2022-23 NSW Budget

The NSW Government is setting the stage for the State’s prosperity, delivering a budget that secures a brighter future for the Cootamundra electorate.

Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke has welcomed the 2022-23 NSW Budget which sees continued investment in the seat of small communities, while also locking-in key projects underway across the region.

“This Budget is very welcome and builds on the significant investment we have seen in the Cootamundra electorate over recent years,” Ms Cooke said.

Local highlights include:

  • An additional $40 million for the redevelopment of Cowra Hospital, taking the total investment in this project to $110.2 million.
  • $1 million for a new CT scanner at Young.
  • $6.1 million for Aboriginal Housing.
  • $5.1 million for a social housing package, including $3.3 million for new supply, and
  • $80 million locked-in for the recently announced Temora Hospital redevelopment.

The Budget also sees continued funding of major works already in progress, including:

  • $6.4 million for the new joint-use library and community facility at Young High School.
  • $5.6 million for early works of the Wyangala Dam wall raising project.
  • $1 million for the Narrandera Fisheries Centre upgrade.
  • $5.6 million to commence planning for the upgrade of Sheahan Bridge on the Hume Highway at Gundagai.
  • $68.4 million for the planning and construction of overtaking lanes along the full length the Newell Highway, including 10 overtaking lanes in the electorate with four built, five in construction and one in development.

Highlights for regional communities more broadly include: 

  • $1.3 billion to boost to the Regional Growth Fund, including $250 million to expand the Stronger Country Communities Fund, $220 for the Resources for Regions program and $100 million for the Regional Job Creation Fund.
  • $2.4 billion over 10 years to boost the rural and regional health workforce.
  • $210.2 million for the Fixing Local Roads and Fixing Country Bridges programs to better support regional councils.
  • $163.9 million to bolster biosecurity measures.
  • $149.5 million over four years to expand access to, and eligibility for, the Isolated Patients Travel and Accommodation Assistance Scheme.
  • $46.5 million over four years to substantially expand and enhance Headspace services, ensuring it can reach more young people across the State. This is on top of the $27.0 million previously invested in the service since July 2021.
  • $743 million over five years to ensure NSW residents have access to the highest quality care and pain management services for end-of-life care.
  • $5.8 billion over 10 years to introduce a high-quality universal pre-Kindergarten year for all children in New South Wales in the year before school by 2030.
  • $16.5 billion over 10 years to break the barriers to opportunity for women and help give our children the best start in life including by investing in affordable and accessible childcare and creating a universal year of prekindergarten in the year before school.
  • More than $7.2 billion in cost-of-living measures, including the Premier’s Back to School program and new Energy Bill Buster Program.
  • $2.8 billion to help more families find a place to call home, including $728.6 million for tax reform to help people own their first home.
  • $59 million to support Regional Youth including more Youth Community Coordinators and programs to boost youth employment.

“This is just a snapshot of the investment being made thanks to the NSW Nationals in government,” Ms Cooke said.

“I am very proud to be part of a team working hard to secure a brighter future for the seat of small communities, and I look forward to sharing more details about these Budget announcements over coming days.”

For more information about the 2022/23 NSW Budget please visit: 2022-23 NSW Budget Papers

Rural Financial Counselling Service Extended

The NSW Government has announced an additional $10 million over the next three years to continue the NSW Rural Financial Counselling Service across the state.

Member for Cootamundra, Steph Cooke has welcomed the commitment, saying it will allow the Rural Financial Counselling Service to continue providing free, independent financial planning and support until at least 2025.

“The program provides a crucial service to the region, helping producers suffering financial hardship to manage their businesses after two years of severe weather events,” Ms Cooke said.

“With a number of rural financial counsellors dedicated to our smaller communities, I encourage those who may be experiencing financial hardship to make the most of this free service.”

Minister for Agriculture and Western NSW Dugald Saunders said the Rural Financial Counselling Service has assisted farmers, fishers, forestry growers and harvesters experiencing, or at risk of, financial hardship for 30 years.

“There are 50 Rural Financial Counsellors working in our regional communities across the state, who are undertaking immediate and long-term financial planning, succession planning, farm debt mediation and guiding people who need to access to government assistance,” Mr Saunders said.

“Ensuring this vital service will be readily available at a local level is essential to building business support networks and helps producers strengthen their knowledge and operations.” For more information, including the contact details for a Rural Financial Counsellor nearest to you, please phone 1800 319 458 or visit www.rfcsnsw.com.au