 each, these include nappies and dummies.

From January, universal education will be extended to three-year-olds, which the government reckons could save families $825 a year.

More than 170 new or "upgraded" schools have been promised, costing $6 billion over four years.

The Treasurer boasted that this would provide 880 new teachers and 2000 new classrooms for the state's children, on top of 4800 new preschool places in fast-growing areas such as Camden, Paramatta, Blacktown and the Hills District.

A $500 million scheme will see 1000 schools fitted with airconditioners, but the state government can't say which they'll be or when they'll get them.

IF YOU'RE A SMALL BUSINESS PERSON

The payroll tax threshold will be increased from $750,000 to $850,000 from July 1 and then progressively increased to $1.0 million by 2021-22.

IF YOU'RE WORRIED ABOUT COST OF LIVING

Car rego will be free for regular toll road users, saving some drivers $700 a year.

There will be a new online "one click energy switch" service to find the best deals on your bills. A cost-of-living service will also be set up by Service NSW centres to help people access government rebates. The opposition has scoffed at this idea, saying it is "laughable" and does nothing to actually bring down power prices.

Parking fines from the state government will be reduced by 25 per cent and local councils will be asked to do the same. Caravan registration will be cut by 40 per cent.

IF YOU KNOW SOMEONE WHO IS SICK

A record $8 billion will be spent on health infrastructure over four years. This includes a plan to turn Liverpool Hospital into a "world-leading precinct" with neonatal intensive care, maternity facilities and a cancer centre.

Mental health will receive a $2.1 billion boost, which will be used to set up new specialist units for people of all ages.

There will be an additional 1370 frontline staff, including 950 nurses and midwives, 300 doctors and 120 allied health workers.

IF YOU'RE STARTING OUT IN YOUR CAREER

More than $285 million will be invested over six years to fund 100,000 fee-free apprenticeships and $179.5 million to expand TAFE facilities to residents in regional NSW.

This means aspiring tradies will no longer have to pay up to $3000 in fees to learn hospitality, plumbing, carpentry or bricklaying skills.

IF YOU WANT TO FEEL SAFE

More than $288m will be spent over four years to "re-engineer" NSW Police to improve its flexibility to fight crime. More than $52 million will be used over four years on the National Facial Biometric Matching capability, meaning cops will be able to use new face-matching technology to identify terrorists and criminals.

IF YOU CARE ABOUT YOUR COMMUNITY

A new $3 billion state wealth fund will include a pot of $30 million for community projects, which locals will be able to vote on.

IF YOU'RE INTO SPORT AND CULTURE

The controversial move of the Powerhouse science and industry museum to Parramatta will receive a $245 million boost. Equally controversial are the city's new stadiums with $729 million allocated over four years to the rebuild of the Sydney Football Stadium and $188 million for Parramatta's Western Sydney Stadium.

A $50 million refurb of the Australian Museum will set it up to host an exhibition of Tutankhamun's treasures, which the government hopes will see a tourism boost. Additionally,$10 million will be used to attract big budget Hollywood movies to NSW. Blockbusters Peter Rabbit and Pacific Rim were filmed in the state.

IF YOU LIKE TREES

The government wants to create a "green canopy" for Sydney, planting five million trees by 2030. Let's hope that makes up for some of the scores cut down for the CBD's new light rail.

THE HIDDEN NASTIES

If you're a gambler, it's bad news for you. From January, the government will introduce a "point of consumption wagering tax", which will up bets by 10 per cent whether in person, online or over the phone.

Opal fares, which were previously frozen, will soon go up with inflation. Meanwhile, public sector wages will be capped at 2.5 per cent.



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