NSW enters ‘golden century’ as stamp duty revenue slashed
EXCLUSIVE: Stamp duty revenue has been slashed in the NSW budget by a further $232 million - taking total losses to a stunning $10.6 billion by 2022.
But the government will on Tuesday claim it has navigated the worst of the hit on the housing market, as Treasurer Dominic Perrottet declares the state is entering "a new golden century".
The 2018-19 budget result will be just $802 million, with surpluses averaging $1.7 billion projected over the next four years.
It is well down on the $4.3 billion set in 2017/18, but the write downs on stamp duty revenue are forecast to dramatically taper off according to treasury forecasts.
The $232 million write down revealed on Tuesday is in contrast to the dramatic $6.1 billion loss posted in 2018/19.
The budget will be pitched as a "state building" budget, with record investment in schools, hospitals and transport now exceeding $93 billion - a figure that more than doubles most other states.
NSW will, for the fourth year running, post a negative net debt figure of -$8.8 billion, with the state's net worth soaring to $311 billion by 2023 - the highest in Australia.
"This is a state building budget that gets it done," Mr Perrottet will say in his speech today.
The government has downplayed budget expectations in terms of major new announcements, saying it was primarily geared towards delivering election commitments.
"It funds our election commitments, just as we promised and it makes record investments in the things that matter," Mr Perrottet will say.
"Our bold decisions have unleashed a mega building program on a scale never before seen in the history of our nation. Our infrastructure investment is now approaching $100 billion - a new golden century for NSW."
Mr Perrottet will say that despite the largest revenue write downs in the state's history "fortress NSW is standing strong", adding: "We are strongly positioned to face the future with confidence."
Mr Perrottet will channel Robert Menzies saying he believes "people should be free to flourish".
"That means less government, not more, and lower taxes, not higher ones."
Opposition Treasury spokesman Ryan Park accused the Berejiklian government on Monday of "trickery", after the GST revenue forecast was revised down by $2.3 billion.
He said GST revenue was revised up by $2.2 billion before the state election in March, but now with the budget approaching, the increases had been wiped out.
Mr Park said the record $18.5 billion in education spending in today's Budget came down to population growth.
"Every year is a record spend because our population is growing. There are more people and more schools needed," he said.
FUNDS FLOW FOR COUNSELLING
Struggling farm families in drought ravaged NSW will be given extra counselling support in a bid to improve mental health in bush communities.
A $8.275 million funding package raft of mental health initiatives to help farmers, including increasing the number of farmgate counsellors and hosting a statewide drought youth summit, will be unveiled when the state government hands down the 2019/20 Budget on Tuesday.
Treasurer Dominic Perrottet and Mental Health Minister Bronnie Taylor will announce a roll out of the funding over the next year as part of an expansion of the Emergency Drought Relief Package.
Mrs Taylor said the funding for farm gate counsellors, who offer individuals and families direct support and counselling services, would help build "community resilience" across the state's agricultural region.
"Rural communities are full of proud, resilient people who may not want to admit they are struggling and are reluctant to seek help, but these conditions are causing significant distress for many people, placing their mental health at risk," she said.
"Counsellors and support workers are working closely with people in regional communities helping them remain focused on getting through these tough conditions."
Riverina farmer Dan Fox said the funding was a welcome addition to the drought package.
"Anything that gets farmers to talk about mental health during a drought and let them know they're not alone and have support is a good thing."
- Clare Armstrong