The exclusive Briefing Lunch with the NSW Treasurer, The Hon. Gladys Berejiklian, MP, saw her present a post budget overview for NSW 16-17.
The NSW Treasurer acknowledged that there is no such thing as steady state, however NSW is currently performing strongly in many areas above and beyond other national governments.Demand growth is at the nation’s highest rate of 3.9%, a budget surplus of $3.7 billion in 16-17 and virtually zero net debt – which compared to QLD and WA’s 8.8% GSP, demonstrates that we are a state that’s clearly out in front.
There are many ways in which the government will keep working hard to ensure NSW stays the strongest economy in the nation.Here is a snapshot of NSW’s performance:
Staying in control
The state’s net worth will continue to increase by 30% in the next 5 years due to a focus on investment in productive infrastructure. A key factor in achieving this has been the steady decline in expenses growth, which the Treasurer has reduced already by 30% since taking on the role. Continued maintenance on containing this growth will mean a controlled budget and results such as a budget surplus of$3.7 billion in 16-17, and net debt atpractically zero.
Focused infrastructure spending
Record amounts are to be spent – with $73.3 billion dollars committed over the next 4 years on a total state sector basis. The government’s attention on innovative and efficient delivery models and getting projects to market with determined implementation being a priority that the Treasurer will remain focused on. Sydney’s rail projects will receive over $2 billion, as will health and social housing developments.
Jobs and growth
Last week’s job figures showed that in the last 12 months, NSW has created nearly two thirds (140,000) of the nation’s jobs - or 63% - an achievement the Treasurer is especially proud of. Over the last 5 years, 3004 more teachers, 1109 more police and 4724 more nurses and midwives are in employment. With the education and training sector being a focus in the budget, the dedication of resources will be key for not only maintaining, but growing these results and benefits in the future for the state.
Data Analytics Centre
There’s no doubting that state-owned data opens a Pandora’s box of opportunities for better resource planning and services investment. In the past, the challenge has been that different agencies haven’t readily shared individual data records, but this is changing. The government are beginning to see trends as to which groups of citizens are using what services and what challenges may be faced in the future from knowing about this. Grasping opportunities to make investments in targeted way will mean supporting these people better down the track.
Impact of technology
The Treasurer made note of how technology is a shifting challenge, but one that when harnessed, can only be of wider benefit across the state’s sectors. She announced that next year’s budget will be completely digital – with line of site of every item of program funding through government being available in real-time, which will allow for immediate pick-up of any challenges well ahead of time.