NSW Budget 2020-21: Key Portfolio Measures

17 November 2020

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The Treasury cluster continues to drive the Government’s COVID-19 stimulus and economic recovery plan, with further support in tax relief and other measures for small and medium businesses. In 2020-21, Treasury expenditure totals $13.9 billion, including:
  • $2.5 billion to administer the provision of workers’ compensation, health and general liability, property and motor vehicle cover to government and its employees.
  • $1.0 billion in foregone revenue ($2.1 billion over two years) for payroll tax cuts to support businesses and jobs across NSW.
  • $500 million for an Out & About digital voucher scheme to provide $100 worth of vouchers to NSW residents to spend at eligible businesses.
  • $366 million in COVID-19 stimulus funding to support NSW’s economic recovery including the Small Business Recovery Grant Scheme, support for international students, and quarantine arrangements for international travellers.
  • $250 million for the Jobs Plus Program to support businesses and industries seeking to grow in NSW.
  • $200 million to promote NSW tourism through Destination NSW.
  • $142 million to provide small and medium sized businesses which do not pay payroll tax with a $1,500 digital voucher to be used towards the cost of any government fees and charges.

Customer Service

The Customer Service cluster will invest in innovation and technology to improve the delivery and security of NSW Government services, while also expanding and improving the provision of services at Service NSW. In 2020-21, Customer Service expenditure totals $3.9 billion, including:
  • $500 million ($1.6 billion over three years) for the Digital Restart Fund. The purpose of the Fund is to support digital and information and communications technology initiatives across the government sector.
  • $63 million ($217 million capital over four years) for the Critical Communications Enhancement Project, which will deliver greater access to public safety standard radio communications for the State’s first responders and essential service agencies.
  • $50 million to further support Service NSW as it increases the number of services offered through its one-stop shop model across the State.
  • $41 million to encourage responsible gambling and reduce gambling harm in the community.

Premier and Cabinet

The Government continues its project of major infrastructure investments. In the wake of the Black Summer bushfires, the Government will also allocate additional funding to Resilience NSW to support the State’s disaster management and resilience capacity. In 2020-21, the Premier and Cabinet cluster expenditure totals $4.5 billion, including:
  • $1.2 billion for Infrastructure NSW (INSW) to continue investment to support major infrastructure. This includes the Sydney Football Stadium Redevelopment, the new Sydney Fish Markets and the developments of the Barangaroo precinct.
  • $840 million for the creation of a new Powerhouse site at Parramatta.
  • $131.6 million for the recently established Resilience NSW to coordinate and oversee disaster management, disaster recovery and building community resilience in the state, including recovery from the 2019-20 bushfires.
  • $50 million for the Arts and Rescue and Restart package for NSW arts and cultural organisations.
  • $20 million over four years for Closing the Gap in accordance with National Agreement.


The NSW Government continues to invest significantly in public transport and roads projects with $33 billion committed in 2020-21 including:
  • Funding for new and continuing infrastructure projects including:
    • $2.7 billion to continue delivery of the Sydney Metro City and Southwest.
    • $2.1 billion to progress Sydney Metro West to improve transport between Westmead and the Sydney CBD.
    • $1.3 billion to continue the final stage of the WestConnex Motorway (M4-M5 tunnels and Rozelle Interchange) with a total project value of $3.1 billion over 4 years.
    • $810 million to commence Sydney Metro – Western Sydney Airport with $9.2 billion total investment over 4 years.
    • $656.5 million to continue Stage 1 of Parramatta Light Rail.
    • $547.9 million to commence road upgrades to support the new Western Sydney Airport at Badgerys Creek.
    • $544.6 million to commence construction on the Sydney Gateway project and planning for the M6 Stage 1 extension.
    • $431.9 million for the ongoing Princes Highway upgrades including new bridges at Nowra and Batemans Bay.
    • $356.3 million for the Western Harbour Tunnel and Warringah Freeway Upgrade.
    • $341.9 million upgrades to the Pacific Highway.
    • $1.6 billion for bus services across NSW.
    • $1.1 billion to continue to ‘More Trains, More Services’ program to increase frequency and create additional services on the Illawarra, Airport and South Coast Lines.
    • $115 million in 2020-21 to accelerate regional transport programs and services such as Fixing Country Bridges and regional bus services to stimulate jobs and investment in Regional NSW.
    • $43.3 million for the new Regional Rail Fleet program including for a new maintenance facility in Dubbo.
  • Transport subsidies including $76.7 million for the Regional Seniors Travel card program providing $250 per year to eligible seniors living in regional NSW for fuel, taxi or NSW TrainLink tickets.
  • $268 million for the Transport Access Program to upgrade and improve accessibility of railway stations and ferry wharves.
  • $230 million for additional carparks at railway stations as part of the NSW and Commonwealth Governments Commuter Car Parking program with $608.2 million allocated over the forward estimates.


