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«Finance Item x: NSW State Budget 2011-12 NSW Budget Papers 2011-12 The budget 2011/12 continues on the path of major ...»

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Finance

Item x: NSW State Budget 2011-12

NSW Budget Papers 2011-12

The budget 2011/12 continues on www.budget.nsw.gov.au

the path of major infrastructure Contact

spending. Existing programs Sascha Moege

affecting Local Government have 02 9242 4045

sascha.moege@lgsa.org.au

largely been maintained.

or

The following information focuses on budget

Shaun.McBride

measures affecting Local Government.

Local Government Focus - Overview shaun.mcbride@lgsa.org.au Funding for programs directly affecting Local Ref: R01/0012 SM Government has generally been maintained, but not increased. The budget establishes the Local Government Renewal Scheme to pay half of the interest on significant loans that councils take out specifically to pay for large infrastructure projects. The scheme is valued at $70 million over five years. No new funding has been made available to implement the Division of Local Government’s integrated planning and reporting reform or fund the infrastructure backlog.

The budget does not appear to contain any new taxes or other financial impositions on Local Government.

Local Government Focus – Existing and New Programs Integrated planning and reporting – capacity building

LGSA State Budget priority:

Provide $6 million to improve Local Government’s capacity to undertake community strategic planning under the Integrated Planning and Reporting Framework with an initial immediate commitment of $6 million, over and above the one-off funding provided by the Australian Government under the Local Government Reform Fund.

The budget makes no specific allocation for this purpose.

Local Government Infrastructure – Local Government Renewal Scheme

LGSA State Budget priority:

Create a $1 billion Local Government Infrastructure Fund to provide additional funding to support councils’ investment in local infrastructure.

The budget establishes the Local Government Renewal Scheme to pay half of the interest (i.e. provision of interest subsidies to help cover borrowing cost) on significant loans that councils take out specifically to pay for large infrastructure projects such as roads, community halls, libraries, parks, sports facilities and water facilities. The scheme is valued at $70 million over five years. An Assessment Panel will be established to assess council’s applications for borrowing assistance under the scheme.

$3.5 million is budgeted for 2011/12.

While it is positive that the NSW government has acknowledged the Local Government infrastructure renewal backlog and the scheme is welcomed, the $70 million loan interest subsidy over five years is not sufficient to make significant inroads into the problem. The LGSA will be calling for the expansion of the scheme in next year’s budget.

Transport LGSA State Budget priority;

Increase investment in freight rail infrastructure and facilitate the expansion of freight rail services in NSW.

Commit to a long term strategic plan and increased investment in public and active transport across NSW.

Total NSW Government spending for the transport (excluding roads) portfolio in 2011/12 has been budgeted at $10.2 billion, an increase of about 8.5% on the 2010/11 budget.

Capital expenditure has been increased by about $31 million to $366.4 million, an increase of around 9.6% on the 2010-11 budget.

Key components of the transport budget include:

• $600 million for the North West Rail Link and South West Rail Link.

• $51 million to start building the Wynyard Walk, a direct pedestrian link between the new Barangaroo development and Wynyard Station.

• $103 million to expand light rail, with the funding to go towards the inner west light rail extension and to examine the feasibility of running light rail through the CBD and from the CBD to both the University of NSW and University of Sydney.

• $110 million for electronic ticketing which will start with ferries in late 2012.

• $12 million over four years for community transport services and to set up an accreditation scheme for the sector.

• $13.4 million to improve ferry wharves, and $11.8 million over four years to expand ferry services.

• $76 million to deliver commuter car parks and public transport interchanges.

• $152 million to for rolling stock, including $130 million toward 99 new carriages for outer suburban services.

• $159 million for the Country Regional Network, including $57.5 million for new sleepers on tracks, $10.3 million to renew bridges and $3.7 million to convert jointed rail to continuous welded track.

