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

More Than $149 Million to Reduce Costs for Regional Patients

Communities across the Cootamundra electorate are to benefit from an expansion of the Isolated Patients Travel and Accommodation Assistance Scheme (IPTAAS), with the NSW Government investing an additional $149.5 million as part of the 2022-23 NSW Budget.  

Member for Cootamundra Steph Cooke has welcomed the funding boost which will see more people in the region being eligible for subsidised travel and accommodation if they need to travel to receive specialist care. 

“We understand travel and accommodation can be expensive and we’re committed to doing what we can to ease the financial pressure on patients,” Ms Cooke said. 

“We know there are a large number of people in the Cootamundra electorate who previously have been unable to receive help under this scheme, who will now be eligible.” 

For the first time, the scheme will be expanded with patients seeking non-commercial clinical trials, high risk foot clinics, highly specialised publicly funded dental health clinics and ocularists to be eligible for assistance. 

The subsidy for people requiring accommodation will be almost doubled, while the NSW Government will also nearly double the private vehicle subsidy rate from 22 cents to 40 cents per kilometre for patients who need to travel more than 100 kilometres for care. 

Minister for Regional Health Bronnie Taylor said the announcement will see a huge weight lifted off so many patients who were previously unable to receive help. 

“We know that when you have to travel for healthcare, the costs can quickly add up, and this can be a huge financial burden on patients and their families,” Mrs Taylor said.  

“If we as Government can do one thing to support people and their families during a time of great emotional and financial distress, this is it.” 

Treasurer Matt Kean said the boost will put NSW well ahead of other states with how comprehensive and generous its patient travel subsidy scheme is.  

“This funding will see our overall investment in IPTAAS tripled over the next four years, with the NSW Government leading the way to assist rural and regional patients in getting the help and support they need,” Mr Kean said.  

“Networked, highly specialised care sometimes requires significant travel in our rural and remote communities and this scheme is essential to ensuring people can access the care while also reducing the out of pocket costs.” 

2225 people in the Cootamundra Electorate were supported last year under the IPTAAS scheme.  

The $149.5 million investment is part of the NSW Government’s $4.5 billion record commitment to the NSW Health workforce with 10,148 full time equivalent staff to be recruited over four years.