Big wins for Central Coast in State Budget

Parliamentary Secretary for the Central Coast, Adam Crouch, and Treasurer Matt Kean with a copy of the State Budget

The Central Coast has scored big wins in the State Budget in the areas of health, education, transport housing and infrastructure, in what Premier Dominic Perrottet says is a budget designed to set up NSW for a brighter future.

New funding for the $6.4M Wyong Hospital Cancer Day Unit expansion and $200M for the continued major upgrade of the hospital were the big highlights in the area of health.

The budget has bettered the $18M promised recently for the new university campus in the heart of Gosford by adding an extra $200,000 to the kitty and has also pledged $2M to provide new and upgraded facilities to deliver Animal Studies courses at Wyong TAFE.

In the area of transport, the government has reaffirmed its $500,000M commitment to the Fast Rail Network by pledging $274.5M over four years in this budget to continue detailed planning and commence early works.

It has pledged $26M to complete the widening of Pacific Hwy to four lanes between Parsons Rd and Ourimbah St at Lisarow and $25M for the construction of the fast-tracked intersection at Tumbi Rd (jointly funded by State and Federal governments).

And the budget includes $1M to continue planning for the upgrade on Pacific Hwy through the Wyong town centre (State and Federal).

Funding to boost the local economy includes: $2.6M to construct a visitor centre at Mangrove Creek Dam; $816,433 to improve access to Compartment 197 in the McPherson State Forest on Mangrove Mountain; $300,000 to establish a mountain bike park at Glenworth Valley; and $3M for the Mission-Critical Emergency Services Messaging Program.

Six Cities funding

Parliamentary Secretary for the Central Coast, Adam Crouch, said one of the biggest wins for the region was funding for the Greater Sydney Commission for the Six Cities project, which incorporates the Central Coast.

“A total of $30.2M has been delivered to the Greater Sydney Commission and of that the Central Coast is receiving $20.2M,” he said.

“So the bulk of that money is coming here to the Coast, which will enable the funding of projects identified in the Central Coast strategy.

“That is a really big announcement for our region.”

Crouch said the Budget would provide Central Coast residents with the confidence that the NSW Government has their back.

“This is a responsible budget that is focused on reform,” he said.

Vouchers

“It will provide substantial support to our region with a strong focus on cost-of-living support for families and continued delivery of infrastructure.”

Crouch highlighted the $150 Back to School Voucher, the $250 Regional Apprentice and Uni Travel Card, toll relief for Central Coast commuters, expanded access to childcare and the Energy Bill Buster Program as examples of programs that benefit thousands of Coast families.

The $193M Back to School Voucher program will see every Central Coast schoolchild receive a $150 voucher towards the cost of school supplies and $98M will be spent to provide a $250 prepaid Regional Apprentice and Uni Travel Card for regional students and apprentices to ease the cost of travel.

Under a $128M Energy Buster program households may be eligible to choose between a free solar system or energy saving upgrades which could save up to $600 per year.

Central Coast women looking for work will be able to apply for grants of up to $5,000 to fund a new work wardrobe, technology, and training to help them return to the workforce, thanks to a $32M investment and motorists can save up to $750 a year on tolls under a new relief package, receiving a 40 per cent rebate once they spend more than $375 in a year.

Additional services through the Cost of Living Assessment provided by Service NSW and the extension of the Regional Seniors Travel will also benefit thousands of Coast residents.

Energy and Environment

In the field of energy and environment, Crouch said Coasties would benefit from $38M in charging infrastructure to accelerate the EV revolution across NSW, a major boost to fire management in national parks through a $598M investment, delivering 250 permanent jobs and critical infrastructure upgrades, and an additional $93.7M to deliver the Climate Change Adaptation Strategy to prepare for the impacts of climate change and capture new investment opportunities.

This is in addition to $10M pledged for the state’s first trial of a hydrogen-powered bus to begin on the Central Coast later this year, as the Government transitions its fleet to zero emission technology.

Employment

In the area of employment and safety, Crouch said the Central Coast would reap the benefits from: $1.3B for the next phase of the Regional Job Creation Fund statewide, including the development of a new Mountain Bike Park at Glenworth Valley; the launch of a Respect at Work Taskforce to stop sexual harassment in the workplace; a $30M anti-harassment initiative concentrating on public spaces, parklands and public transport; and a $3M spend over three years for a Regional Media Capital Grants package to help breathe fresh life into regional news gathering and reporting.

