The Liberal-National Government has created several initiatives to relieve the financial pressure on NSW families and ease the cost of living for NSW citizens. The initiatives from this year’s NSW Budget focus on fairness and accessibility for the people of NSW while complementing the programs from previous budgets.
The Creative Kids Rebate will supply families with school-aged children a $100 voucher per child to contribute to cultural and creative extra-curricular activities. This program will coincide with the successful Active Kids Rebate which was announced in last year’s Budget. The Creative Kids Rebate aims to ease the financial pressure for parents while providing children with the opportunity to try something different outside of the school environment.
The reduction of parking fine costs was also introduced in this year’s Budget. The 25 per cent decrease in ten of the top parking fines issued by State Government Agencies ensure a better balance between fairness and deterrence.
The Toll Relief Program eases costs for frequent toll road users by providing free vehicle registration to owners of privately registered light vehicles that spend $25 or more per week, on average, over a 12 month period on tolls from 1 July 2018. The new toll initiative is expected to save some drivers more than $700 per year.
The Liberal-National Government has extended universal education access to preschool for three year olds, making NSW the first state in Australia to do so, providing an average saving for families of $825 dollars a year from 1 January 2019.
The Liberal-National Government has ignited the Service NSW cost of living service – a one-stop shop, available in Service NSW centres, online or over the phone that advises families on rebates and concessions that are available for them to claim across government.
In addition to this service, we have created the opportunity for the people of NSW to find the best energy deal. The online “one-click energy switch” service through Service NSW, allows consumers to find and switch to the best alternative energy deals in the market.
The Liberal-National Government believes that every child deserves a permanent and stable home for life. Our Safe Home for Life reforms strengthen the child protection system through a group of reforms including legislative change, new policy and practice, as well as a redesign of how technology is used in child protection. We are investing $500 million over four years into the Safe Home for Life program, because we know the outcomes for children are much better when they have a stable and safe home, and we know that the earlier we can get this right for vulnerable children, the better.
The Liberal-National Government is committed to protecting the most vulnerable in our society, with the once in a generation National Disability Insurance Scheme which will greatly improve support available to people with disability in NSW. When fully operational, around 140,000 people with a disability in NSW will be able to access disability support. People with disability will be able to access all the reasonable and necessary support they need to live the life they want and achieve their goals and aspirations. The NDIS will be rolled out across NSW between 1 July 2016 and 30 June 2018.
The Liberal-National Government is determined to combat Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault, and that is why we have implemented a package of initiatives to target perpetrators and support women, men and children who have experienced domestic and family violence. The package includes new Police Domestic Violence High-Risk Offender Teams to target perpetrators and reduce the rate of reoffending, and mandated behaviour change programs.In addition, the package will increase crisis accommodation support as well as introduce Australia’s first Domestic Violence Disclosure Scheme, which discloses information about a perpetrator’s violent history and provide a stronger response to sexual assault.
The Liberal-National Government has increased the number of qualified Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners (SANEs) in high-risk rural and regional communities in NSW. In addition, we are working in partnership with non-government experts from the domestic violence and sexual assault sector to develop a NSW Sexual Assault Strategy. The strategy will have a dual focus on prevention and ensuring coordinated, high quality care and support for victims.