June 26 - July 2, 2022: Issue 544


NSW Government's Budget 2022-2023: funds allocated towards local Roads, Schools, Mental Health Support Services - record 400 million dollar budget boost for pittwater

The Mona Vale Road East upgrade will be completed within the next 12 months - Mona Vale Road West upgrade is going ahead.

Member for Pittwater Rob Stokes announced more than $400 million has been secured in the NSW Budget to progress Pittwater’s major infrastructure projects on June 21 2022.

The 2022/23 budget allocation represents a record investment in local education, road, transport and health initiatives and confirms the completion of Pittwater’s largest and most significant infrastructure projects.

Local funding highlights for 2022/23 include:

  • $340 million over the next 4 years to upgrade Mona Vale Road West. Work on the $250 million Mona Vale Road East project is expected to be completed within the next 12 months. 
  • $11 million to continue upgrading Mona Vale Public School (total project cost $52.8 million).
  • $15.5 million to commence the upgrade of the Narrabeen Education Campus (total cost subject to tender).
  • $40 million for safety and capacity improvements on Wakehurst Parkway (total project cost $150 million over next 3 years).
  • $2.4 million for the construction of a dedicated pedestrian/cycling link between Newport Beach and Bilgola Beach.
  • $1.09 million for ongoing campus configuration improvements at Mona Vale Hospital.

“This is a record investment in Pittwater and enables our community’s largest infrastructure projects to be completed,” Rob Stokes said.

“We’ve had great momentum over recent years and it’s exciting to build upon the major works already underway throughout our community.

“The Mona Vale Road Upgrade is the largest ever infrastructure investment in our community and this budget confirms the project will be completed in its entirety 

“By supporting key infrastructure projects and local services we can grow our economy, create jobs and help boost our local businesses.

“This is a great budget for Pittwater and ensures the major funding that’s been flowing towards our community will continue,” Rob Stokes said.

Details are:

Mona Vale Road, McCarrs Creek Road to Powder Works Road; Upgrading and widening about 3.4 kilometres of Mona Vale Road between McCarrs Creek Road, Terrey Hills, and Powder Works Road, Ingleside, from a two-lane undivided road to a four lane (two lanes in each direction) divided road. $340.0 million (over next four years) $25.0 million (2022-23)

The Wakehurst Parkway Funding for safety and capacity improvements to Wakehurst Parkway (NSW and Commonwealth Government funded). $150.0 million (over next three years) $40.0 million (2022-23)  Project will include:

  • Widening approximately 500m of Wakehurst Parkway to 2 lanes in each direction.
  • Upgrading of the intersection of Wakehurst Parkway and Aquatic Drive.
  • New pedestrian and cycle bridge, connecting Aquatic Drive and Fitzpatrick Avenue East.
  • New fauna rope crossings.

The Project will provide for improved performance at the intersection of Wakehurst Parkway and Warringah Road, safety for northbound vehicles, and active transport by providing a new pedestrian and cycle bridge over the Wakehurst Parkway. This Project is in the Planning stage at present and is expected to commence construction in early 2023 and is expected to be completed by mid-2025.

While on roads, the Western Harbour Tunnel Upgrade and Beaches Link PlanningCommencing a major construction activity for the Western Harbour Tunnel to deliver the first stage of tunnelling works for a new crossing of the Sydney Harbour. The first package will include construction of around 1.7 kilometres of mainline tunnels from Rozelle to Birchgrove. $4.1 billion (over next four years) has had $558.5 million (2022-23) allocated although the Sydney Motorways Beaches Link (Planning) has had just over a million allocated, compared to that spent already: 116,433 (2021-22) 1.050 million (2022-23), while the Warringah Freeway Upgrade Various has had 445.492 million allocated: 370,926(2021-22) 445,492 (2022-23) - the continuing upgrades of the Warringah Freeway for surface roads, bridges and interchanges along about four kilometres of the freeway corridor, which started in early 2022. $1.7 billion (over next four years) $445.5 million (2022-23). 

In May 2022 Infrastructure NSW's 2022 State Infrastructure Strategy recommended the Beaches Link project be re-sequenced to avoid delivery risks caused by complexity and a shortage of skilled labour. The NSW Government will assess the strategy's recommendations before making a decision on their implementation.

Mona Vale Public School is not the only education facility allocated funding in this Budget, the Forest High School (Relocation) Frenchs Forest also has had funds directed 1,795(2021-22) 16.193 million(2022-23). In Issue 524: Forest High School Relocation: Drawings - Project Scope Made Available

Artists Impression Image: Aerial view of the proposed school design looking from Allambie Road. NSW Department of Education - School Infrastructure image

Manly's Public School (Village School) is also a winner from this budget, with 5 million allocated to integrate the old Community Centre. This is great news for the students, teachers and families as it will provide more space for the school community. Manly MP James Griffin has been working to ensure this went ahead.

