Penrith played host to NSW Treasurer Gladys Berejiklian this morning at a special post-Budget breakfast.
Politicians and business leaders gathered at Pepper Stadium’s Chairman’s Lounge, to discuss the release of the 2015 State Budget.
Ms Berejiklian said the government had to make some tough decisions, but is pleased with how the Budget has been accepted in the community.
“Everyone’s heard about our record infrastructure spend but now we are also spending the highest the state has ever contributed to health, education and day to day services,” she said.
“We don’t mean to brag as a government, but five years ago you wouldn’t have seen any of this, so we are really proud of it.”
Ms Berejilkian outlined some key funding allocations for western Sydney that included roads, rail and local infrastructure such as the Penrith commuter car park.
“$684 million is going to upgrade and repair key motorways including roads around Badgerys Creek, and also road upgrades to support employment growth in western Sydney,” she said.
Ms Berejilkian explained the huge boost to the western Sydney community by bringing forward money for the second Sydney harbour rail crossing.
“Two things, we are going to turn the line that goes to Bankstown into a metro, and all the services on the T1 Western Line will have a 60 per cent increase in capacity,” she said.
“You’ll be able to get on a train that is more frequent and there will be less crowding because the metro system will mean we can run more services.”
Ms Berejiklian acknowledged the election commitments made to particular western Sydney hospitals, such as the Nepean Hospital, and said they will come to fruition in next year’s Budget.
State Member for Penrith, Stuart Ayres said the State Government has had a strong focus on the western Sydney region and are incredibly passionate about the opportunities in the area.
“This Budget is a western Sydney Budget that focuses on job creation, ensuring we get the property and development growth we need to sustain those jobs,” he said.
“The growth of NSW is inextricably linked to the performance of western Sydney… this is the place where Sydney and NSW is going to grow.”
Mr Ayres said that good government and surplus doesn’t happen overnight but it takes serious work, serious effort and strong leadership.
This morning’s breakfast was hosted by the Penrith Valley Chamber of Commerce.
– Dale Drinkwater