The NSW government is responding to ‘pent-up’ demand with a $2.8 billion stimulus package — here’s where the money is being spent

The NSW government is responding to ‘pent-up’ demand with a $2.8 billion stimulus package — here’s where the money is being spent
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  • NSW Treasurer Dominic Perrottet said a new stimulus package aims to meet “pent-up” consumer demand across the state and inject cash into the economy via household spending.
  • Roughly a third of the state’s recovery stimulus will go to Aboriginal communities, the expansion of solar rebates, and additional support measures for victims of domestic and family violence.
  • Another $495 million is set to go to helping children whose education has taken a hit under lockdown restrictions, and may have “education gaps”.
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The New South Wales government has announced plans to supercharge the state’s post-pandemic economic recovery with a $2.8 billion stimulus package, after NSW Treasurer Matt Kean revealed that the total cost of lockdowns is expected to sit at about $50 billion. 

The package, which the Perrottet government has dubbed the “Economic Recovery Strategy”, aims to meet “pent-up” consumer demand across the state and inject cash into the economy via household spending to boost activity heading into Summer. 

A centrepiece of the package is a $250 voucher that will go to households of school-aged children, as a “thank you” gift for enduring months of working and learning from home under lockdown restrictions. 

NSW Treasurer Dominic Perrottet said he hopes the vouchers will make it easier for families to get out and spend after months at home, in some cases under immense financial pressure. 

“One of the biggest challenges for so many families during lockdowns was learning from home, and now as life returns to normal we want to encourage people to get out and boost economic activity,” Perrottet said. 

“In many senses, this is a ‘thank you’ that will go some small way towards helping family finances that took a big hit and at the same time [will support] businesses and jobs.”

Along with the school-aged household vouchers, the NSW government announced an additional $500 million spend on the expansion of the state’s Dine & Discover and Stay & Rediscover accommodation voucher schemes.

Other investments into the state’s tourism and entertainment sectors include a new $200 million booster package for regional NSW, which the government says will offer support to events, “facilities”, local infrastructure, and housing, along with a separate $75 million “community” investment aimed at jumpstarting the state’s tourism, events sectors. 

Details related to eligibility requirements for both schemes have yet to be released, but are expected to be revealed in the coming days. 

A further $250 million has been earmarked for supporting “jobs and skills”, a sizable portion of which will be offered to JobSeekers eager to “retrain or upskill”. Details on Perrottet’s jobs spending, and how his ministry plans to administer it, have yet to be released. 

Meanwhile, the arts and hospitality sectors will each get a share in a $212.2 million investment aimed at bringing cities “back to life” in a bid to “boost vital sectors”. A core tenet of Perrottet’s $212.2 million metropolitan spend is the $66 million “Alfresco Restart Package”, revealed last week, which will offer bars and cafes payments of $5,000.

Roughly a third of the state’s rebound package will go to “household and social support”. Perrottet said that $739.3 million in state support will go to Aboriginal communities, along with the expansion of solar rebates, and additional support measures for victims of domestic and family violence.

Another $495 million is set to go to helping children whose education has taken a hit under lockdown restrictions, and may have “education gaps”. Part of that portion of the funding will go to schools to futureproof remote learning capabilities, in a bid to avoid further disruption.

The final component of the state’s stimulus package is a $130 million commitment to mental health, which the Perrottet government promises will offer “immediate access to help” for anyone whose mental health has been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Though, hasn’t yet been made clear how the spending will be made available to patients. 

NSW Treasurer Matt Kean said the state’s residents have shown great strength and “ingenuity” over the course of the pandemic, and that he hopes this new package will help the state reopen in as safe and robust a way as possible. 

“This package will boost confidence, provide fresh opportunities and support NSW to return to a way of life we know and love,” Kean said.

“But we don’t just want to recover what we lost, we want to bounce back better than ever — and this package lays the foundations to do exactly that.”