Students going into school
The NSW budget will allocate $4.9b toward building or upgrading schools, while paying teachers more. Image by Dean Lewins/AAP PHOTOS
  • politics

Health, education and transport the NSW budget winners

AAP reporters September 18, 2023

The NSW Labor government has flagged a raft of big-ticket spending items as it prepares to hand down its first budget since 2010.


* $3.6 billion over four years will pay for lifting the 2.5 per cent cap on public sector wages.

* Pay rises of 4.5 per cent, including superannuation, have been locked in for educators, nurses and prison workers.

* Funding has been shifted from other budget areas to pay for the boost.


* $561 million over two years will go towards capping motorists’ weekly tolls at $60 from January 1.

* $1.1 billion will be diverted from within the transport budget to convert the Bankstown rail line into a driverless metro by October 2025.

* The state-owned Transport Asset Holding Entity of NSW will become a not-for-profit entity, estimated to reduce state debt by more than $4 billion over four years.

* Fares across the Opal ticketing system will be hiked from October 16 by an average of 3.7 per cent to help fund rail service upgrades.

* An extra $200 million has been committed for stage two of the Parramatta Light Rail.

* $260 million will go towards electric vehicle chargers, including fast charges on commuter routes and more kerbside options near apartment blocks.

* EV rebates and stamp duty exemptions will be scrapped from January 2024.


* A $3.5 billion boost will fund more than 60 schools either being built or upgraded over the next four years in Sydney’s west and southwest.

* An additional $1.4 billion will be spent to upgrade or build regional public schools.

* 100 public preschools will be built on school sites.

* Teachers will receive a big pay rise, with some becoming the best paid in the country.

* Parents of three-year-olds in preschool will receive $500 subsidies towards their expenses.


* $1.8 billion will be set aside to build power lines, batteries and other renewable energy infrastructure, including $1 billion to establish an Energy Security Corporation

* Coal royalties will be hiked in NSW for the first time in almost 15 years, forecast to leave the state budget more than $2.7 billion better off over four years.

* An extra $100 million will go towards increasing electricity rebates for low-income households.


* Four hospitals will share in $3 billion to improve services in western Sydney, including more than $1 billion to rebuild the Bankstown-Lidcombe Hospital on a new site.

* Healthcare study subsidies worth $4000 a year for new students and a one-off $8000 for existing students will cost $121.9 million over five years.

* Women’s health centres will receive $34.3 million to help increase staff numbers and reduce counselling waitlists, including doubling the number of special sexual assault nurses.


* $224 million will go towards strengthening the housing safety net, including getting people off social housing waitlists.


* An additional $228.6 million over 10 years will go to multiple integrity agencies including the audit office, ICAC, law enforcement commission, NSW electoral commission and ombudsman’s office.

* The agencies have been permanently removed from the premier and cabinet department financial management processes to ensure they are at arm’s length from government.


* The NSW Reconstruction Authority will get $115 million to help prepare for and clean up in the wake of natural disasters.

* $438.6 million has been pledged for 500 additional paramedics in rural and regional areas to help improve ambulance response times.

* Plans to raise the wall of Wyangala Dam, near Cowra in the state’s central-west, by 10m have been scrapped.

* A $350 million investment will be made in the newly created NSW Regional Development Trust Fund to support people in regional and remote areas.


* $200 million to sustain out-of-home care throughout 2023/24, supporting vulnerable kids who can no longer live at home.


* An overhaul of how NSW manages $108 billion of public money in investment funds could reduce budget contributions by $1.1 billion over four years.