STRONGEST BUDGET, ECONOMY IN THE NATION
Official briefing about the NSW Government Budget 2016-2017
Treasurer Gladys Berejiklian & Minister John Ajaka
Premier Mike Baird and Treasurer Gladys Berejiklian said the NSW Government was investing record amounts on schools, hospitals, public transport and roads in the 2016-17 Budget, while almost completely eliminating the State’s debt.
The Government is delivering a surplus of $3.4 billion in 2015-16, rising to $3.7 billion in 2016-17, and forecasts surpluses over the next four years averaging $2 billion each year.
“After five years of fiscal repair, we now have the nation’s strongest Budget and economy,” Mr Baird said. “All economic and financial indicators in this Budget are in an ideal position and we are the envy of the other states.
“This hasn’t happened by accident. Our record infrastructure investment of $73.3 billion over four years is boosting consumer and business confidence – making NSW the number one destination to live, work and do business.”
Ms Berejiklian said the Government was keeping debt low while spending record amounts on infrastructure and services.
“Our fiscal discipline and innovative policies such as asset recycling have allowed us to invest record amounts on infrastructure and services while securing our triple-A credit rating,” Ms Berejiklian said.
“We are continuing to build the infrastructure our State desperately needs while boosting frontline services. This budget funds more teachers, more nurses, more police – while also keeping the back office in check.”
The Budget delivers a record $22 billion investment in health in 2016-17, up $1.2 billion since last year and a record $14.3 billion on education in 2016-17, an increase of $1.1 billion.
The Government is building more classrooms and schools as the State experiences a once in a generation spike in enrolments. Nearly $1 billion extra has been allocated over the next four years, bringing the total schools capital spend to $2.6 billion, up more than 50 per cent from the forward estimates of last year’s budget.
In 2016-17, the Government is allocating $16.9 billion to transport and roads projects and services, helping to cut congestion and allow faster travel times so workers can spend more time with their families.
“This Budget ensures that every single person in NSW, no matter where they live or whattheircircumstances,hasaccessto highqualityservicesandinfrastructure,”Ms Berejikliansaid.
MORE SUPPORT FOR OUR MULTICULTURAL COMMUNITIES
The 2016/16 NSW Budget provides more support to
our multicultural communities through more grants to help bring the community
together as well as improved and increased language services, Minister for
Multiculturalism John Ajaka today announced.
“Last year’s surge in funding has transformed Multicultural NSW into a more efficient, sustainable and streamlined agency,” Mr Ajaka said.
“Importantly, the much-needed transformation has allowed us to better focus on the needs of the community.
“This Budget delivers what the community wanted and needed. We are boosting funding for grants which help bring the community together, as well as improving and increasing language services offered by Multicultural NSW.”
Key highlights of the 2016/17 Multicultural NSW Budget include;
• $9 million for 45,000 interpreting and translation services in over 100 languages and dialects, an increase of 1,000 services provided;
• $3 million for the Multicultural NSW COMPACT Program to support an alliance of community partners who are committed to safeguarding our community;
• $2.8 million (23% increase) in grants for community projects, activities and partnerships to foster community engagement and celebrate our cultural diversity; and
• $1 million for the development of a Telephone Interpreting Service as part of the development and improvement of Multicultural NSW’s Language Services.
“This additional funding allows Multicultural NSW to improve its vital work in supporting the real needs of culturally diverse communities and driving social cohesion across our State,” said Dr G.K Harinath OAM, Chair of the Multicultural NSW Advisory Board.
Multicultural NSW Budget
Multicultural NSW is the key government agency responsible for engaging diverse communities in the State. It is also one of the main government providers of language and translation services in the State.
The NSW Budget provides more support than ever to our multicultural communities and invests $23 million for multicultural community engagement and the vital work of Multicultural NSW.
The Budget boosts funding for grants which help bring the community together, as well as provides funding to improve and increase the language services offered by Multicultural NSW.
Language Services: total investment $10 million
• Multicultural NSW will help more than 45,000 people each year by providing interpreting and translation services in over 100 languages and dialects
• $1 million for the development of a new Telephone Interpreting Service
o The 24-hour service for culturally diverse communities to expand with new technology
o More local interpreters to complete significantly more jobs after July 2017
Grants Program: total investment $2.8 million
• 23% increase in grants for community projects, activities and partnerships to celebrate cultural diversity and support community engagement
• The Multicultural NSW Grants Program invests in community projects that foster community harmony and social cohesion:
o Unity Grants: up to $30,000 for cross-cultural community engagement projects.
o 20 partners funded over $440,000 in 2014/15
o Celebration Grants: up to $5,000 to fund events and festival that celebrate cultural diversity
o 111 partners funded over $230,000 in 2014/15
o Support Grants: up to $10,000 to support individuals and communities participate in community life
o 28 partners funded over $250,000 in 2014/15
o Partnership Grants: up to $150,000 for significant projects with real long-term community impacts
o 15 partners funded over $760,000 in 2014/15
Parramasala: total investment $1.6 million over four years
• This funding securing Parramasala’s future as a premier multicultural celebration in the State’s cultural calendar
• $3 million for the Multicultural NSW COMPACT Program to support an alliance of community partners who are committed to safeguarding our community
o 14 COMPACT projects partners funded, including 14 host organisations working with a further 23 partner organisations
Supporting multicultural communities – case studies
SkillME, Metro Assist
Metro Assist has received a $450,000 Partnership Grant over three years to help culturally diverse workers get jobs. So far Metro Assist’s SkillME pilot program has helped 300 skilled migrants and refugees get job-ready and employed by recognising their overseas qualifications, providing additional vocational training and creating links with local employers.
Multicultural Men’s Shed
The Ethnic Communities Council of Newcastle and
Hunter Region received a $15,000 Unity Grant to help support participation,
engaging the most vulnerable in the community. Assisting culturally diverse
seniors in retirement villages and local Afghan families, the Mobile Shed plans
to visit households, retirement villages, community centres and public events
to build intercultural understanding and engagement.
Ritmo Brazilian Festival 2015
The Brazilian Community Council of Australia received a $5,000 Celebration Grant last year for the 2015 Ritmo Brazilian Festival. The event was a huge success with a record attendance of 23,000 people who enjoyed a Brazilian street festival of food, dance and kids entertainment. It was crowned one of the top five festivals in Darling Harbour in 2015.
Dr Harinath (Chair of the Multicultural NSW Advisory Board), Minister Ajaka and Mr Hakan Harman (CEO of Multicultural
Treasurer Honourable Gladys Berejiklian & and Minister for Multiculturalism Hon.John Ajaka
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