Red Leather #101 | Budget Estimates 2012-13 | Special Edition #1 - now online
NSW Budget Estimates 2012-13 | Special Edition #1
Welcome to a special edition of Red Leather.
With Peter Slipper dominating the news cycle, there has been little coverage of what has been revealed in NSW Budget Estimates.
This is the first of a series of special editions of Red Leather that will keep you up to date with what Barry O'Farrell and his Minister's have been up to in NSW.
Speech and video of the week: for those who haven't seen it here is the full 15 minute speech by our Prime Minister yesterday where she explains to Tony Abbott what misogyny means.
With Peter Slipper dominating the news cycle, here’s what you may have missed from NSW Budget Estimates:
On Monday, Minister for Disability Services Andrew Constance admitted removing $25 million out of the budget for Ageing, Disability and Homecare (ADHC) during the 2011-12 financial year.
Health Minister Jillian Skinner was caught out labelling chairs as hospital beds in order to artificially inflate the number of hospital beds in NSW, and admitted that nurses will be axed under the O'Farrell Government's $3 billion cuts to public hospital funding.
Water Minister Greg Pearce confirmed funding for the Sydney Water Meter Replacement Program will be cut from $11.6 million to $9.5 million.
The NSW Labor Opposition also revealed that the O'Farrell Government has pushed back sewerage connections for residents living in Bargo and Buxton to at least 2015 – despite promising to complete the connections by 2013/14.
On Tuesday, NSW Treasurer Mike Baird failed to announce any commitment on behalf of the NSW Government to fund its fair share of the equal pay case for social and community workers, was caught out rewarding Liberal party donors with taxpayer funded government positions, and was forced to admit that his Waratah Bonds – which were supposed to fund the State's infrastructure - have raised only $30 million, and as a result the target has been revised down from $300 million to $200 million.
Premier Barry O’Farrell:
- refused to exempt doctors and frontline health workers from his government’s labour expense cap,
- dodged questions on whether he has honoured his election promise to require electricity company directors to guarantee electricity dividend payments won't put upward pressure on prices, and
- tried to justify huge giveaways for private jetty owners and tax breaks for clubs at the same time he is cutting $1.7 billion from NSW schools.
Shadow Minister for Regional and Rural Affairs Mick Veitch MLC also revealed that the O'Farrell Government has redirected $8.5 million in funding that was meant to be spent on regional NSW this year to The Star casino.
On Wednesday, NSW Minister for Aboriginal Affairs Victor Dominello washed his hands off any responsibility for safeguarding important Aboriginal cultural sites and landscapes – including the endangered Butterfly Caves in West Wallsend.
And this afternoon, Attorney General Greg Smith confirmed the O'Farrell Government is not replacing retiring magistrates to cut costs.