The Government continues to invest in new and upgraded hospitals to improve access to health services and to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. In 2020-21, expenditure in the Health cluster totals $29.3 billion, including:
  • $1.6 billion to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic:
    • $500 million for COVID-19 clinics, quarantine arrangements, pathology and contact tracing.
    • $458.5 million to fast track elective surgeries with a focus on those delayed by the pandemic.
    • $385 million for Personal Protective Equipment.
    • $66.5 million for mental health and well-being support.
    • $30 million for additional emergency department attendances and ambulance calls in response to the pandemic.
  • $195 million to commence and continue hospital upgrades and redevelopments including at Tweed Hospital, Royal Prince Alfred and the Sydney Children’s Hospital Network.
  • $49.6 million to give patients access to innovative new CAR-T cell therapies.
  • $20.9 million for Ambulance emergency telecommunications.
  • $55.9 million over four years to enhance palliative care.
  • $17 million to pilot a package for in-home care for pregnant women suffering from hyperemesis gravidarum (severe morning sickness).

Planning, Industry and Environment

The Government continues to invest in programs to improve the efficiency of the planning system. In 2020-21, the Planning, Industry and Environment cluster forecasts $6.6 billion in expenditure, including:
  • $1.1 billion to support the State’s national parks and national habitats undertaking targeted post-fire bushfire recovery and bushfire management actions and land management and biodiversity conservation.
  • $649.2 million to improve the reliability and affordability of the electricity system and to reduce emissions and climate impacts. This includes $49.7 million over two years in recoverable grants for pumped hydro projects.
  • $188.5 million for water rebates to low income households.
  • The Government will allocate $182.9 million for new social housing properties, $110.0 million for upgrades and maintenance to social housing properties and $36.4 million for new Aboriginal social and community housing.
  • $244.3 million to deliver the NSW Planning Reform Action Plan to improve the efficiency of the planning system to generate investment and jobs.
  • $122.0 million towards drought relief including $58.4 million for critical drought infrastructure.
  • $96.0 million for improved waste management systems and the promotion of a circular economy, including support for the Waste Strategy and Plastics Plan.
  • $80.2 million to improve water security and supply across regional NSW.
  • $20 million over four years for Closing the Gap in accordance with National Agreement.


The Government will continue its focus on early childhood education and capital works in schools, and in 2021 will support learning and upskilling opportunities for students and jobseekers impacted by COVID-19. Expenditure in the Education cluster in 2020-21 totals $22.7 billion, including:
  • $14.9 billion for primary and secondary education in government schools.
  • $1.5 billion for non-government schools, particularly for the purposes of essential capital works under the Building Grants Assistance Scheme.
  • $544.6 million over two years for shovel-ready new and accelerated capital works across schools.
  • $365.8 million funding over two years for the Rural Access Gap Direct Intervention program, delivering improved access to digital teaching, learning aids and collaboration tools to rural and remote schools.
  • $337 million in 2021 to provide intensive tutoring for students in all government schools, and some additional non-government schools, to support learning after COVID-19 interruptions to the 2020 school year.
  • $318.6 million over two years under the Skilling for Recovery package, helping job seekers retrain, upskill, and enter the workforce after leaving school.
  • $120 million for the continuation of the COVID-19 free preschool program for community and mobile preschools until the of the 2021 school year.

Stronger Communities

The Government will invest in measures to support the vulnerable sectors of society and focus on community resilience, particularly following the 2019-20 bushfires. Expenditure in the Stronger Communities cluster in 2020-21 totals $19.1 billion, including:
  • $3.5 billion in cash and in-kind contributions for individual packages and other supports for people with disability under the NDIS.
  • $1.4 billion to support vulnerable children in out-of-home care and permanency support.
  • $291.8 million for a range of specialist homelessness services across New South Wales.
  • $192 million over five years to address recommendations from the independent NSW Bushfire Inquiry.
  • $160.5 million to reduce domestic and family violence and continue supporting victims through early intervention initiatives and perpetrator interventions.
  • $148 million for the Active Kids Voucher Program, offering up to two $100 vouchers for families to spend on children’s sporting activities.
  • $105.4 million over four years for the Stay Safe and Keep Operational program, supporting the expansion of the Government Radio Network.
  • $100 million for the Sustaining Critical Infrastructure Program, delivering infrastructure upgrades for the Department’s critical asset base, including courthouses and correctional centres.

Regional NSW

The Government will support regional growth and development. Expenditure in the Regional NSW cluster in 2020-21 totals $2.7 billion, including:
  • $323.1 million for Snowy Hydro Legacy Fund projects, including delivering the Special Activation Precincts for place-based solutions and the NSW Regional Digital Connectivity Program.
  • $212.5 million to fund development programs in regional NSW, including another round of Resources for Regions and funding for the Indigenous Tourism stream of the Regional Growth Environment and Tourism Fund.
  • $142.5 million investment in the sustainable growth of fishing and aquaculture, including investment in research and licencing and compliance activities for aquatic resources.
  • $140.1 million to enable productive and sustainable plant and livestock farming systems.
  • $131.7 million to encourage biosecurity compliance for legislative responsibilities under the Biosecurity Act 2015 (Cth).
  • $107.7 million allocated from the $3.0 billion Jobs and Infrastructure Acceleration Fund to deliver a regional stimulus package, funding infrastructure projects and the new $100.0 million Regional Job Creation Fund.


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