Why this is important to Wisconsin businesses: The newly announced state budget contains opportunities for foreign companies to participate in infrastructure, health care and education projects.
New South Wales (NSW) is the most populous and fastest growing state in Australia, with 7.7 million residents as of December 2015. NSW is also recognized as a successful multicultural community: Sydney, the capital where about 63 percent of NSW’s population lives, recorded the highest overseas-born population of all Australian capital cities in the 2016 Census results.
The fiscal position and outlook for the NSW economy remain strong. In 2015-16 (the latest data period available), NSW recorded economic growth of 3.5 percent, outpacing every other Australian state and territory. Over the next four years, the NSW economy should continue to benefit from low interest rates, a relatively low Australian dollar, strong demand from Asia, above-average population growth, and a large infrastructure and residential construction pipeline.
In the state budget announced in June 2017, NSW recorded a $2 billion ($2.7 billion Australian) budget surplus for 2017-18, as well as forecasting a budget surplus for the next four years (through 2020-21). Of particular interest to Wisconsin companies will be the proposed Infrastructure Investment Program of $55 billion ($73 billion Australian) over the next four years, with a focus on the health care, education and infrastructure sectors. A breakdown of future funding in NSW from 2017-18 to 2020-21 includes:
- $5.8 billion ($7.7 billion Australian) for health infrastructure, new hospitals and major hospital redevelopments.
- $3.2 billion ($4.2 billion Australian) for new and upgraded schools and school maintenance.
- $31.4 billion ($41.4 billion Australian) for road upgrades, maintenance and transport projects.
Wisconsin companies are encouraged to review specific projects and potential opportunities outlined in the NSW 2017-18 budget overview that are related to the following industry sectors:
- Construction: The NSW housing construction industry is currently booming, and is expected to remain at high levels through 2019 due to a large construction pipeline. A record number of dwellings (72,800) were approved in 2016-17, and housing completions also reached record levels (about 60,000 homes) in 2016.
- Health care: Funding announced in the 2017-18 NSW Budget for health care projects includes $547 million ($720 million Australian) for upgrades to the Prince of Wales Hospital and the proposed Randwick Hospital Campus reconfiguration and expansion in eastern Sydney, $480 million ($632 million Australian) for the Campbelltown Hospital redevelopment, $259 million ($341 million Austraian) for Concord Hospital, $405 million ($534 million Australian) for the Tweed Hospital and Integrated Ambulatory Services redevelopment, and the construction of two new hospitals in Mudgee and Macksville.
- Education: Funding for new capital works projects delivering approximately 1,500 new classrooms, as well as school maintenance and building projects to upgrade primary and high schools across New South Wales.
- Roads and transportation: $5.5 billion ($7.2 billion Australian) for the third stage of the WestConnex integrated transport solution, $3.7 billion ($4.9 billion Australian) for Sydney Metro City and South West, $2.7 billion ($3.5 billion Australian) for the Pacific Highway upgrade, $3 billion ($4 billion Australian) for Sydney Metro Northwest, and a combined $1.1 billion ($1.5 billion Australian) for road upgrades in Western Sydney, the Regional Road Freight Corridor Program and the first phase of the the M4 Smart Motorway project.
Wisconsin exporters wishing to explore opportunities in NSW within any of the sectors highlighted above are encouraged to review (and register where appropriate) with the NSW Government’s tender website, the ICN Gateway and individual project websites.