The 2023-24 budget has been handed down. Here’s how the ALP's first budget in 13 years stands up against its election promises.
All eyes were on NSW treasurer Daniel Mookhey as he delivered Labor’s first budget announcement since 2010 in the Legislative Assembly (as an Upper House member, no less!)
Following his declaration that this budget would deliver “the fresh start” that the people of New South Wales had voted for, we decided to put this to the test. Below, we’ve outlined Labor’s key election promises and how they manifested in the budget announcement.
Cost of Living, Health, and Education
The dire cost of living crisis was at the centre of the 2023 election and was a focal point of the Minns campaign. Their key aim was to lift the wages cap for the public sector, increasing the net pay of frontline workers like nurses and teachers.
This was one of the core tenets of today’s budget. Additional measures aimed at combatting rising prices include lifting the Low Income Household and Medical Energy rebates by $65, and raising the Family Energy rebate by $70.
Housing and Infrastructure
Housing was another primary focus of the Minns campaign. Amidst soaring prices, the government promised to back first home buyers by scrapping stamp duty on properties up to $800,000 and better protect renters by establishing a Rental Commissioner.
Treasurer Mookhey announced a $2.2 billion housing and infrastructure package that would reflect these changes. A heavy focus was placed on building sewers, footpaths, and lighting, with Mookhney arguing that these infrastructural elements are as important as building new homes. $300 million would be allotted to state-owned organisation Landcom to build just under 5,000 new homes.
Transport and Infrastructure
Throughout his campaign, Chris Minns regularly claimed that Sydney was the most-tolled city in the world. Underpinning that statement was his promise to bring reform to the transport sector and make the roads fairer and more equitable for the public.
By announcing their intent to “end the era of privatisation”, the Minns government delivered on this declaration, laying out a plan for the $60 weekly toll cap that they promised prior to the election, stating that this would put around $550 million back into the hands of 700,000 commuters.
Environmental policy will continue to be a topical issue that will continue to keep the attention of voters. The Minns government outlined its intentions to invest $1 billion in renewable energy, $225 million in a flood resilience plan for Western Sydney and under $100 million to establish the Great Koala National Park.
$884 million was allocated to “Renewable Energy Zones” in NSW, which would provide the state with solar and wind power. $88 million has been set aside for the National Koala Park, and additional $5.7 million will see the creation of a Koala Care Centre.
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