Budget 2020 and a biosecurity blitz

Biosecurity, water and mental health feature in budget

NSW treasurer Dominic Perrottet described the past 12 months as a '1-in-100 year economic event' and has begun to plot a way out of the mess.

NSW treasurer Dominic Perrottet described the past 12 months as a '1-in-100 year economic event' and has begun to plot a way out of the mess.


Regardless of government spending, the economy faces a long haul back to health, says treasurer.


INVASIVE weeds and pests will be a focus for agriculture in the next two years, with the state government committing more than a billion dollars to the industry from its budget released today.

Hopes of a surplus were obviously dashed as NSW Treasurer Dominic Perrottet laid out the ramifications of what he described as a '1-in-100 year economic event'.

Agriculture Minister Adam Marshall said $36.1 million would be poured into improving the state's biosecurity this year, and more than $60 million during the next two years.

"Experts from the Department of Primary Industries and Local Land Services have made biosecurity their immediate priority," he said.

Improved conditions for agriculture have been matched by an explosion in weed and pest activity, he said.

Feral pigs and insect pests will be targeted.

"This budget delivers a well balanced combination of recovery-focused initiatives, as the agricultural sector begins its long road to recovery from drought, floods and bushfires," he said.

There will also be $50 million invested in research and development initiatives.

"Primary producers can be confident we will support them to keep their global competitive edge," Mr Marshall said.

Water, Property and Housing Minister Melinda Pavey said Crown land, which physically accounts for 42 per cent of NSW, would receive a $104-million injection of funds.

"Showgrounds, community facilities, men's sheds and Crown reserves will all benefit," she said.

Bushfire, pest and weed control on Crown land will be a focus.

Mrs Pavey said the budget also contained $700 million for 'sustainable, secure and healthy water services' across the state, including $290 million across four years for water infrastructure projects.

More than $188 million of that will go on water rebates for low-income households and $122 million for drought relief.

Other key measures included:

  • More than $58 million for critical drought infrastructure;
  • Accelerated ground water assessments and rebates for licence holders to a total of $38 million;
  • More than $18 million for emergency water carting and infrastructure to ensure critical regional town water supply;
  • There was also $30 million set aside for investigation and enforcement of suspicious activities and alleged breaches of water regulation and managing dam safety;
  • And $7.1 million for business and household water saving.

Mr Perrottet said there would be a $2.4-billion boost to mental health services across the state.

"We want to ensure that people doing it tough continue to have access to timely, world-class care no matter where they live," he said.

A new $100 million 'greater cities and regional sports facility fund' was also detailed in Tuesday's budget.

Acting Sports Minister Geoff Lee said the government would help create and rejuvenate sporting hubs.

"Right across NSW community sport is the heart and soul of our social fabric and we want to make sure we have the best infrastructure," he said.

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