The NSW government is setting course to boost the state’s economy in the wake of COVID-19, ahead of a forecast sharp downturn in activity.
Treasurer Dominic Perrottet will on June 16 deliver an economic update to state parliament during which he will warn state gross domestic product will contract by 10 percent in 2019/20.
He will also forecast the state’s unemployment rate to rise to 7.75 percent, from around six per cent now, and a fall in government revenue of $20.3 billion in the five years to 2023/24, according to media reports.
The forecast revenue decline will be underpinned by an expected drop in GST proceeds and falling tax receipts, off the back of slower growth in the property and construction sector and the impact of recent bushfires and drought.
“It’s a challenging set of numbers,” Perrottet will say, according to the ABC.
“But how we choose to respond will define the type of state NSW is for the coming decades and for the next generation.”
He will say the government needs to chart a course between fiscal constraint and spending, to move the economy from a COVID-19 response phase to a recovery phase.
Meanwhile, the coalition government on Tuesday announced it will spend another $388 million to fast track elective surgeries delayed because of the coronavirus.
“We are working as fast as we can to fast track those patients whose surgery has been disrupted,” Health Minister Brad Hazzard said.
The government has also earmarked $12.8 million to help small and medium-sized regional businesses that export goods overseas.
The package includes provisioning for $10,000 Exporter Assistance Grants.
“The package will provide more local trade advisors, an increased presence in key Asian markets, a new e-commerce program to develop alternative channels to market and a $10,000 grant scheme,” Minister for Regional NSW, Industry and Trade John Barilaro said.