2015 NSW State Budget Reaction

2015 NSW State Budget Reaction: Greens NSW MP for Newtown Jenny Leong, with Greens NSW Member for Balmain Jamie Parker.

Issues covered include planning, WestConnex, Urban Growth, affordable and social housing, Ultimo Public School, TAFE, domestic violence, Powerhouse building sell-off, and train station access.


Jamie Parker MP, Member for Balmain said: 

“The Liberal Government’s allocation of $16.9 million to fast-track the biggest developments in the State is destined to steamroll public interest by entirely removing a community’s chance to properly review the social and environmental impact of a project.

“We have already seen the planning disaster that is Barangaroo, where the community has been double-crossed time and again. The communities of the Inner West will be anxious that Bays Precinct, at four times the size of Barangaroo, will be fast-tracked by UrbanGrowth NSW with significant and long term impacts.

“Any facilitation of express approvals for UrbanGrowth projects will undermine proper strategic planning, and the accountability and transparency that are necessary for these large-scale projects. UrbanGrowth is already leading the charge on trashing local communities to deliver development profits. We cannot allow any process that will enshrine this type of planning, which favours private and vested interests over those of the public.”

Jenny Leong MP, Member for Newtown, said:

“The last thing this government should be fast-tracking is the dirty, polluting WestConnex tollroad. The likely impacts of this decision will be to further neutralise the community and drown out sensible public transport alternatives.”


Jenny Leong MP, Member for Newtown, said:

“The budget papers exposed that we are now talking about $15.4 billion dollars for the WestConnex tollway – an increase of $500 million from last year – and up from $10 billion from when the project was first initiated. That’s over $450 million per kilometre!

“And still there is no business case publically available – it is apparently still under revision. We also do not have an environmental impact statement or planning approval of the project as a whole.

“I am calling on the Government to immediately halt the acquisition of homes and the construction of early stages of the tollway.

“The increasing momentum of the community campaign against this tollway disaster, and the lack of good governance and transparency, should sound warning bells for investors that this tollroad is going the way of Melbourne’s failed East-West Toll Link.”


Jenny Leong MP, Member for Newtown, said:

“This Budget gives no sign of relief for people struggling to pay rents in the Inner West. The Government’s own ‘Mapping the Budget’ tool shows that there are only four affordable housing projects funded in the City of Sydney, and none in the surrounding local government areas including Marrickville and Leichhardt.

“Selling off public housing and failing to protect long-term renters is not a long-term solution to housing affordability in NSW.”

Jamie Parker MP, Member for Balmain said: 

“Sydney is in the grip of a major housing affordability crisis, which the Government has failed to adequately address for the people of the Inner West.

“The Liberal Government’s argument that more housing supply will ease the affordability crisis is disingenuous. Without an enforceable and ambitious affordable housing target for average and low-income earners, there will be no long-term improvement.

“Nearly half of all households in the Balmain electorate are renting and, depending on the suburb, between 11% and 41% of these households experience rental stress.

“Despite reaping a record $7.29 billion in stamp duty this year, the Government has not committed to more investment in social or public housing nor have they improved protections for renters.

“Glebe’s Cowper Street development is a case in point. Formerly a social housing estate, the then-Labor Government evicted 130 tenants in 2011 in order to redevelop the site. The Liberal Government has announced the development plans for Cowper Street with half of all the homes to be built intended for private owners. Overall, the development will see fewer social housing tenants catered for, compared to the previous estate.”


Jamie Parker MP, Member for Balmain said: 

“It is welcome news that the Government has allocated a $20 million for more after-school care, but there is no coherent solution to the urgent need for more school places in the Inner West. This crisis is due to a lack of long-term education planning under successive Labor and Liberal Governments.

“The latest disappointment is the Government’s decision to renege on a commitment for a new primary school in Ultimo. The proposed solution to tear down the current primary school for a high-rise school building is short-sighted at best as it does not provide a long-term solution for one of the most densely populated and rapidly growing areas in Sydney.


Jenny Leong MP, Member for Newtown, said:

“This year’s budget highlights the consequences of four years of cuts to the TAFE budget.

“Fees are up and student numbers are down. The losers are young people, particularly Indigenous students and students with a disability.”


Jenny Leong MP, Member for Newtown, said:

“The allocation of $148.5 million in this year’s budget fails to address the gravity of domestic and family violence.

“There is not enough focus on preventative strategies and education, nor restoring funding to women’s services which were devastated by the ‘Going Home, Staying Home’ program.”


Jamie Parker MP, Member for Balmain said: 

“The allocation of $10 million to move the Powerhouse Museum from Ultimo to Parramatta is simply a waste of public money, and reflects the Government’s contempt for Sydney’s arts and heritage. The plan will deprive Sydneysiders of an important cultural space once the iconic Powerhouse building is sold to developers for private apartments.

“The Museum of Applied Arts and Sciences, which includes the Powerhouse Museum, has a massive collection – only a fraction of its items are on display. Building a second museum in Parramatta would be a quality investment and show that the Government was genuinely supportive of the arts.”


Jenny Leong MP, Member for Newtown, said:

“The budget announced $890 million over four years for the Transport Access Program, but unfortunately for commuters in the electorate of Newtown, there is no mention that any of this money will be used to improve access at local train stations.

“It is unclear whether the stations of Redfern, Macdonaldtown, Newtown, Stanmore, Petersham, Lewisham, Erskineville and St Peters will have any improvement to their accessibility. It is unacceptable that in 2015 only two stations—Central and Newtown—are fully accessible by lifts.

“At Stanmore station, for example, grandparents, parents and students need to negotiate the stairs to cross under the railway line to access the local shops. This is an issue of mobility discrimination and should be a Government priority to fix.”

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