Wednesday, 22 June 2016 15:24

NSW Budget 2016: What’s in it for Western Sydney

Western Sydney motorway. Western Sydney motorway.

Media release, 21 June, 2016

The 2016 NSW Budget has offered a consistently strong commitment for key infrastructure programs, targeted action on skills shortages, but falls short on health funding according to the Western Sydney Regional Organisation of Councils (WSROC).

WSROC President Cllr Tony Hadchiti said “There were few surprises in this year’s NSW Budget, however WSROC is pleased to see an ongoing commitment to funding key infrastructure projects in Western Sydney such as the Sydney Metro, Parramatta Light Rail and road upgrades.

“Councils also welcome continuation of the Infrastructure Acceleration Fund for Western Sydney’s Priority Growth Areas.

“Providing key infrastructure in line with rapidly developing communities puts huge pressure on the resources of councils servicing these Priority Growth Areas. Any support the NSW Government can offer is greatly welcomed,” he said.

A number of proposed initiatives targeting regional skills shortages also offer great promise for Western Sydney, according to Cllr Hadchiti.

“WSROC has previously called for a more direct approach to tackling the region’s skills shortage and the Smart, Skilled and Hired program has offered a response to these calls.

“The program will encourage and assist unemployed young people to find training and employment in industries experiencing skills shortage such as construction and disability care,” said Cllr Hadchiti.

“Additional funding has also been set aside for VET enrolments and TAFE scholarships in technology-based growth industries, encouraging our young people to train for the jobs of the future,” he said.

Investment in arts and cultural development is also a key issue for the Western Sydney region.

“While the Budget did not include any new funding for Western Sydney arts, WSROC welcomes the renewed focus on supporting local artists and grass roots organisations,” said Cllr Hadchiti.

“Supporting grass roots arts and cultural productions is important for supporting and developing our emerging talent, and ensuring a diverse range of voices are contributing to our state’s cultural dialogue,” he said.

“We are also pleased to hear there will be $2.8 million in grants for community projects, activities and partnerships that foster community engagement and celebrate our cultural diversity,” said Cllr Hadchiti.

“Western Sydney is Australia’s greatest cultural melting pot. Diversity is one of our most important assets and this funding will encourage cultural sharing and promote a sense of belonging for new Australians,” he said.

“While surpluses contribute to economic stability and sustainability, smaller surpluses and an increased spend in areas of Western Sydney that have suffered from long term neglect can provide better outcomes for the state and Western Sydney. 

“For example, while there has been great investment in health infrastructure and services generally, we are severely disappointed to see that the Budget did not include any significant funding increases for the over-capacity Nepean Hospital at Penrith.

“Nepean is the outer-west’s major hospital and staff have openly stated that they are struggling to cope under the weight of significant population increases in Western Sydney’s outer growth areas,” he said.

“Beyond medical services, this budget has not allocated any dedicated funding for addressing the Western Sydney’s epidemic of lifestyle-related illnesses such as obesity and diabetes.

“This epidemic is costing our state billions of dollars each year and needs to be addressed via a targeted, multi-sector strategy,” said Cllr Hadchiti.

 [ENDS]

Media contact: Kelly-Anne Gee, 02 9671 4333 (ext. 118), 0425 871 868 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.   

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