Budget ‘robbed’ NSW of funding: Matt Kean

Labor's budget reduces debt by $42 billion

Australia’s most populous state has been “robbed” of infrastructure spending in a budget that does nothing to address soaring energy prices, NSW Treasurer Matt Kean says.

The Liberal state government minister on Wednesday lashed Labor’s first federal budget in a decade, adding it showed the party “clearly doesn’t care about NSW”.

“We were lobbying for a greater share of funding but we’ve had funding taken away,” he told ABC Radio.

“Last night, we saw NSW families robbed of $1.7 billion in infrastructure commitments that we were relying on.

“The federal government told us we could rely on them for these shared projects and they’ve turned around and told the people of NSW that you’re on your own.”

Albanese on the federal budget

The budget included plans for $8.1 billion in extra federal funding over the next 10 years for rail and infrastructure spending.

But only $1.4 billion, or 17 per cent, of the money was earmarked for NSW, compared to $2.6 billion for Victoria and $2.1 billion for Queensland.

State infrastructure projects that had been stripped of funding included $433 million for Dungowan Dam and $75 million for Wakehurst Parkway.

There was no money allocated to raising the Warragamba Dam wall, which NSW has declared is vital infrastructure to protect the people in western Sydney from flooding.

Mr Kean also echoed his federal opposition counterparts that Labor was failing consumers who are facing bill shock as global forces lash the National Energy Market.

“We are facing a crisis due to a war in Ukraine … we haven’t seen any support for families, Australian families have been left to fend for themselves,” he said, suggesting the government could introduce a one-off energy rebate similar to those handed out in several European countries.

But the South Australian government welcomed the budget, which included billions in funding for the state’s infrastructure.

Treasurer Stephen Mullighan said it was “undoubtedly good news for South Australia” with extra spending to upgrade road freight routes and remove level crossings.

The budget also maintained a $4.9 billion pledge towards Adelaide’s North-South Corridor of motorways.

Tasmanian Treasurer Michael Ferguson hailed the budget’s commitment to funding road projects and other infrastructure. However, he criticised the absence of cost of living relief to help with high power bills and fuel prices.


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