• $197.9 million for reliability improvements under the Rail Clearways Program to continue construction works for the Liverpool turnback, the Kingsgrove to Revesby quadruplication, the Richmond line duplication and a new platform at Macarthur.

• 261 new buses worth $118.8 million including 95 buses for State Transit and 166 for private operators.

• $8.6 million in 2011-12 for NightRide bus services to ensure people can get home safely at night, including $1.8 million out of an additional $7.6 million to be provided over four years to increase services. The electorates of Londonderry, Macquarie Fields, Parramatta and Riverstone are among those to benefit from this initiative.





• $3 million will be spent to investigate the possibility of providing a bus rapid transit system for the northern beaches.

Roads

LGSA State Budget priority:

Improve road funding assistance to Local Government, with special emphasis on regional roads and timber bridges.

- Increase the Regional Road Block Grant funding to address the $60 million per year funding gap on regional roads, including a factor to address the inadequacy of the Block Grant funding formulae to reflect the annual increases in road construction and maintenance costs shown by the Australian Bureau of Statistics Local Road Construction Cost Index, or at least the Local Government Cost Index as developed by IPART, compared to the normal Consumer Price Index currently used for annual funding increases.

- Continue the existing $60 million Timber Bridge Partnership program for another four years and extend the program to include local roads.

- Commit to ongoing council involvement in existing RMCC arrangements on the state road network.

The total roads program for 2011/12 is $6.3 billion, an increase of about $596 million or 10.4% on the 2010/11 budget. Capital expenditure has been increased by about $402 million to $3.2 billion, an increase of about 14.6% on the 2010/11 budget.

Regional Road Block Grant and REPAIR funding for Local Government appear to be have been maintained in real terms for 2011-12.

Other key components of the roads budget include:

• More than $80 million this year on upgrades to the Princes Highway including projects at Gerringong, South Nowra, Victoria Creek and Bega.

• $1 billion this year to upgrade the Pacific Highway, including completing the Ballina bypass and Glenugie upgrade and progressing bypasses of Buladelah, Kempsey and Woogoolga.

• $250 million to duplicate the Hume Highway including funding construction of the Holbrook, Woomargama and Tarcutta bypasses, which are key links in providing a four lane divided highway between Sydney and Melbourne.

• $570 million for continuing work on the $1.7 billion Hunter Expressway, a new 40 kilometre four lane freeway between Newcastle and the Hunter.

• $38 million to widen the Central Coast Highway to four lanes between Erina and Wamberal, improving accessibility between the F3 Sydney Newcastle freeway and beach suburbs on the Central Coast.

• $119 million towards upgrading the Great Western Highway across the Blue Mountains.

• $25 million to complete widening the F5 between Brooks Road and Narellan Road improving access for south western Sydney motorists.

• $23 million to complete widening the Oxley Highway to four lanes from Wrights Road, Port Macquarie to the Pacific Highway. (Total project cost $115 million).

Country Towns Water Supply and Sewerage Program CTWSSP

LGSA State Budget priority:

Continue to provide capital funding for council owned and operated local water and sewerage utilities (LWUs) in regional NSW, including a remote communities water and sewerage program.

- Provide additional funding to the current Country Town Water Supply and Sewerage Program to provide subsidies for the remaining 123 unfunded council projects.

- Reverse the decision taken in the 2008 NSW Government Mini Budget to delay significant expenditure under the Country Town Water Supply and Sewerage Program.

- Provide an ongoing capital funding program for council owned and operated local water and sewerage utilities (LWUs) in regional NSW, including funding for remote communities and funding to support infrastructure investment necessary as a result of climate change.

The budget allocation for 2011-12 is $84 million including emergency drought funding.

The allocation does not appear to reverse the deferrals in the 2008 mini-budget, nor does it include any funding for additional projects.

