Splurge picture ‘unclear’
MP CALLS FOR BREAKDOWN
INFRASTRUCTURE spending was the buzzword of the NSW Budget with billions allocated to major road and rail projects to “unclog crippling congestion”.
But Mt Druitt state Labor MP Edmond Atalla has pointed to what was not in the budget — no funding to rebuild Mt Druitt Police station and no breakdown of what portion of the $30 million allocated to Blacktown and Mt Druitt hospitals Mt Druitt would get.
There is $16.5 billion for public transport and roads, including $590 million to bring forward plans for new infrastructure projects to be built when electricity assets are leased.
Treasurer Gladys Berejiklian’s first budget is in surplus by $2.1 billion with infrastructure spending in NSW over four years a record $68.6 billion. There is $684 million to upgrade and repair roads in Western Sydney and plans for a Western Sydney Sport and Community Centre in Penrith.
Premier Mike Baird said Western Sydney had been a major funding focus.
“In 20 years, every second Sydneysider will live in Greater Western Sydney. It is the engine room of our state and this Budget is further proof that the Liberals and Nationals Government backs Western Sydney and its future,” Mr Baird said.
There is $890 million over the next four years for train station upgrades and commuter carparks. Rail maintenance is allocated $1.2 billion and $74 million for a rail operations. There is $15 million to continue planning for a new Smart Motorway System for the M4 and $37 million for upgrades on the T1 Western Line.
Emergency Services Minister David Elliott said Fire and Rescue NSW would receive almost $700 million plus capital funding including $18.4 million to build and refurbish fire stations in places such as Mt Druitt.
A further $30 million has been allocated for Blacktown Mt Druitt Hospital. But Mr Atalla said without a breakdown it was “a stunt”.
“The Government put the hospitals under the same banner so they are not held accountable for cuts at Mt Druitt,” he said.