While in Manly, this 2022-23 Budget allocates 4.3 million in funding to demolish the old Aquarium site and create new open space on Sydney Harbour. Readers may have seen the designs which create a new area for relaxing and recreation right on the Harbour. This will also activate and open up the beautiful heritage listed Manly Pavilion behind, with the design allowing people to enter and exit the water and enjoy this beautiful part of Manly. 

The Strategic Open Spaces Program across Greater Sydney allocations for new and upgraded parks also includes local funding for Frenchs Forest and Belrose along with works for Penrith, Ermington, Appin, Leppington, Carramar, Beaumont Hills, Hurstville, and Thompsons Creek to support healthy and active communities. $140.0 million (ETC).

The NSW Government has also allocated 11.5 million towards mental health services for residents.

In a statement the NSW Government said: "Children and young people on the Northern Beaches will benefit from significantly enhanced mental health services with a $11.4 million investment under the 2022-23 NSW Budget.

Health Minister Brad Hazzard said the funding will be used to expand hospital and community services, including establishing acute paediatric specialist mental health beds at Northern Beaches Hospital and supporting local community mental health and drug and alcohol treatment services.

“This significant additional funding for child and youth mental health services on the Beaches will help ensure the appropriate treatment and support is available to young people and their families in a more timely manner,” Mr Hazzard said.

“This will significantly increase capacity and reduce wait times by enabling a comprehensive child and youth mental health service to operate on the Beaches seven days a week as well as the establishment of a new youth drug and alcohol treatment service.”

The $11.4 million for child and youth mental health services in the Northern Beaches includes:

  • $7.5 million to establish four dedicated acute paediatric specialist mental health beds at Northern Beaches Hospital, which will provide for the establishment and operation of the beds.
  • $1.4 million to employ additional staff, including senior multi-disciplinary clinicians, to support Northern Beaches Child Youth Mental Health Service in the Brookvale Community Health Centre.
  • $1.1 million to recruit additional staff, including peer workers and clinicians, to support and operate the Northern Beaches Youth Response Team service out of Mona Vale Community Health Centre seven days a week.
  • $1 million to develop a new youth drug and alcohol community treatment service in Northern Sydney Local Health District, including employing senior medical, nursing and allied health clinicians to operate the service.
  • $365,000 to provide a full-time child and youth psychiatrist at Northern Beaches Hospital.

The Youth Response Team (YRT) is based at Macquarie Hospital in North Ryde and provides outreach services to young people across the region, including the Northern Beaches, which is one of the highest users of the service, comprising about 40 per cent of referrals to the outreach service. The YRT has a 97 per cent success rate of diverting young people from emergency departments.

Minister for Mental Health Bronnie Taylor said youth mental health and suicide prevention is a high priority for the NSW Government as demand for support has been increasing over the past couple of years.

“We have seen a significant increase in mental health and self-harm presentations for young people to emergency departments across NSW,” Mrs Taylor said.

“In response, the NSW Government has been investing significantly in improving child and youth mental health services and supports to reduce the number of mental health presentations.

“This includes the establishment of 25 ‘Safeguards’ Child and Adolescent Mental Health Response Teams, which will provide rapid, short-term acute care for children and adolescents, a much-needed alternative to hospital and one that will reduce repeated emergency department attendances, with at least one team currently operating in Northern Sydney LHD.”

In addition from January 1st 2023 - ALL NSW families will be eligible for:

  • up to $4,000 in fee relief for 3,4 and 5 year olds attending a community or mobile preschool 
  • up to $2,000 for 4 and 5 year olds attending preschool in a long day care setting.

There will also be a rollout of $150 vouchers for school materials for parents/students next year - a welcome boon for families making every dollar count.

Other highlights of the 2022-23 NSW Budget’s include:

  • $33 billion investment in health and recruiting more than 10,000 full-time equivalent staff to hospitals, NSW Ambulance and health services across the State
  • $16.5 billion over 10 years to break the barriers to opportunity for women and help give our children the best start in life including by investing in affordable and accessible childcare and creating a universal year of prekindergarten in the year before school
  • More than $7.2 billion in cost-of-living measures, including the Premier’s Back to School program and new Energy Bill Buster Program
  • $2.8 billion to help more families find a place to call home, including $728.6 million for tax reform to help people own their first home
  • $1.2 billion to establish the Transmission Acceleration Facility, which will unlock massive investments in our electricity system and build our renewable energy zones—the power stations of the future
  • A $500 million commitment to deliver on the NSW Government’s Fast Rail vision

This Budget also provides comprehensive measures to boost family budgets, and support for communities impacted by floods. 

