RAISING THE BARR: We will pay for stadiums

CLAYTON BARR

CLAYTON BARR

The NSW Government stadium saga continues its own train wreck of a journey and is coming to all of us, whether we like it or not.

The many Government agencies that we rely on every day have been told that over the next 4 years they will have their budgets shrunk by 3% each year to make the stadiums possible.

The health budget will shrink by 3%. The police budget will shrink by 3%. The roads budget will shrink by 3%. The budgets for women and children and the environment and mental health and Aboriginal affairs and education and justice and tourism and the arts, will all shrink by 3%.

The Government need an additional $1,600 million to pay for the stadiums, having already spent $600 million. They thought that they would pay for the stadiums from selling off more state owned assets (power, water, buildings, etc) but they tripped over themselves. Money realised from selling everything that the state owns can only be spent on projects if they bring a benefit of more than $1 for each dollar spent on building them, and the stadiums fail that test.

So the Government have been forced to find the money elsewhere. And they have gone straight to the public services to source the dollars. They are going to rip the $1,600 million from services delivered by and to the state.

Half of all money spent on public services is in wages to public servants. These are the people who do the work to make our state run and to keep us safe. In regional drought affected areas, these wages are the backbone of the local economy at the moment.

So any cut to any budget will be a cut in staff.

There will also be cuts to maintenance of our buildings, replacing faulty equipment, keeping information up to date, etc. So in short, the delivery of all services that you rely on provided by your taxes and by the state, will be on the decline.

It is unavoidable. Imagine if you received a 3% pay cut in your salary – surely you realise that this would mean that you would have to make do with less.

But, to ease your frustration with the lower levels of services, there will be a couple of shiny new stadiums in Sydney that will be generally empty, or less than quarter-full, for at least 363 days of the year. And Ms Berejiklian is so determined to not let you have a say that she will insist on the wrecking balls being in before the state election in March next year.