You are here

Parliament: Matt speaks on NSW State Budget

Mr MATT KEAN ( Hornsby ) ( 15:38 ): My motion deserves to be accorded priority because there has never been a more exciting time to live in New South Wales, and that is confirmed by today's budget. The triple‑A credit rating is entrenched; there are surpluses as far as the eye can see, and there will be record expenditure on infrastructure to continue to grow and drive this State's economy. I have not seen this much excitement in New South Wales since Big Kev was selling cleaning products. I know that good news for the Government is bad news for Labor. Those opposite hate good news. The shadow Treasurer appeared during the week to make a contribution to the budget debate. His contribution as reported in the South Coast Register related to what he will be doing with regard to the budget. He will be "watching next week's budget even more closely than usual". So look out. That is all they have.

I will tell Labor what to look out for: record spending on infrastructure; billions of dollars going into congestion-busting projects such as WestConnex and NorthConnex; public transport projects such as Sydney Metro; and record spends on hospitals and education. It was not a completely policy-free zone on the other side. I saw in the Sydney Morning Herald an article about the man who has cast himself as a thinker, not a brawler— Luke Foley, the self-described champion in the arena of big ideas. He argues that it plays to his strength; in fact, that is how he got the job. He came out with a budget idea, and I will tell you what it is.

The big thinker—the man who is competing in the ideas arena—came up with the budget-busting idea that car access to Mrs Macquarie's Chair would be blocked. It was noted, "Labor's environment spokesman, Luke Foley, said Labor's policy would be to put the gardeners back in charge." While the Government is making New South Wales number one again, he is putting the gardeners back in charge. This Government has spent five years growing our economy, fixing the State's budget and delivering outcomes for residents throughout New South Wales, and the Government will continue to do so. The only people who will not be excited about that are those sitting opposite. [Time expired.]

To see the Hansard transcript, click here.



Mr MATT KEAN ( Hornsby ) ( 15:52 ): I move:

That this House supports today's budget that continues the Government's record investment of $73 billion over four years.

This budget delivers record spending in services and infrastructure for the people of New South Wales. It is the result of five years of strong fiscal management by the New South Wales Liberal-Nationals Government. The 2016‑17 budget demonstrates why our State is leading the nation. We have strong financial management. Surpluses are forecast for the budget year and all years of the forward estimates. The New South Wales Government has retained and confirmed the triple-A credit rating of New South Wales.

The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order! There is too much audible conversation in the Chamber. Hansard and I are having trouble hearing the member with the call.

Mr MATT KEAN: We are the leading jobs creator in the nation. Since coming to office in 2011 the New South Wales Government has created 338,000 jobs. This includes 154,000 jobs since April 2015. The New South Wales Government has met its election commitment to create 150,000 jobs this term in only 13 months. So it is an exciting time to be in New South Wales. In the past year New South Wales has created 141,800 jobs, almost two-thirds of all the jobs added across the entire Commonwealth of Australia. In the past 12 months regional New South Wales added 54,900 jobs, more than the total number of jobs created in regions across the entire nation. In addition to that, and just when you thought it could not get any better it does: Today we announced a record investment in infrastructure across the State.

This budget will invest $73.3 billion in infrastructure for metropolitan and regional New South Wales over four years, including: $41.5 billion for transport projects such as the $2.9 million that has been allocated for WestConnex, the largest transport project in Australia, linking Sydney's west and south-west with the central business district, airport and Port Botany; $1.5 billion for the Pacific Highway to continue the duplication program, with construction underway on all remaining sections between Port Macquarie and Glenugie; and $1.5 million for road maintenance, including bridge rebuilding. I note that in my electorate of Hornsby the Brooklyn bridge will be included as part of that upgrade.

There is $338 million for Western Sydney roads to support Sydney's second airport at Badgerys Creek; $147 million for Western Sydney growth roads to support population and economic growth; and $2.7 billion to deliver the Sydney Metro, Australia's biggest public transport project. That will benefit communities from the north-west right through to the south-west. It is all happening in New South Wales. But it is only able to happen because the Liberal-Nationals Government has built a strong fiscal position to deliver the infrastructure and services that our communities need, and to protect the vulnerable and those who need it most.

