The Budget is a lost opportunity for North West Sydney

The 2009 budget represents a lost opportunity for North West Sydney and all of the ‘infrastructure poor’ outer metropolitan growth areas of our major cities.

The Rudd Government has spent around $52 billion in total, in 2 stimulus packages. This represented a wonderful chance for vital infrastructure to be provided across the country.  Obviously for our own community this manifests itself in the form of the North West rail link, which would significantly improve the economic performance of the Norwest Business Park and help sustain the long term economic future of North West Sydney, one of the fastest growth corridors in Sydney and in Australia.

Instead we see that the NSW State Government failed to even lodge an application for the North West and South West rail lines. Further, due to the poor climate in NSW for infrastructure provision and the poor quality of planning, Sydney will miss out on much of its share of any spending. Watch for more wasted money being spent on the endless studies, plans and procedures that Labor are so fond of when in Government. So much for the cooperative federalism Mr Rudd spoke about prior to the election, which was about working with the states to deliver services and infrastructure. This promise appears now to have completely fallen apart.

So with the reckless handing out of $22.4 billion in cash payments, we have a significant debt burden on future generations of Australians and virtually nothing to show for it. Labor are doing very little to reign in spending in this budget but are choosing to go further into debt and deficit, all of which will have to be paid back by current and future generations of Australians.

Locally and throughout Western Sydney I have real concerns about the impact on small business jobs as a result of Labor’s proposed industrial relations reforms. There are serious problems with many of their proposed changes which will lead to higher unemployment and in particular higher youth unemployment. This was a fact recently acknowledged by the OECD. Coupled with this, is data which suggests that the number of self employed people and the number of entrepreneurs are at the lowest levels since 1975. What this is telling us is that more needs to be done for small business, to enable them to continue to employ and continue to invest and grow their businesses.

From the Mitchell Jobs Forum it was obvious to me that small business, as the largest employer in Australia, is the most critical part of our local economy – the source of local economic growth, innovation and job creation. The Rudd Government’s spending sprees have contained few, if any measures to protect small business from the economic downturn and this is where they continue to let us down locally the most.

Finally, like so many in our community I reject the view that the people who have worked hard to fund their own retirements or pay for their own health insurance are not making a contribution to the success of our society and ought to be subject to penalty.  Targeting policies designed to encourage people to be self reliant and to get ahead on the premise that it is costing the Government money is deeply flawed and an attack on every Australians ability to get ahead. People who partially or fully fund their retirements save the Government money. People who partially or fully pay for their own health insurance save the Government money and take pressure off the health system. Our society must continue to encourage and promote reward for hard work, effort and merit and provide a system where it is as easy as possible to advance yourself or your family.