Aboriginals Communities Water Supply and Sewerage Program (ACWSP)

LGSA State Budget priority:

Continue the Aboriginal Communities Water and Sewerage Program and widen the program by adding adequate funding for capital works required to upgrade water supply and sewerage systems in Aboriginal communities.

The LGSA welcome the budget allocation of over $11 million to continue the program.

This program commenced in 2008-09 and is actively supported by the associations and participating councils. The ACWSP aims to obtain support from and provide funding for councils/local water utilities to provide operational, maintenance and monitoring services of water supply and sewerage systems in selected Aboriginal communities.

Regional Development

LGSA State Budget priority:

Strengthen programs to support population growth and economic development in regional and rural NSW (including programs such as or similar to Evocities and PORTS).

State Investment Attraction Scheme and the Regional Industries Investment Fund.

$130 million ahs been allocated to attract industry and develop businesses through the State Investment Attraction Scheme and the Regional Industries Investment Fund, which will help to improve the state economy’s performance, drive economic growth in regional areas and complement the Jobs Action Plan.

Regional Kick-Start Program

The budget provides funding for the Regional Kick-Start program:

• 30% of Restart NSW infrastructure fund reserved for regional NSW.

• 40% of Jobs Action Plan earmarked for regional NSW giving businesses in regional NSW seeking to put on new staff access to payroll rebates for up to 40,000 extra positions.

• $47 million in regional relocation grants.

Hunter Infrastructure and Investment Fund $350 million over four years from 2011-12 for infrastructure upgrades (roads, health infrastructure). This includes $12.5 million in 2011-12 (a total of $62.5 million over four years) for grants to Local Government in the Hunter region for road improvements, including Nelson Bay Road Widening, New England Highway upgrade and Hunter Wine Region Roads upgrades.

Mining Royalties

LGSA State Budget priority:

Allocate a share of mining royalties to Local Government through a system that provides funding to all councils with additional funding for councils impacted by the mining industry.

Create a “Royalties for Regions” scheme (incorporating the Resources for the Regions program) with two funding pools, the first for Local Government generally, to help address the identified infrastructure renewal backlogs and the second to help address the major impacts that mining has on the communities surrounding the mine sites (e.g.

damage to roads and the environment, and increased demands for infrastructure and services.) During the election the government promised to implement the Resources for the Regions program as an alternative to Royalties for Regions. It was to be a $160 million fund.

The NSW Government has not commenced the Resources for the Regions initiative in this budget. The budget papers indicate it will be introduced in future.

Disability and Ageing

LGSA State Budget priority:

Stronger support for communities through increased funding for ageing, disability and home care.

The 2011-12 Budget has allocated a total of $2.8 billion to Ageing, Disability and Home Care, Department of Family and Community Services NSW (ADHC) – an increase of $342 million (12%) on 2010-2011.

Older people This includes an increase of $42.2 million in growth (6.4%) for Home and Community Care services for frail older Australians living in communities across NSW.

In 2011-12, $6 million will go to the NSW Ageing Grants Program to support services and projects that meet the needs of older people, such as the Seniors Information Service, Seniors Week events, and Dementia Advisory Services.

People with a disability As part of the second phase of the Stronger Together program (2011-12 to 2015-16), the Department will spend an additional $137.6 million in 2011-12 to support people

with a disability, including:

• $41.3 million to improve the range of accommodation facilities.

• $22.6 million on an extra 300 supported accommodation places for flexible, independent living.

Other items of interest to Local Government include:

• $5.2 million on community engagement for an extra 260 places for age-appropriate, daytime activities and support for adults with a disability.

• $3.4 million on flexible respite for an extra 840 places for short-term breaks for families and other voluntary caregivers.

• $3.1 million for peak organisations (which represent the service delivery nongovernment organisations) to provide advocacy and information.

The NSW Government announced in May 2011 that, through Stronger Together 2, it will provide $2 billion for disability services over the next five years. The funding initiatives announced in the budget are part of the Stronger Together 2 plan.



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