We will continue the provision of quality services. We see that in this budget more than $22 billion will be spent on health and more than $14 billion will be spent on education in 2016-17. As the Prime Minister would say, there never has in fact been a more exciting time to live in New South Wales, and that is highlighted by today's budget. This budget reflects the hard work the Treasurer and the Premier have done to repair Labor's mess, and to deliver the infrastructure and services that this State needs. Our budget is comfortably in the black. We are investing more in infrastructure for the future and our triple-A credit rating is certainly secure.

We have above-trend economic growth, and that is expected to continue over the next two years with gross State product forecast to rise by 3 per cent in 2016‑17 and 2¾ per cent in 2017‑18. The Government continues to deliver robust fiscal results with a surplus of $3.7 billion forecast in 2016‑17. Surpluses averaging $2 billion are also projected over the next four years. This solid budget position means that we can invest record amounts into infrastructure and services for the people of New South Wales, including the $73.3 billion that we will be investing in infrastructure over next four years. It is an exciting time to live in this State. [Time expired.]

Mr Gareth Ward: Where is the shadow Treasurer?

The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order! The member for Kiama will come to order. I remind him that he is already on two calls to order.

Mr Mark Coure: I see the shadow Treasurer before us.

The DEPUTY SPEAKER: I call the member to Oatley to order for the first time.

Mr MICHAEL DALEY ( Maroubra ) ( 15:58 ): Like the bill that we will be debating shortly on local government, it seems that the wording of this motion has been rushed. It says, "support this budget that continues the Baird-Grant Government's record investment in infrastructure." If we are mindful not to mislead the House then what we should do is to insert the word "underspend" into the motion so that it reads, "supports today a budget that continues the Baird-Grant Government's underspend in infrastructure." The Government cannot continue a record investment in infrastructure if we have not had one in the first place. I will give the members present, who will be enthralled I am sure, a history lesson. On 6 September in his first budget the now Premier stood in this place and said:

… our first budget delivers the biggest infrastructure commitment in the history of the State, totalling $62.6 billion over the next four years.

The operative word there is "commitment". That commitment and that promise have been broken year after year over the past five years. I will take members in the Chamber through some numbers. In that budget, the 2011‑12 budget, the Premier promised to spend $15.3 billion on infrastructure in that year. He spent $13.4 billion. In the next budget, in 2012‑13, he promised to spend $15 billion on infrastructure. He spent $14.4 billion. So there was a $1.8 billion underspend in the first year and an underspend of half a billion dollars in the second year.

In 2013‑14 he promised to spend $15.5 billion. He spent $14.1 billion. So there was a whopping $1.393 billion, or almost 10 per cent, underspent of the infrastructure spend. In the 2014‑15 budget he promised to spend $15.038 billion, but actually spent only $13.724 million. The underspend over the four-year period was $5 billion. So the record commitment was matched only by the record underspend. This Government is good at saying, "Look over here; don't look over there. Look over here at the promise. Don't look over here at the $500 million spent on the Learning Management and Business Reform [LMBR] program. Don't look at what we're spending; look at what we're promising." That has been the record of this Government, and so it is with this entire budget today.

The DEPUTY SPEAKER: Order! The member for Hornsby will come to order. He will have another opportunity to speak in his reply.

Mr MICHAEL DALEY: It is no wonder that Government members want to come in here and talk about infrastructure in this priority motion. When we look at the recurrent side we see that it is an absolute disgrace—on page after page of this budget. One of the things that the people of Western Sydney in particular have been clamouring for from this Government is for it to assist them to buy their first home. First home buyers are now down to the lowest level they have ever been—they are now only 7 per cent of all purchasers. What do we see in response from this Government?

The Treasurer stood up on Saturday and promised $262 million from the Housing Acceleration Fund. This is a $1 billion fund dedicated to getting people who cannot buy a house into a house. She promised $262 million, and the biggest component of that is for what? It is $140 million for an off-ramp on the M4, which the Minister for Planning, and the Minister for Roads announced in November last year would be funded from stage 1 of WestConnex. So the Government is raiding the $1 billion Housing Acceleration Fund to pay for road projects that should have been funded out of WestConnex. That is an infrastructure project worth $16.8 billion, and it has already blown out by $6.8 billion. Now we are adding another $142 million to that blowout. So if the Government is not underspending then it is blowing it out.

