Crouch says that the budget will kick the local economy into high gear

Parliamentary Secretary for Central Coast, Adam Crouch, looks overs the Budget papers

Parliamentary Secretary for Central Coast, Adam Crouch, says the 2020 NSW Budget, handed down on November 17, reflects millions of dollars to be spent on the Central Coast targeted at keeping people in jobs and businesses in business.

“By spending millions of dollars across the Coast, we will kick the local economy into high gear, while also helping families and individuals with the cost of living,” he said.

A highlight is $100 in Out & About vouchers for every adult, which will support local cafes, restaurants, tourism sites and cultural attractions, he said.

Roads funding of $55M will progress vital roadworks across the Coast, yet there’s only one project in the north, which is $4.3M to finalise detailed design and to commence early works on the Pacific Highway upgrade through Wyong Town Centre.

Other roads funding includes $1.5M to continue planning for the duplication of Central Coast Highway between Bateau Bay and Wamberal; $39.2M for the widening of the Pacific Highway at Lisarow between Parsons Rd and Ourimbah St; $6.9M to continue construction of a roundabout at the intersection of Maitland Bay Dr, Blackwell Rd and Brisbane Water Dr at Ettalong Beach; and $3.1M for the planning and upgrade of Manns Rd at West Gosford, between Stockyard Pl and Narara Creek Rd.

Schools will benefit from free tutoring to be made available at every public school and the installation of energy efficient LED lights.

Fifteen hours of free preschool per child per week is available for the entirety of 2021.

There is $15M set aside for the construction of the new 500-student Porters Creek Public School on Warnervale Rd.

In the area of health, $111.1M has been allocated for construction work on the redevelopment of Wyong Hospital and $8.3M for the Central Coast Medical School and Central Coast Research Institute.

Gosford Hospital will receive $1.9M for a new 1.166MWp solar power system to save on electricity bills and reduce emissions.

The rail network was another winner, with $335M for the roll-out of New Intercity Fleet trains, which will be delivered to the Central Coast and Newcastle rail line first.

There is also almost $60M for accessibility upgrades at Tuggerah, Niagara Park, Lisarow, Narara and Point Clare railway stations, and more than $1.3M for improved all weather access at Woy Woy ($1.2M) and Koolewong ($17,000).

Continued planning for faster rail between Sydney and Newcastle receives $5M.

Businesses will also benefit from a number of initiatives.

A new $250M Jobs Plus program is aimed at encouraging businesses to relocate to NSW, including the Central Coast.

The payroll tax-free threshold will increase from $1M to $1.2M and the payroll tax rate will be cut from 5.45 percent to 4.85 percent.

Hundreds of local small and medium-sized businesses will receive $1,500 vouchers to cover government fees and charges and there will be free access to expert advisors through the Business Connect program for business owners impacted by bushfires or COVID-19.

Grants of $5,000 are available for women affected by COVID-19 to help them overcome obstacles and return to the workforce, and a new $5M support service will ensure local small businesses receive access to NSW Government contracts.

More than $17M has been allocated for maintenance and upgrades of social and affordable housing across the Central Coast, including $793,000 to construct new and upgrade existing social and affordable housing for Aboriginal communities in Killarney Vale.

The Central Coast also has access to a new $100M Greater Cities and Regional Sports Facility Fund.

Sue Murray

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