The NSW community will pay the long-term cost of greater inequality and a lack of preparedness for the impacts of climate change in a budget that sees a short-term sugar hit from privatisations propping up the State Budget to the tune of billions, according to Greens Treasury spokesperson Justin Field.
Mr Field said the much-touted $4.5 billion Budget ‘surplus’ is built on the sell-off of essential public assets and services. While spending to catch up on a backlog of health and education infrastructure is welcome, there is an obvious lack of investment in key challenges for the state, including housing affordability, building renewable energy and climate change.
“Today’s NSW Budget is a missed opportunity to make smart choices on how we invest in people and communities for the future,” Mr Field said.
“The NSW Budget has failed to come up with any plan to address climate change. There is not one mention of climate change or building renewable energy in the NSW Treasurer’s speech.
“It’s simply not credible for the Treasurer to claim ‘this is the tomorrow we must prepare for today’ and have nothing in the budget to address the impacts of climate change on people communities and our economy.
“We all know what’s needed. A future NSW economy driven by renewable energy, where our state has transitioned out of fossil fuels and is harnessing the power of the sun for clean, affordable energy.
“The community has lost $53 billion in public assets and services since the Coalition came to power in 2011 and the Treasurer has indicated there is more to come.
“A one-off cash splash can’t hide the fact the Government doesn’t have a long-term plan for the state.
“This budget will do very little to reduce growing inequality, invest in public housing, help unemployed young people; particularly in regional areas and address the overwhelmed public transport system.
“The state’s greatest assets are our people, communities and nature. None of them have been winners in this budget today,” he said.