Gee has no clues on NSW budget after Hockey's federal 'wet blanket'

HOCKEY STICK: Andrew Gee says Hockey's federal budget has delivered a blow to NSW's budgetary issues

HOCKEY STICK: Andrew Gee says Hockey's federal budget has delivered a blow to NSW's budgetary issues

MEMBER for Orange Andrew Gee would not speculate on a state budget winners and losers list for Orange after the federal government delivered an $80 billion blow to the state coffers in its own budget three weeks ago. 

The state budget is due to be revealed on June 17 and Mr Gee said he was disappointed the state government was not previously made aware the federal government had planned to rip out $80 billion from hospital and school funding across all states.

As a result of the shortfall he expected the 2014 state budget to be a “tough budget”.

“I think the reality is that the federal budget threw a big wet blanket over budgetary issues in NSW,” he said. 

“The Treasurer [Andrew Constance] is working on a way to make everything work.”

There had been suggestions in the media the state government may be “forced” to appeal to the federal government to allow the state to raise the GST in order to recover some of the lost funding.

Mr Gee said he thought it was unfair the federal government had left the onus on his government to introduce what would be an unpopular tax rise but he said he did not know if that was a move the Treasurer would take. 

“I don’t know what is in the budget ... I hope [the treasurer] can find enough money to keep up things like infrastructure and roads,” he said. 

While Mr Gee did not want to provide a wish list for the area he said the biggest project he would like to see completed was the upgrade of the Mitchell Highway at Goanna Hill south of Molong which could cost up to $50 million. 

He said he was not worried about whether there would be any money allocated to the central west jobs plan because  Premier Mike Baird had “made that pretty clear” when he visited Cadia two weeks ago. 

“I think it’s a given that there will be funding for the Regional Industries Investment Fund which is a key part of the jobs plan,” he said.

nicole.kuter@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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