Coalition Blow $1.46 Billion of Regional Money in Metro NSW

Sydney metro spending regional money
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It has been revealed today that more than $1.46 billion earmarked for projects in regional NSW was used to pay for infrastructure blow outs in metro areas under the former Liberal and National Government.

The Government-controlled fund, Restart NSW, has an objective enshrined in legislation to provide 30 per cent of spending to regional communities.

However, under the former Liberals and Nationals only 24.4 per cent of amounts paid to date went to regional NSW – meaning, $1.46 billion which should have been spent in regional NSW was spent in Sydney or metropolitan NSW.

Even if commitments made under the former government are fully accounted for, this only increases to 27 per cent, with metro NSW receiving 73 per cent of total fund commitments to date.

Projects funded in metropolitan NSW included over $3 billion to Metro West, which under the Coalition already had a cost blow out of up to around $12 billion.

With only $2.8 billion remaining in the Restart NSW Fund, 67 per cent will need to be spent in regional NSW in order for the 30 per cent benchmark to be met.

In addition to being handed the largest debt in the state’s history, $187.5 billion, incoming Government briefs have uncovered that the former Liberal and National Government had more than $7 billion worth of promises they could not pay for including:

  • not funding 1,100 nurses working in NSW Hospitals after 30 June 2024;
  • a funding shortfall of $700 million for children living in out of home care; and
  • a school repair backlog of $1.2 billion.

NSW Treasurer, Daniel Mookhey said:

“Regional communities deserve their fair share and that is what we will deliver in the upcoming budget”

Minister for Regional NSW, Western NSW and Agriculture, Tara Moriarty said:

“Regional NSW has been cheated and forgotten for too long.”

“The Libs and Nats cared more about pork barrelling their pet projects than investing in regional services and infrastructure.”

“We will deliver for NSW’s regional communities.”

State Member for the Electorate of Cessnock, Clayton Barr said:

“Labor had been raising this concern with the Nationals MPs over the past 10 years, but they just wouldn’t listen. Their failure to listen has been hurting regional NSW for more than 10 years.”

“When you get a Liberal-National ‘Coalition’ you know that the Nationals are never going to be allowed to look at the financial books of the state. Shame on them for being so blissfully ignorant while our regions miss out.”