It is no wonder that the Government wants to talk about infrastructure today. If we look at health, we see there have been cuts worth $3.1 billion. There was nothing in the budget, as we said in question time today, for Nepean hospital. In education there has been $1.7 billion worth of cuts, and none of those cuts have been undone. We have 126,000 fewer enrolments at TAFE now than there were last year and we are down by more than 5,200 full‑time equivalent TAFE teachers. The Minister sitting opposite is shaking his head. He has a grin on his face. He has been duped by Treasury. He would love to tell us the truth, but he cannot. Cabinet solidarity prevents him from telling the truth, and that is something the member for Hornsby also has not done today. [Time expired.]

Mr RAY WILLIAMS ( Castle Hill ) ( 16:05 ): The foundation stones for opportunity and prosperity for the residents of New South Wales were laid just on five years ago with the election of the Liberal-Nationals Government. Since then we have had repeated budgets that improve the quality of life for the residents of New South Wales, as evidenced today with the surplus budget of some $3.4 billion, economic growth above the national average of 3 per cent and unemployment figures well below the national rate, down to 5.2 per cent and falling. In the past year 141,000 people have been ever so grateful to this Government because they have a job and nothing is more important than providing people with prosperity and opportunities to purchase a home. This Government has enabled 70,000 new homes to be delivered in the past 12 months. If people have a job and can purchase a home, we improve their quality of life.

This Government has achieved a record infrastructure spend of more than $73 billion for roads, public transport, hospital upgrades and new schools. My electorate has the fastest‑growing suburb in the north‑west of Western Sydney—Kellyville—where a brand new primary school has been delivered, and I thank the Minister for Education for that. An additional $1 billion of funding in this budget will provide 1,100 additional classrooms, with approximately 30 students in each classroom, which shows the investment this Government is making in educational opportunities for our students well into the future. This is good news, and further evidence of the sound financial and economic responsible moves this Government has taken. It shows the hard work and dedication of every member of the Liberal-Nationals Government in the past five years. They have not been easy years because we inherited $30 billion of debt. I will never be more proud than to say that this New South Wales Government and the people of New South Wales are completely debt free. [Time expired.]

Ms JODI McKAY ( Strathfield ) ( 16:07 ): I am pleased to speak on this motion because when Opposition members came into the House today we knew we would be talking about infrastructure and not people. I will talk about infrastructure and WestConnex because this Government is making it up as it goes. WestConnex was actually pitched as a road that would make it much easier for people in Western Sydney to head to the airport. The Government is yet to work out how to get to the airport: That project is called the Sydney Gateway. Let us about WestConnex and tolls. Currently, tolls are increasing above the consumer price index for the first time. The M4, a road never ever tolled, will have a toll until 2060. A person travelling on that road from Parramatta into the central business district will pay an extra $2,000 per year.

Let us talk about the Sydney Motorway Corporation, a secret body that is not subject to the Government Information (Public Access) Act 2009[GIPAA] and the cost blowout of WestConnex, which has now increased to $16.8 billion from $10 billion and has been castigated by the Auditor-General. I am very happy to talk about the Metro because once again there is no business case for the Metro, nor is there a business case for the South East Light Rail or the Parramatta Light Rail. Every time I have lodged an application under GIPAA the Government has refused to hand over information. It is extraordinary that the Government can build a $12.5 billion project without a business case.

Even worse, the Metro has blown out from $9.5 billion to $12.5 billion. The Government has taken an each‑way bet—it maybe $11 billion, but it may blowout to $12.5 billion—we really do not know how much the Metro will cost. The Sky Train has blown out by $80 million. The CBD Light Rail has blown out by $600,000, the inner-city train fleet has blown out by $1.1 billion and the famous Tibby Cotter bridge has blown out by $28 million. I am disappointed that the Minister for Trade, Tourism and Major Events, the member for Penrith, is not in the Chamber, but the member for Campbelltown is here. The Nepean Green River bridge—

Ms Prue Car: How much?

Ms JODI McKAY: It is now at $49 million, but it started out at $20 million. Nepean Hospital has received an allocation of $1 million, which brings me to Concord hospital, which has had $1 million allocated in planning—at least we think it has $1 million. And $11 million has been allocated for seven hospitals. Concord hospital has a possum problem and World War II buildings, but despite the member for Drummoyne castigating his Government we have not got funding for Concord hospital. This Government talks about infrastructure, but it does not deliver it. Extreme deficiencies are becoming more obvious by the day.

