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MP hails budget measures

Wednesday, 18th June, 2014

By Erica Visser

The NSW Government will provide $1 million for disability services in Broken Hill.

Disability funding was a focus of the 2014/2015 state budget that was announced last night. 

The $1 million will be spent on building two five-bedroom group homes for people with a disability.

The budget will also fund further sealing of the Silver City Highway to Tibooburra, as part of a $50 million road improvement program that was announced last week.

Local MP John Williams said the budget included significant investment for the region and had been all about “fixing Labor’s mess.”

“When we came to office in 2011, NSW lagged on all economic fronts,” Mr Williams said.

“We were lagging on jobs growth, productivity, housing approvals and business confidence.

“In three short years we have seen NSW rise again to become the powerhouse of the nation. 

“We are growing three times the rate of Queensland and Victoria, housing approvals are at their highest levels in over a decade and the unemployment rate is the second lowest in the nation.”

The budget has also allocated $325 million to fund works that secure water supplies and drought-proof country towns, as well as $17 million for water reform initiatives in the Murray-Darling Basin.

Health was another focus of the budget, but Broken Hill appeared to miss out. 

Ivanhoe will get $190,000 for the construction a “Health One”; a state government initiative that aims to bring primary health care services together.

Minister for Western NSW Kevin Humphries said that the millions of dollars in funding reserved for Western NSW showed a commitment by the government.

“The massive funding for Western NSW in this Budget recognises the importance of this vital region to NSW and highlights the Government’s commitment to supporting the communities and industries that play such an important role in driving the state’s economy,” he said.

The budget will also “support businesses to grow” with a reduction in WorkCover premiums.

“Employers will benefit from an average premium rate reduction of five per cent. This is on top of the average 12.5 per cent rate reductions delivered in 2013.”

An extra $100,000 was put aside for the Community Building Partnership program in the electorate, which is directed at councils and community groups.

“This will allow more community groups and councils to receive funding that will provide positive social, recreational and environmental outcomes in the local community,” Mr Williams said.

Applications for the current round of the funding close at 5pm today.

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