Budget is a big win for multicultural communities: Victor Dominello

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The 2014-15 Budget will improve the lives of multicultural communities across Western Sydney by boosting investment in education, health, housing, transport and roads, NSW Treasurer Andrew Constance and Minister for Citizenship and Communities Victor Dominello said 23 June.

“Western Sydney is home to over two million people but for 16 long years it was taken for granted and neglected under the previous Labor Government,” Mr Constance said.

“Through this budget the NSW Liberals & Nationals Government is investing at record levels in infrastructure and services that the residents of the region rightfully deserve,” he added.

There is funding in the 2014-15 Budget for projects in Western Sydney including: $400 million for work to accelerate a Western Sydney light rail system, subject to feasibility; $863 million for the 36-kilometre North West Rail Link; $103 million to complete the South West Rail Link from Glenfield to Leppington; $398 million for WestConnex; $109 million for road upgrades to support Sydney’s second airport at Badgerys Creek; $5 million to commence the Westmead Hospital redevelopment; $81 million to continue the redevelopment of Blacktown and Mount Druitt hospitals; $12 million for the new $31 million The Ponds High School; $6 million to continue the $7.5 million upgrade of Cabramatta High School; and $60 million for local councils to deliver essential infrastructure to support up to 3,000 new homes in Western Sydney growth areas.

“Western Sydney is the engine room of our state’s economy – that is why this budget focuses strongly on investing in education, health, housing and transport infrastructure projects across the region,” Mr Constance said.

Mr Dominello said Greater Western Sydney was the epicentre of multicultural Australia with over 60 per cent of residents having at least one parent born overseas.

“Over a million Western Sydney residents were either born overseas or have a parent born overseas – so this budget is a big win for multicultural communities,” Mr Dominello said.

“In our three years in office there has been rezoning of land for 49,000 new homes in Western Sydney’s major growth centres, compared to just 19,800 over the previous three-year period under NSW Labor,” he added.

Mr Dominello said that one in every two transport infrastructure dollars invested by the NSW Government has been committed to Western Sydney, which will help to reduce commuter travel times and allow people to spend more time with their families.

“We recognise that our state’s cultural diversity is one of our most precious economic assets so in addition to infrastructure we have also invested in the human capital,” he said.

Mr Dominello added that the Community Relations Commission will receive $11 million to maintain community harmony and maximise the social and economic benefits from the state’s multiculturalism and $9 million to deliver language and translation services. The amount includes a $1.4 million multicultural grants program funding for initiatives which promote harmony and bring people from diverse backgrounds together as Australians.

“Funding will enable the Premier’s Harmony Dinner and the Premier’s Multicultural Media Awards, which celebrate the strength of our cultural diversity, to continue to grow,” said Mr Dominello.

“Multicultural communities across Western Sydney can have confidence that the NSW Liberals and Nationals Government will deliver infrastructure and services which supports them and their families to build a better future,” he added.

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