Boost for health workforce, homeless services in NSW budget

Assertive outreach services and a new social impact investment are among the elements of a $1 billion homelessness package to be included in NSW’s budget today.

Tailored support will be provided to rough sleepers, young people and victims of domestic violence under the package.

The program includes $20 million over four years to a social impact investment on homelessness to tap into the expertise of the private and not-for-profit sector.

It will provide for more assertive outreach services for rough sleepers, strengthened risk assessment to address individuals’ circumstances and enhanced support to maintain a tenancy.

Included in the program is $9.1 million for additional transitional accommodation, $6.9 million on co-located homeless and health services and $6.2 million to expand the Staying Home Leaving Violence program to five new sites.

The NSW Government’s budget will also contain $1 billion in new recurrent health funding to employ an extra 1370 workers, including 950 nurses and midwives, 300 doctors and 120 allied health professions.

The State Government says that brings the budget’s total health spend to $23 billion.

In education, the government will announce “the largest investment into schools by any state government in history” with funding of $6 billion over four years to deliver more than 170 new and upgraded schools. The budget contains funding for an extra 20 new and upgraded schools, the planning for which will begin this year.

Work will commence on 40 new and upgraded school projects this year.

In transport, the budget will outline a $1.5 billion investment in bus services throughout the state, which will see more than 2,000 extra bus services rolled out in the next 12 months.

The number of trains running in the morning and afternoon peaks on the T4 and T8 lines will be increased with an $880 million investment in technology to modernise the Sydney Trains network.

The key southern Sydney route Heathcote Road will get a $173 million package to improve safety and traffic flow, while $40 million will be spent sealing the last stretch of the Cobb and Silver City highways, meaning every major highway in the state will now be sealed.

In resources, the budget will also contain $23 million for the recently established Natural Resources Access Regulators to increase water compliance and enforcement.

The Australia Museum will undergo a $50 million refurbishment before it hosts Tutankhamun: Treasures of the Golden Pharaoh, the largest Tutankhamun exhibition to ever leave Egypt, for a six-month run in early 2021.

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