I am pleased to provide this update on the progress of the 12 Premier’s Priorities. These Priorities reflect our commitment to whole-of-government approaches to tackling important issues for the people of New South Wales, from helping vulnerable children and raising the performance of school students, to improving housing affordability and building local infrastructure. We are already seeing significant improvements in some areas thanks to the passion and energy of the frontline serving our community.
Gladys Berejiklian, Premier
Strong budget and economy
Making it easier to start a business
Make NSW the easiest state to start a business
Business start-up investment creates jobs, boosts productivity and strengthens the economy, which helps ensure the NSW Government can fund services and infrastructure for the community.
A significant cause of concern and cost for new and existing businesses across the country is that regulatory requirements are overly complex and poorly understood.
To create a business-friendly environment for NSW entrepreneurs, the government will focus on reducing or removing barriers, costs and complexity and make regulatory obligations easier to understand and implement.
Encouraging business investment
Be the leading Australian state in business confidence
Strong business confidence enables NSW to attract and grow businesses, creating jobs and prosperity to improve living standards.
NSW has historically performed well on business confidence measures and, as the mining boom subsides, we will aggressively position the state as Australia’s prime location for business growth and investment.
Our focus will be to improve the ease of doing business in NSW, continue our historic levels of infrastructure investment and maintain fiscal discipline to provide certainty to business and improve business conditions.
Increase the proportion of people completing apprenticeships and traineeships to 65% by 2019
Completing an apprenticeship is a valuable step in building a career in a highly skilled economy.
The government’s infrastructure projects will provide the state with a lasting legacy of a highly skilled workforce who received on-the-job training.
This legacy will be built by increasing the number of people completing their apprenticeship and going on to a rewarding career. The government will pursue a number of initiatives including working with infrastructure contractors, registered training organisations and other stakeholders to encourage apprenticeship completions.
Accelerating major project assessment
Halve the time taken to assess planning applications for State Significant Developments
Project assessment times for state significant proposals have been increasing from 598 days in 2008 to 1089 days in 2014. A more predictable, efficient and transparent system will be beneficial to all stakeholders. The government intends to halve the time taken to assess the most complex applications while ensuring the integrity and robustness of the assessment systems.
Protecting our credit rating
Maintaining the AAA credit rating
NSW is one of only two states to currently retain a triple-A credit rating. It is critical that the government continues to implement comprehensive financial management stratgeies to maintain our strong fiscal position.
Delivering strong budgets
Expenditure growth to be less than revenue growth
Strong and sustainable budget management requires that total government spending does not exceed revenues. The recent 2015-16 Budget delivers surpluses and ensures that annual expense growth remains below long-term average revenue growth. Effective expense growth management will be key to delivering strong budget results into the future.
Improving road travel reliability
90% of peak travel on key road routes is on time
Congestion across metropolitan Sydney is estimated to already cost up to $5 billion per annum, and will rise to $8 billion by 2021 if nothing is done.
To ensure consistency of journey times on key roads continues to improve, we are working to make better use of existing road infrastructure, build extra road capacity and encourage commuters to use public transport and to undertake off-peak travel more often.
This will enable business and the community to move around the city with greater ease, reducing travel times, boosting productivity and reducing business costs.
Increasing housing supply
Increase housing supply across NSW - Deliver more than 50,000 approvals every year
A Plan for Growing Sydney estimates that Sydney will need 664,000 new homes over the next 20 years.
Increasing the supply of housing will put downward pressure on prices. In the 12 months to July 2015, there were 61,057 building approvals in NSW, the highest result in more than 41 years and 64.5% above the decade average.
The government is supporting future growth by establishing housing targets across NSW, and providing record allocations to the Housing Acceleration Fund to build the infrastructure to support this growth.
