With the Budget firmly in the black and net debt at historically low levels, the NSW Government has moved to bring forward a number of infrastructure projects across the State as part of its Budget Half-Yearly Review.
Treasurer Gladys Berejiklian today released the Budget update, which shows surpluses averaging $1.8 billion a year over four years. The budget result for 2016-17 is forecast to deliver a surplus of nearly $4 billion – a result $259.9 million above the forecast set out in the 2016-17 Budget.
New infrastructure decisions total $2.7 billion since the 2016-17 Budget and form part of the State’s record $73.2 billion capital program over four years. “Five years ago, we inherited a broken budget and the nation’s weakest economy,” Ms Berejiklian said. “Now, we have by far the nation’s strongest Budget and fiscal position, and our economy is leading the nation on all key economic indicators.
“This is allowing us to invest unprecedented amounts into new infrastructure to transform this State forever, while also keeping our debt low.” The NSW Government ended the year to 30 June 2016 with a cash-positive net debt position – the first time on record for the State. NSW also has the lowest net debt of any mainland state in Australia.
Following the successful $16.189 billion Ausgrid transaction to an all-Australian consortium, the NSW Government is now bringing forward funding for a number of infrastructure projects as part of its $20 billion Rebuilding NSW plan. New commitments since the 2016-17 Budget outlined in the Half-Yearly Review include:
- $380 million for delivery of the M4 Smart Motorway project
- $393 million for delivery of Sydney Pinch Points and Clearways program
- $196.5 million for delivery of Regional Multipurpose Services health facilities
“Our responsible management of the State’s finances and asset recycling strategy is allowing us to deliver the biggest infrastructure program ever seen in Australia,” Ms Berejiklian said.
The Half-Yearly Review caps off a big year of economic achievements for NSW that has included:
- NSW real Gross State Product growing by 3.5 per cent in 2015-16 – stronger than any state or territory
- An historically high 74,600 new homes approved over the last year
- Annual construction spending surpassing $50 billion for the first time
- NSW continuing its run as the nation’s number one economy for nine consecutive quarters, according to CommSec’s State of the States report
- More than half of the jobs created nationally in 2015-16 are in NSW
NSW’s strong economic position is increasing the standard of living for the people of NSW, with the State’s net worth rising a remarkable 36.6 per cent to $248.4 billion by June 2020. NSW maintains a triple-A rating from both Standard & Poor’s and Moody’s.