One year on from the announcement of 12 Premier’s Priorities for NSW, there have been significant gains in some key areas, while in others there remains plenty of work to do, Premier Mike Baird said today.
Mr Baird will today provide a report-card on the Priorities in a major speech to the National Press Club in Canberra.
The 12 Priorities – ranging from youth homelessness, protecting vulnerable children and childhood obesity, to infrastructure delivery and jobs growth – are part of the Government’s broader 30 State priorities across a range of social and economic issues.
“When we announced these Priorities in September last year, we promised we would publish our progress to make the Government accountable for delivering our commitments,” Mr Baird said.
“I’m pleased that in some priority areas, such as infrastructure, job creation, and litter, we are seeing early positive results. At the same time, however, we make no secret of the fact that some areas require more work. In particular, there are some long-term social issues that are immensely difficult to turn around.
“After a year of work on these Priorities, not only are we seeing good progress in outcomes, but the process itself is improving government – through better data and analysis, fresh approaches to old problems and collaborative efforts to address whole-of-government barriers.
“Achieving these Priorities will make NSW a better place to live. I am personally committed to these issues and the Government has the will to see them through.”
Priority 1 – 150,000 new jobs by 2019: 150,000 jobs were created by May 2016. The Government has committed $190 million over four years in the Jobs for NSW fund with at least 30 per cent of the fund focused on job creation in regional areas.
Priority 2 – Building infrastructure on time and on budget: The Government is embarking on the largest capital program in the state’s history and is committed to delivering this infrastructure program on time and on budget.
Priority 3 – Reducing domestic violence: The target is to reduce the proportion of perpetrators re-offending within 12 months by five percentage points. The Government is targeting regions with significant rates of reoffending and testing the effectiveness of early interventions ahead of a statewide rollout.
Priority 4 – Improving service levels in hospitals: The target is to get 81 per cent of patients through emergency departments within four hours. In the past 12 months, 74.2 per cent of patients completed their ED care in less than four hours - 50,000 more patients than the previous year.
Priority 5 – Tackling childhood obesity: The target is to reduce obesity rates in children by 5 percentage points. Evidence-based programs have contributed to stabilising rates of child overweight and obesity in NSW to 22 per cent in 2015. The Government is rolling out a number of initiatives, including exploring the installation of chilled water refill stations at trial public schools sites from 2017.
Priority 6 – Improving education results: The target is to increase the proportion of NSW students in the top two NAPLAN bands by eight per cent. Since 2015, the results of students in the top two NAPLAN bands in numeracy and reading have improved slightly. The Government has identified a number of schools for intensive support to help lift students into the top two bands. New minimum literacy and numeracy standards, to be introduced into the HSC from 2017, will also help achieve the target.
Priority 7 – Protecting our kids: The target is to decrease the percentage of children and young people re-reported at risk of significant harm by 15 per cent. Tailored interventions will help caseworkers deliver the best possible outcomes, reducing the number of children re-reported at risk of significant harm. These improvements are expected to be visible in reduced re-reporting rates from March next year.
Priority 8 – Reduce youth homelessness: The target is to increase the proportion of young people who successfully move from Specialist Homelessness Services to long-term accommodation by 10 per cent. Between July 2015 and April 2016, internal data shows around 1,500 young people secured long-term accommodation. In 2016-17, the NSW Government will spend up to $59 million on child and youth homelessness services and initiatives, including expanding the Youth Private Rental Subsidy.
Priority 9 – Driving public sector diversity: The target is to double the number of Aboriginal people and increase to 50 per cent the number of women in senior leadership roles. The number of women and Aboriginal people in senior roles has increased in the past year but more work needs to be done to hit the 2025 target.
Priority 10 – Keeping our environment clean: The target is to reduce the volume of litter by 40 per cent. The volume of litter in NSW has reduced by almost 20 per cent from the 2013 baseline – almost half of the target achieved. The introduction of the container deposit scheme in 2017 will be a major step towards meeting the target.
Priority 11 – Faster housing approvals: The target is 90 per cent of housing approvals determined within 40 days. In the 12 months to September 2016, there were more than 75,400 building approvals in NSW, the highest result of any state since records began. The average turnaround time of the fastest 90 per cent of housing approvals by councils is 44 days. Programs are underway to improve this trend by streamlining the residential development application process and online submissions.
Priority 12 – Improving government services: The target is to improve customer satisfaction with key government services across this term of government. In 2016, 78.7 per cent of consumers and 78.4 per cent of businesses were pleased with the quality of government services, representing an increase of 2.0 percentage points and 1.8 percentage points respectively on 2015.