Education

Education and training also sees major investments which will benefit Coasties.

More than 18,000 prospective early childhood teachers and carers will be supported to enter the sector or boost their skills across the state thanks to a $281.6M workforce package and more than $1.4B will be spent over four years to provide up to $4,000 in pre-school relief for families.

More than $5.8B will be invested over 10 years to begin the delivery of universal pre-Kindergarten for all children in NSW by 2030 and there will be a $37.9M investment in before and after school care services.

The Government will also ensure there are viable before and after school care options for families in areas with no current services through a $20.2M package.

There will be a $38M investment to complete a new school at Porters Creek.

Women in small business will have access to free TAFE courses and professional advice thanks to $15M over the next four years.

Health

In the area of health, there will be a 6 per cent pay increase over two years for Central Coast Local Health District’s 8,000 staff, as well as thousands more public sector employees including police officers, firefighters, paramedics, and teachers.

Health staff will also receive a $3,000 bonus to say thank you for their support during the COVID-19 pandemic.

A record 10,148 full-time equivalent staff will be recruited to hospitals and health services across the state over four years and a $1.76B investment will provide 1,858 extra paramedics, 210 ambulance support staff, 52 nurses, eight doctors and 30 new ambulance stations statewide, including two news ambulance stations at Kincumber and Lisarow.

Palliative care and specialist health services will receive a record $743M funding boost over the next five years and there will be an expansion of the Isolated Patients Travel and Accommodation Assistance Scheme (IPTAAS), with the NSW Government investing an additional $149.5M.

The Central Coast has already seen 209 people benefit from this scheme annually.

There will also be a $408M spent to fast-track elective surgeries delayed due to the COVID-19 pandemic response and $80,000 to support PCYC Umina’s Empowering Women and Girls health through participation in sport program.

Housing

The budget has also sought to tackle the housing crisis in a big way.

The First Home Buyer Choice is part of $728.6M housing package delivering quality, accessible and affordable housing across NSW and $500M will be spent in unlocking land and accelerating housing infrastructure to help enable hundreds of thousands of new homes across the state.

A funding injection of $37M will build on the success of the NSW Government’s Together Home program in tackling the issue of homelessness and $5.84M will be spent in upgrades to social housing across the Central Coast.

There will be a $660,000 spend to develop a new social housing project on the Central Coast.

Infrastructure

Infrastructure doesn’t miss out either, with pledges of $7.3M towards the Warnervale Town Centre Water and Sewer plan, $6.8M for the Mardi Water treatment plant upgrade, $159,000 to commence stage 2 upgrades at Carrington Street Oval, Narara. $91,000 to build practice wickets at Baker Park, Wyong, and $134,000 to support the Saratoga Sailing Club’s Security Equity Accessibility and Sustainability Project.

In the area of transport and roads, the budget promises: $5.46M for continued planning and preconstruction at Mann’s Rd between Stockyard Pl and Narara Creek Rd; $7M to commence construction at Blackwall Rd and McMasters Rd; $26M to continue the widening of the Pacific Hwy between Parsons Rd and Ourimbah St, Lisarow; $25M to continue planning and commence construction at the Tumbi Road intersection on Central Coast Highway; $1.5M to continue planning to deliver Tuggerah Commuter Car Park; $27.7M to continue expansion and upgrade of Tuggerah Train Station; $999M to continue the delivery of the state-of-the-art trains, known as the new Intercity Fleet; and $271M in Local Community Grants, supporting Central Coast Council with local road maintenance.

Crouch also praised a $37M boost for the Together Home Project, which will benefit “many great organisations across the Coast”.

“This will really actively help people on a day-to-day basis,” he said.

“The budget is delivering for homelessness on the Central Coast.”

Terry Collins

1 Comment on "Big wins for Central Coast in State Budget"

  1. Gosford is a city then why was the council chambers moved to Wyong and left Gosford city as a backwater town, I noticed most of the spending is to improve road up near Wyong while the roads in Woy Woy are in bad shape.

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