Mr MATT KEAN ( Hornsby ) ( 16:10 ): In reply: I note the concern of the member for Strathfield about transparency, accountability and business case—if only she had that concern when she was in government. The member for Strathfield sat around the Cabinet table and approved the proroguing of the Parliament in the dead of the night to sell the State's electricity-generating assets. She was not too concerned about transparency and accountability at that time. The member for Maroubra wanted to give us a history lesson. I will give a history lesson on Labor's performance on infrastructure delivery when it was in government. The member for Strathfield will note that if the Labor Party in government had built the North West Rail Link and delivered it in 2000, as promised, we would not be having this conversation now. In 2000 I had just finished high schools, for goodness sake.

Like every Labor promise, Labor never follows through on them. It never deliver on what it says it will do, whether it be the North West Rail Link, the South West Rail Link or the Parramatta to Chatswood Rail Link where it actually built half a railway at double the cost. My favourite exemplar of Labor in office is the Inner West Metro, a project that was promised by Labor but never delivered. Even though $500 million was spent on it not one millimetre of track was laid with that money. The member for Strathfield may be concerned about waste, but I remind her that Labor wrote the playbook on wasting money.

The Liberal-Nationals Government will not be lectured by those opposite, including the member for Strathfield, about waste, accountability or transparency. We are delivering for the people of New South Wales. We are delivering a strong budget, which is not an end in itself; that is how we deliver the services and infrastructure that this State missed out on for 16 years under Labor. We are delivering congestion-busting projects such as the WestConnex and the NorthConnex, which was promised for 16 years under Labor. Finally, we are fixing the worst road in Sydney, that is, Pennant Hills Road.

Whether it is NorthConnex, WestConnex or the Sydney Metro this Government is delivering on what it says it will do. This Government follows through projects and gets things done as opposed to those opposite who are more interested in spin than substance. We are getting on with the job of making the lives of New South Wales residents better and making New South Wales a better place to live, to work and to raise a family. This Government has taken some tough decisions. We have heard nothing about Labor's tough decisions; all we have heard is that it will spend more and tax more, which is Labor's way. What will it do in office? Will it keep the wages cap in place? Will it keep fiscal restraint in place? Labor wants to continue to punish New South Wales residents.

The DEPUTY SPEAKER: The question is that the motion moved by the member for Hornsby be agreed to.

The House divided.




Dr Lee Mr Anderson Mr Aplin
Mr Ayres Mr Baird Mr Barilaro
Mr Bromhead (teller) Mr Conolly Mr Constance
Mr Coure Mr Crouch Mr Dominello
Mr Elliott Mr Evans Mr Fraser
Mr Greenwich Mr Gulaptis Mr Henskens
Mr Humphries Mr Johnsen Mr Kean
Mr Maguire Mr Marshall Mr Notley-Smith
Mr O'Dea Mr Patterson (teller) Mr Perrottet
Mr Piccoli Mr Piper Mr Provest
Mr Rowell Mr Sidoti Mr Speakman
Mr Stokes Mr Taylor Mr Toole
Mr Tudehope Mr Ward Mr Williams
Ms Berejiklian Ms Davies Ms Gibbons
Ms Goward Ms Hodgkinson Ms Pavey
Ms Petinos Ms Skinner Ms Williams


Dr McDermott Mr Atalla Mr Chanthivong
Mr Crakanthorp Mr Daley Mr Dib
Mr Foley Mr Harris Mr Hoenig
Mr Kamper Mr Lalich (teller) Mr Lynch
Mr Mehan Mr Park Mr Parker
Mr Robertson Mr Warren (teller) Mr Zangari
Ms Aitchison Ms Car Ms Catley
Ms Doyle Ms Finn Ms Harrison
Ms Haylen Ms Hornery Ms McKay
Ms Mihailuk Ms T. F. Smith Ms Washington
Ms Watson    


Mr Hazzard Mr Minns Mr Roberts
Ms Hay Ms Upton Ms K. Smith


Motion agreed to.

To see full hansard transcript, click here.