The 2015 NSW State Budget projections shine a light on the long-term budgetary problems that will arise from the sale of the state’s valuable poles and wires, Unions NSW said.

“Just today we heard that even the Premier’s top advisors warned the sale of electricity assets would blow a $1.5 billion hole in the budget bottom line,” Unions NSW Secretary Mark Lennon said.

Mr Lennon said while the union movement was all for investment in new infrastructure the loss of dividends will not allow for both the building and servicing of this infrastructure into the future.

“What we will see is the provision of services and in turn living affordability of NSW residents deteriorate.

“The loss of long-term revenue from these assets for a short-term sugar hit will mean a decline in the quality of health, education and transport services to the people of NSW," Mr Lennon said. 

“We are not against impressive new infrastructure builds, but just as important as the showy stuff is investment in our schools, our hospitals, and our emergency services."

Mr Lennon said with the budget papers revealing 30,000 fewer students enrolling in TAFE this year now is the time to reinvest in this essential service.

“There’s no point pledging to create apprenticeships on new infrastructure projects if there’s nowhere for them to learn. With youth unemployment exceeding 20 per cent it’s time to reinvest in TAFE.”

Mr Lennon said the NSW Government had been given an unprecedented opportunity to deliver a fairer budget, with a surplus of $2.1 billion but instead announced more “efficiency savings” in the public sector, which can only mean more job cuts.

“Since Mr Baird’s government took charge 15,000 public sector jobs have been slashed. This is causing real strain on ambos, on teachers, on nurses, on transport workers and every other frontline worker. It’s unsustainable,” Mr Lennon said.

“You cannot call yourself an infrastructure government if you continue ripping numbers and morale from the people who are meant to provide vital services to the public. 

“The ongoing cuts to the public service also mean that while new infrastructure will be built; there won’t be the staff available to provide the additional services." 

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