Protecting the vulnerable
Transitioning to the National Disability Insurance Scheme
Successful transition of participants and resources to NDIS by 2018
The National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS) will introduce a national, person-centred approach to empower people with disability to exercise choice and control over their support services. NSW was the first state to sign up to the NDIS and will transition to the full scheme from July 2016 to July 2018, providing support for up to 140,000 people in NSW. All NSW Government agencies will need to work together and with the Commonwealth to ensure the successful delivery of this reform.
Creating sustainable social housing
Increase the number of households successfully transitioning out of social housing by 5% over three years
Addressing the growing demand for social housing – and ensuring that it provides a sustainable safety net to the most vulnerable – requires a number of strategies. Working with households to successfully and safely transition them out of social housing increases the ability of those households to participate in the economy and exit the cycle of entrenched disadvantage.
Improving Aboriginal education outcomes
Increase the proportion of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students in the top two NAPLAN bands for reading and numeracy by 30%
The government wants all NSW school students to reach their potential, including Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students.
Currently, these students are under-represented in the top two NAPLAN bands and this needs to change. The government has introduced reforms to help ensure more Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students perform better at school.
These reforms include the Connected Communities program which builds partnerships between the school, the community and government agencies to improve indigenous education outcomes, and needs-based school funding, which provides additional resources for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students to ensure they have the support they need.
Better government digital services
70% of government transactions to be conducted via digital channels by 2019
Approximately 44% of government transactions were carried out via digital channels in the financial year 2013-14.
The government is working to increase the level of online transactions to 70% by 2018-19. Our focus is on overcoming barriers and constraints to online transactions and enabling new transactions to be carried out online.
Work is also progressing to encourage people to make transactions online by making it easier: by providing secure online payment systems, live chat instant messaging support and SMS/email notifications, and by rapidly progressing the transition to Service NSW.
Cutting wait times for planned surgeries
Increase on-time admissions for planned surgery, in accordance with medical advice
Cutting waiting times is an essential part of reducing the burden of disease and injury on patients and their carers.
With more than 215,000 planned surgeries undertaken each year, waiting times are an important indicator of the overall performance of our public hospital system. We are continuing to improve the management of all aspects of the patient journey to further increase our on-time admissions, and reduce waiting times for planned surgery.
Increasing cultural participation
Increase attendance at cultural venues and events in NSW by 15% by 2019
Participation in the arts promotes personal and collective wellbeing, as well as contributing strongly to an innovative and robust local economy. Increasing the attendance at our cultural venues and events by 15% will have flow-on benefits for job creation, the visitor economy and education.
This requires strategic partnerships across government, business, education and the creative industries to ensure NSW continues to lead the country in cultural employment, screen production and cultural tourism.
Ensure on-time running for public transport
Maintain or improve reliability of public transport services over the next four years
Public transport services in Sydney are crucial in getting customers to their destinations.
Although Sydney is undergoing a large amount of infrastructure construction, we are working to ensure that public transport services continue to run on time.
The government is also improving integration across public transport services, updating timetables and providing clear information to get people to their destinations on time.
Reducing violent crime
LGAs to have stable or falling reported violent crime rates by 2019
Violent crime has significant impacts on individuals and communities, creating fear and reducing quality of life. The government will work on reducing violent crime rates across the whole of NSW, not only in urban areas that tend to report higher incidences of some types of crimes.
Reducing adult re-offending
Reduce adult re-offending by five per cent by 2019
Reoffending rates in NSW are high, with the majority of prisoners in the state having offended before. In fact, a small group of persistent offenders is responsible for the majority of crime.
The government is working to reduce reoffending by adult offenders and improve community safety and confidence in the justice system.
Reducing road fatalities
Reduce road fatalities by at least 30 per cent from 2011 levels by 2021
The government is committed to making NSW roads the safest in the country. While NSW has seen significant improvements in the level of road trauma over time, road crashes are still a leading cause of death for people under 44 years of age, costing the community around $5.4 billion in 2011. Each year there are around 42,000 recorded road crashes in NSW, with more than 26,000 people injured.
To reduce road fatalities by at least 30 per cent, the government is putting more money into roads and working with local government to deliver road safety improvements.