Much analysis will need to be done over the coming days and weeks to identify the real winners and losers in Treasurer Mike Baird’s budget.
Given the state of the global economy, together with nervousness at home, it was always going to be tough.
Maitland motorists will welcome the announcement that money will be spent on the New England Highway through Maitland and also the Dungog to Raymond Terrace Road.
What is disappointing, however, is that it does not appear the money will be spent in 2012-2013.
Similarly, the government’s failure to match the
$3.5 billion in federal government funding to duplicate the Pacific Highway is short-sighted and will cost lives.
People buying new homes will be among the winners from the budget and positive spinoffs should flow through to the wider Maitland community from increases to the First Home Owners and New Home grants.
Mr Baird claims that this presents first home owners with “an opportunity to get into the housing market like never before”, something which people in rent-stretched Maitland will no doubt welcome.
But encouraging more people into new homes across Maitland also requires a significant investment in infrastructure to cater for the needs of these people.
To that end, a second public hospital for Maitland is high on the agenda and was a key election promise from Member for Maitland, Robyn Parker.
But the city’s urgent need for a new hospital appears to have progressed little with less than $1 million available next financial year, rising to $16.8 million in 2013-14.
While the decision to exempt frontline nurses,
teachers and police from public sector job cuts, the
concern is that who will pick up the workload of the
non-frontline workers who face the axe.
Finally, it is hoped that some of the $318 million allocated to school maintenance is spent on replacing those unsafe and unhealthy unflued gas heaters once and for all.