18 June 2019
BUDGET 2019/2020: BACKFLIPS AND BLOWOUTS
The 2019/2020 NSW State Budget has been released, and Coogee is the clear loser. In the areas of Education and Transport, and the Coogee Stormwater, the NSW Liberal and National Government have back-flipped on key election promises.
While previous upgrades to Randwick Boys and Randwick Girls High Schools were sold to the community as major upgrades, the 2019/2020 Budget shows that these have now been classified as minor works. In addition, these upgrades have not yet been allocated any funding, and are still in the planning phase as they were in the 2018/2019 Budget.
The total cost of the CBD and South East Light Rail has now been excluded from the 2019/2020 Budget. Where most projects have a total estimated cost, the total estimated cost for the Light Rail now reads ‘n/a’ whereas in the previous budget it read $2.1 billion, demonstrating that the government has no idea what the final blowout costs of the project will be. The Government also revealed earlier this month that they do not have estimated travel times for light rail.
Eastern Suburbs Cycleway:
During the 2019 State Election campaign, the Liberal-National Government promised to increase funding from $147 million to a total of $330 million over the next 5 years for the expansion of the Active Transport program, including funding for the Eastern Suburbs Cycleway. Despite their promise, the 2019/2020 Budget has only allocated an additional $16.8 million for the program, far short of the average of $36.6 million needed per year to meet the amount promised by this Government.
A key promise made by the Berejiklian Government during the 2019 State Election was $2.5 million to tackle the stormwater pollution at Coogee beach. I am incredibly disappointed that this funding has not been included in the 2019/2020 Budget. 100% people who responded to the Randwick Council Coogee Beach water quality survey stated that they believed improving water quality at our beaches is important, making this decision all the more unacceptable.
Quotes attributable to Dr Marjorie O’Neill MP:
“From education to transport, this budget is defined by the Government’s backflips and blowouts and the people of Coogee deserve better than the Liberals and Nationals broken promises”
“I believe that every child has the right to a world class education, and that starts with properly funded public schools. It is incredibly disappointing to see the Liberal Government backflip on its election promise less than three months after they were re-elected”
“The Berejiklian Government doesn’t know how much the Light Rail is going to cost, and they don’t know how long a journey on the Light Rail will take. All the Government does seem to know is that the project will be at least a year late”
“Yet again, the Berejiklian Government has disappointed the Coogee community by failing to address their concerns about water quality at Coogee beach”