Premier cuts $1.7 billion from schools, while giving handouts to private jetty owners


Premier Barry O'Farrell has confirmed he has his priorities all wrong in budget estimates this afternoon – and justified huge giveaways for private jetty owners and tax breaks for clubs at the same time he is cutting $1.7 billion from NSW schools.

"Barry O'Farrell is a Premier with his priorities all wrong," Opposition Leader John Robertson said today.

"At the same time Mr O'Farrell is cutting an unprecedented $1.7 billion from NSW schools, he is handing wealthy private jetty owners a huge reduction in their fees.

"Under the O'Farrell Government, some 8,300 private jetty owners, a solidly Liberal voting constituency if ever there was one, received a $5.3 million windfall gain.

"In the same budget the O'Farrell Government left 25,000 pensioners without glasses, they gave large clubs a $300 million tax break.

"Barry O'Farrell is leading a mean and heartless government that is completely out of touch with the needs of the community.

"The people of NSW didn’t vote for a $1.7 billion cut to our schools or $3 billion cut to our hospitals, but that is exactly what Barry O'Farrell is delivering."

Leader of the Opposition in the Legislative Council, Luke Foley said: "Mr O'Farrell talks about living within his means in one breath, and then backs huge tax breaks for clubs and giveaways for private jetty owners in the next."

"Government is about choices – and it is abundantly clear from today's budget estimates performance that Mr O'Farrell isn't willing to make choices that support the education of our children or provide vital assistance to our pensioners."

Other examples of waste under the O'Farrell Government:

  • $256 million on government advertising;
  • $230 million on consultant reports;
  • $116 million extra in spending for the Premier's department;
  • $20 million on renaming NSW highways and motorways; and
  • $3.2 million for two new Treasury officials.