Steph Cooke and John Barilaro sit on a couch and hold Budget papers. They smile at the camera and wear suits.

Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke MP has welcomed the 2020/21 NSW Budget which has put regional NSW at the forefront.

Ms Cooke said there is substantial investment in health, transport, education and infrastructure across the Cootamundra electorate.

“This has been an incredibly challenging year, and this budget is looking to boost jobs and opportunities for people living in our wonderful rural and regional communities,” Ms Cooke said.

“Our electorate is seeing funding to continue planning for the redevelopment of Cowra Hospital, accessibility upgrades at Junee and Cootamundra train stations and five new overtaking lanes along the Newell Highway near West Wyalong. 

“Water security in Cowra will be improved with $8 million to plan and deliver a series of bores and a pipeline, while $3.6 million has been allocated to the playground on the Murrumbidgee project in Narrandera.”

“In education, we are seeing funding for tutoring, to improve infrastructure and upgrade digital connections.”

“This Budget also sees an additional round of the Stronger Country Communities Fund and Resources for Regions program, roads programs and a boost to the Crown Reserves Improvement Fund and showground stimulus programs”

“Across the state we are seeing record investment in mental health services, with 12 community-based programs to reduce suicide receiving funding, 100 nurses looking after the health and wellbeing of students in our public schools and more funding for community mental health clinicians.”

“We have had an incredibly tough few years with drought, bushfires and now COVID, but today’s Budget is very welcome, with continued record investment in rural and regional NSW, which is fantastic news for the seat of small communities.”

Click here to watch Steph’s 60 second budget wrap.

Deputy Premier and Leader of the NSW Nationals John Barilaro said the NSW Nationals in Government are boosting the transformational Regional Growth Fund with a further $300 million, bringing the fund’s total to $2 billion, to continue delivering grass roots projects across the regions.

“To aid recovery and resilience across regional NSW we are also investing $639.2 million in bushfire recovery activities, $217.2 million in COVID-19 support and a further $88 million to help farmers rebound from drought,” Mr Barilaro said.

“Essential funding will also continue for programs with a dedicated focus on social, economic and industry recovery, to provide stimulus, restore destroyed structures, retain existing jobs, maintain production, strengthen supply chains and develop industry sustainability.

“Today’s budget is about bridging the city/bush divide and this record funding will deliver legacy projects and significant benefit to regional communities for generations to come, because we know that the regions are unparalleled and there is nowhere else we’d rather be.”

For more information about the NSW Government’s 2020/21 Budget, please go to budget.nsw.gov.au