LETTER: State Budget caters to country New South Wales

Regional NSW has been handed a large slice of the $93 billion NSW budget pie, which features infrastructure, health and drought support measures as its main ingredients. 

The Treasurer’s claim that this also is a “budget for the bush” has merit, as it delivers critical investment in regional roads, hospitals, digital connectivity, drought support measures and frontline services. 

NSW Farmers asked for an $8 billion investment in regional transport and digital infrastructure, education and health.

The Budget papers have confirmed $1 billion over five years to improve country roads and bridges, $200 million to flood proof the Newell Highway between Forbes and West Wyalong, $19.2 million to begin the Great Western Highway upgrade and $44 million for Silver City and Cobb highway upgrades. 

It’s now time to fast track the planning of this infrastructure spend and get on with job of construction so regional communities can realise the long term benefits as soon as possible.

Upgrades to regional hospitals and health facilities are always welcome news, but the State Government has also recognised the mental health impact of this crippling drought and responded to our advice by investing more in farm gate counselling services”.

For farmers, an additional $355 million for drought support measures for farmers and town water infrastructure and a $350 million top up for the Farm Innovation Fund is a welcome commitment.

The popular Quad Bike Safety Improvement program scored an extra $2.8 million in funding, which now includes rebates of up $500 to purchase drone technology. 

James Jackson, 

NSW Farmers president