The NSW Government has released its budget for 2016 – 2017. The budget has implications for Western Sydney, particularly the delivery of large infrastructure projects in the region.

Western Sydney Community Forum is the regional peak representing social policy and service delivery for communities across Greater Western Sydney.

Western Sydney Community Forum’s Chief Executive, Billie Sankovic, states “investment in appropriate infrastructure is crucial to supporting the continued growth of Greater Western Sydney. The allocated $338 million towards upgrading roads in the surrounding areas of the proposed Western Sydney Airport are vital to ensure increased traffic levels are managed in the area.

“However Western Sydney cannot take full advantage of this growth without an effective public transport system, as investment in roads alone is not enough to ease congestion and increase transport access. We are eager to see how much of the Government’s investment into public transport will make an impact on the many residents who currently experience transport difficulties first hand.”

Ms. Sankovic also expressed her concern at the impact that the decrease to Multicultural NSW’s budget will have on Western Sydney’s diverse communities.

“While the Government has committed to the provision of increased interpreting and translation services, we are concerned about the effect that the 11% decrease of funding for Multicultural NSW will have on projects which support community harmony and social cohesion. This is particularly important to Western Sydney as one of the most culturally diverse regions of NSW”

The NSW Government’s commitment to tackling domestic violence by the Government was applauded by Ms. Sankovic.

“Domestic violence affects people across NSW at all stages of life. The Government’s commitment to the prevention and early intervention responses is encouraging, as well as their emphasis on reducing re-offending. If utilised effectively, this investment could contribute to safer homes and save lives.”

Western Sydney Community Forum will be providing further analysis of the implications of the budget in the coming weeks.