The Government states 'It is a Budget that takes the lessons of COVID-19, fire and floods, and builds on a decade of delivery and responsible economic management to blaze a bright path to future prosperity.'

NSW Premier Dominic Perrottet said: “The people of New South Wales have stood tall through enormous challenges over the past few years, and this budget backs in their efforts, with more steadfast support, stronger services, and strategic reform to set our State up for a brighter future.

“For more than a decade we have delivered on our vision, reinforcing the State’s economic foundations, rebuilding the infrastructure, and establishing services strong enough to withstand unprecedented pressures.

“With this budget, the NSW Government sets out a transformational roadmap for the decade ahead, delivering not just for our people today, but for generations to come.”

The Budget forecasts above trend economic growth of 4¼ per cent for 2022-23 and a return to historically low unemployment of 3½ per cent in the June quarter next year. 

For 2021-22, revenue is forecast to be $103.7 billion and expenditure $120.3 billion. The State’s deficit for 2021-22 has improved from the half-year review of $19.5 billion to $16.6 billion.

The State is projected to return to surplus in 2024-25—the same year as forecast in last year’s Budget, despite the Delta and Omicron outbreaks and floods—and that surplus is projected to increase to $1.4 billion in 2025-26.

Net debt is projected to stabilise at about 14 per cent of GSP by June 2026 (compared to a projected 19.8 per cent for Victoria at 30 June 2022) followed by a gradual decline towards the end of the decade.

As part of managing net debt to sustainable levels, the proceeds of the successful sale of the NSW Government’s residual stake in WestConnex have been used to retire a total of $11 billion in debt over a two-year period. The 2022-23 NSW Budget also includes $2 billion in budget improvement measures to support fiscal sustainability and a return to surplus, comprising:

  • $1.4 billion in revenue measures, including amending the point of consumption and betting tax rates, increasing the foreign investor surcharge land tax rate, a reduction in the discount available for the early payment of land tax and investment in additional compliance within Revenue NSW; and
  • $645.8 million in savings measures through the introduction of a further efficiency dividend from 2023-24 to 2025-26, amendments to workers compensation funding arrangements and lower wages growth for senior executives.

NSW Treasurer Matt Kean said that with an unemployment rate of 4 per cent, and record high workforce participation, NSW could look to the future with confidence.

“NSW has the most competitive economy in the nation and the 2022-23 NSW Budget is a 10-year Blueprint for prosperity,” Mr Kean said.

“Over the past decade, we have cut taxes by $10.5 billion and made them more competitive, recycled infrastructure assets to build new ones, digitised government services and kept a lid on expenses.

“This, together with Commonwealth contributions, provided the capacity for the $53 billion committed to COVID-19 response and recovery, supporting communities and businesses during the worst of the pandemic and $3.5 billion for flood restoration and recovery without threatening future economic prosperity, and it’s why in the 2022-23 NSW Budget we are able to announce new programs that support future economic prosperity and address cost-of-living pressures.

“There is no better investment that we can make for the people of this State, than investing in the people of this State themselves.

“In this Budget, we choose to do that, pursue historic reform and unlock opportunity right across our State.”

In addition to the Budget’s investments to drive women’s opportunity, introduce universal prekindergarten, reduce the tax burden of buying a first home, and unlock massive investments in renewable energy, this Budget includes:

  • $112.7 billion four-year infrastructure program
  • $2.8 billion Housing Package—including tax reform—to help new homebuyers enter the market, provide new and upgraded social homes and new and upgraded homes in regional areas for frontline workers and for First Nations people
  • $2.4 billion over 10 years to attract doctors and nurses to rural and regional hospitals, to make sure no matter where a person lives they have access to quality healthcare;
  • $1.3 billion to expand the Regional Growth Fund, in addition to the $2 billion already funded, to continue creating opportunities and supporting communities in regional NSW
  • $715.8 million for First Nations policies and programs
  • $703.4 million Future Economy Fund—while many of the industries of the future haven’t been thought of yet, this Fund will mean many of them will be thought of here
  • $520 million in new toll relief
  • $128 million for the Energy Buster program to help households cut energy bills by installing rooftop solar and energy efficient appliances.

Other major investments in the 2022-23 NSW Budget include:

  • $39.8 billion for public transport and roads
  • $3.3 billion for sustainability and the clean economy
  • $3.0 billion for NSW Health including 51 new and upgraded hospitals
  • $1.6 billion for 23 new and upgraded schools and additional minor works
  • $1.6 billion to build stronger regional communities
  • $640.3 million for training and further education
  • $5.5 billion investment for the NSW Police Force
  • $832.7 million boost over four years investment in scientific research, innovation and technological development
  • $1.4 billion on arts and creative infrastructure

All of the NSW Government's 2022-23 Budget documents are available at: www.budget.nsw.gov.au