PROSPECT RIPPED OFF IN STATE BUDGET

Patients, students, and aspiring homeowners in Prospect are the biggest losers in the latest NSW Budget handed down by the Baird Government.

Premier Mike Baird and Treasurer Gladys Berejiklian have turned budget Grinch, hoarding away over $8 billion in surplus taxes over the next four years, ignoring a raft of health, education and housing affordability priorities in Prospect.

The Government claims the state is debt free, yet have chosen to stash away the rivers of stamp duty gold flowing from Sydney’s property boom rather than invest in better schools and hospitals.

Health

No funds have been committed to upgrading Fairfield Hospital.

The Hand Surgery Department at Fairfield Hospital will continue to operate from demountable buildings and the Emergency Department will continue to be severely undersized following the Baird Government’s refusal to commit funding.

The Budget’s Infrastructure Statement does not mention any works to Fairfield Hospital in the upcoming financial year.

The lack of funds is a second major blow to Fairfield Hospital in recent months, with the Hospital’s childcare facilities scheduled to shut down on June 30 this year.

 

Social Housing

The State Member for Prospect, Dr Hugh McDermott MP, has slammed the continued lack of investment into social housing in Western Sydney.

Electorate- specific budget documents confirm that no new public housing will be constructed in Bossley Park, Wetherill Park and Smithfield.

Waiting periods for public housing in the Fairfield area are nearly 20 years on average. 

 

Education

Public schools are a loser in this year’s State Budget, with no commitments to building new schools or upgrading existing facilities in the Prospect electorate by the Baird Government.

The lack of commitment by the Baird Government is yet another hit to education, with local school maintenance backlogs averaging hundreds of thousands of dollars per school.

The Baird Government has been slammed for failing to provide for local schools by Dr McDermott, who secured nearly $100,000 in grant funding to local schools as part of a program outside of the Education portfolio in the past year.

 

Treasurer’s Amalgamation Blunder

The 2016 State Budget makes note for a $543,000 grant being awarded to Holroyd City Council – which no longer exists.

The grant was meant to be for “non-state road maintenance” across the entire Holroyd City Council area, although it is unclear where that money will now be going.

Dr McDermott has called on the Baird Government to explain whether they will ensure the grant is spent on repairing roads within the former Holroyd City Council area, rather than being spent on the former Auburn Council area which merged with Holroyd to form Cumberland Council.

 

Multicultural NSW

In a blow to the multicultural community in Western Sydney, figures released in the State Budget on Tuesday have confirmed that only 40 percent of grant applications to Multicultural NSW are funded.

Multicultural NSW has been a lifeline for hundreds of community organisations aiming to improve multiculturalism, particularly in Western Sydney.

In addition to the low percentage of successful grant applications, Budget Papers also confirm that 8 full-time staff will be removed from Multicultural NSW, as the Baird Government aims to claw back overspending from last year’s budget.

The cuts are expected to remove $1.8 million from Multicultural NSW, with an annual budget target of $14.3 million.

 

Toongabbie Station ignored

The Baird Government has been slammed for failing to confirm a figure for the Toongabbie Station easy-access upgrade in this year’s budget papers.

Whilst the State Government’s commitment to funding station upgrades across NSW remains consistent, the allocated figure specifically for Toongabbie remains a closely-guarded secret.

The Toongabbie Station upgrade is sorely-needed by the Toongabbie community, however the completion date of its upgrade is yet to be confirmed by the Baird Government.

 

Environment

The environment is set to lose in Tuesday’s state budget as no funding is committed to protecting waterways and reserves in Holroyd.

In particular, the Pendle Hill Creek continues to suffer with litter and pollution. No state funding will go towards the Pendle Hill Creek in the 2016-17 financial year.

Furthermore, the Canal Reserve in Greystanes and surrounding bushland will get nothing, despite being home to native animals including kangaroos and wombats.

Local environmental groups have been highly vocal on the issue of protecting local waterways and bushland, reporting sightings of endangered animals in the area.

 

Social Housing 

The State Member for Prospect, Dr Hugh McDermott MP, has slammed the continued lack of investment into social housing investment in Western Sydney.

Electorate- specific budget documents confirm that no new public housing will be constructed in Toongabbie (south of the railway), Pendle Hill or Girraween.

 

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