Anyone reviewing the 2020-21 NSW budget that was handed down in November would have to be happy with the huge support for rural and regional NSW that the National Party worked hard to achieve.

They have made sure that we are working towards recovery from what has been a very difficult last 12 months.

I’d like to share with The Courier readers the highlights for the regions.

Some of the important highlights are:

• Record breaking $8.7 billion in 2020-21 for regional roads and transport;
• $4.5 billion in drought assistance and water security support to date;
• $4.4 billion in bushfire recovery support to date;
• More than $900 million in 2020-21 for regional hospitals and healthcare facilities;
• More than 90 regional projects are funded to the tune of $1.8 billion from the $3 billion Jobs and Infrastructure Acceleration Fund;
• More than $650 million for regional schools’ infrastructure;
• $600 million over four years through the Snowy Hydro Legacy Fund for Special Activation Precincts and the Regional Digital Connectivity Program;
• $300 million over two years to top-up for the now $2 billion Regional Growth Fund to support growing regional centres, activate local economies and improve services;
• Almost $106 million over four years to the Resources Regulator to regulate mine and petroleum safety in relation to Work Health and Safety compliance and enforcement;
• $100 million over two years for the Regional Job Creation Fund to help attract and expand businesses across regional NSW;
• Almost $51 million over three years for World Class Food and Fibre Program Stage Two;
• More than $45 million over four years for research and investment in carbon capture, use and storage and low emissions coal technology projects from the Coal Innovation Fund;
• More than $43 million over two years for combating pests, weeds and plant and animal diseases in rural communities following the drought and bushfires.
• A further $20 million towards the Showground stimulus package

I’d also like to assure the community that claims in the NSW Legislative Council last week and on social media that cuts are being made to the NSW Rural Fire Service are not correct.

The NSW government is delivering record funding to the NSW RFS, with an overall increase of $160.9 million above the 2019-20 budget ($148.2 million recurrent and $12.7 million capital), or about 30 per cent.

The NSW government is also delivering record funding to Fire and Rescue NSW, with an overall increase of around $73.8 million above the 2019-20 budget ($38.4 million recurrent and $35.4 million capital), or about 8.9 per cent.

Jocellin Jansson, Chair, Narrabri Nationals

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