NSW Budget 2020-2021: IPWEA NSW and ACT welcomes the support
The NSW budget released yesterday, shows support for our IPWEA NSW and ACT (IPWEA) members, in a number of key areas including infrastructure, disaster recovery and addressing skill shortages.
IPWEA President Grant Baker said that the record infrastructure pipeline of $107.1 billion, will help to address current infrastructure challenges faced by our members and communities, during these economically trying times.
Driving this investment is the $3.0 billion Jobs and Infrastructure Acceleration Fund, which includes an additional $312 million for the Fixing Local Roads program and a $108 million investment towards the Fixing Country Bridges program.
“Whilst IPWEA welcomes this additional funding, recent IPWEA Roads and Transport Directorate 2019 Benchmarking reports show that annual state government funding needs to increase by $351 million, to maintain local transport infrastructure to a satisfactory standard.”
The $318.6 million investment into the Skilling for Recovery training package over two years however, will help to address the key challenges such as the decline in asset management capability reported in local government, and skills gaps within the public works profession.
IPWEA CEO Francine Binns says that, as a Registered Training Organisation (RTO), IPWEA supports this investment to increase training, particularly in response to specific skills shortages in regional areas.
Also, the $96 million investment to improve waste management, aligns with IPWEA advocacy on transitioning to a circular economy in NSW. It is described that this investment will help drive strategic policies such as the 20-year Waste-Strategy and the Waste Less Recycle More program.
“In addition to this, it is also important to consider how this investment can provide benefit at the local government level, as this will be fundamental to ensure effective implementation”, said Ms Binns.
Some other key budget announcements for our IPWEA community include:
- Road safety: $781.2 million over the next four years, including $341.4 million in 2020-21, for Road Safety investment, including Towards Zero
- Bushfire Recovery and Resilience: The $1.0 billion Bushfire Infrastructure Package is providing vital assistance to rebuild communities following the disastrous 2019-20 bushfires.
- Water Security: In 2020-21, the Planning, Industry and Environment Cluster will invest $713.1 million in Outcome 4: Sustainable, secure and healthy water resources and services.
Overall, it is encouraging through this budget, to see the NSW Government is focusing on our regional communities, and recognising the role of local government and it’s importance in the economic recovery whilst striving to lay the foundation for a sustainable future ahead.
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