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Budget Estimates 2015-16

Mr MATT KEAN ( Hornsby ) ( 20:55 ): For several reasons I am delighted to speak in debate on the 2015-16 budget. When we first came to Government in 2011, we inherited forecast deficits totalling $4.4 billion. I am pleased to state that this Government has turned around Labor's budgetary position completely. After four years of hard work, the budget is firmly back in the black. That is the motto of the member for Drummoyne: Back in the black! In the 2015-16 financial year, and in each year of the forward estimates, the Government is forecasting surpluses. In the experience of the member for Wyong, it is unheard of for governments to deliver budget surpluses and a strong fiscal position so that it can deliver for communities right across New South Wales the infrastructure that for years people cried out for under Labor. In 2015-16, we are forecasting an underlying surplus of $713 million, increasing every year to reach $895 million in 2018-19. I know the member for Cessnock would have read the forward estimates: in fact, he has the budget papers in his hands.

When our reforms to transport assets are included, the 2015-16 budget surplus is $2.5 billion. That means the Government is investing in record infrastructure on a scale that has not been seen in New South Wales for many decades—certainly not for the 16 years of Labor government. Every election commitment this Government made is being met. This Government says what it will do and then delivers it.

Mr Clayton Barr: What about transparency? How is that commitment going?

Mr MATT KEAN: That concept is foreign to Labor members, but that is what the Government is committed to. When we came to Government, expenses growth averaged 6.4 per cent while revenue growth was 5.2 per cent. Again, this Government has turned that around. Today average expenses growth is in line with revenue growth across the forward estimates. The State is living within its means. The story just gets better. This Government has brought debt under control whereas Labor members think that the way to solve debt is by borrowing more.

Mr MATT KEAN: Public sector net debt was forecast to be $62.4 billion by March 2014-15. That would have put the State's triple-A credit rating at risk. We did not let that happen. Today, this debt figure in 2014‑15 is estimated to be $38.2 billion, or $24 billion less than forecast under Labor. It is all good news from this Government. I am delighted to speak about this good news. I commend the take-note motion to the House.

TEMPORARY SPEAKER ( Mr Lee Evans ): The question is that the House takes note of the budget estimates and related papers.

Motion agreed to.

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