Budget speech

In Parliament I spoke on the first Coalition Government budget, which has mixed results for the Sydney electorate and wider NSW community.

While transport funding pales in comparison to roads, after two decades of urging successive governments for a city light rail network, I welcomed funding for links between Central and Barangaroo, and Dulwich Hill and Lilyfield, which will help reduce city gridlock. I stressed the need for services to Green Square and funding for a regional cycleway network, and welcomed funding for community and late-night transport.

I again told the Government it should make energy retailers pay for renewable energy from solar panels installed on houses rather than diverting more than half of the Climate Change Fund to the scheme.

Closure of correctional centres hopefully marks a new approach to offending that focuses on prevention, and I welcomed funding for a new Drug Court, a specialist drug rehabilitation correctional centre and education and training programs for inmates. I congratulated the Government on disability funding including payroll tax rebates for employers hiring someone with a disability.

As of 1 January first home buyer stamp duty concessions will only apply to newly constructed and off-the-plan homes in order to stimulate development. However this will not benefit the inner city where homes bought off the plan rarely sell below $650,000 - $50,000 above the concession cut-off. I asked the Government to lift the concession for inner-city developments to at least $650,000.

Like many previous budgets, there is little to encourage affordable housing. I also condemned the introduction of fees for public preschools and called for more recurrent funding for the Centennial Parklands to prevent the need for major concerts and car parking on grasslands.

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