29 February 2016

The NSW Opposition is calling for the release in full of an audit of government services that the Baird Government is using as an excuse for deep public sector cuts.

Treasurer Gladys Berejiklian plans to cut jobs and dramatically reduce the number of government agencies in a new ‘efficiency’ drive.

The cuts will inevitably lead to fewer services and a sell-off of more public assets.

She also plans to sack the locally-run Crown Land trusts that are the guardians of parks, reserves and community assets and merge them into one body with a view to selling off the land.

The cuts are based on recommendations made by an ‘expert panel’ that conducted an audit of services and government agencies last year. The Opposition is calling on the Treasurer to release the full report and reveal which public sector services are in the firing line.

The cuts come as the first of the federal Coalition’s $25 billion cutbacks to health and education loom closer, placing a huge burden on the state’s budget.

Shadow Treasurer Michael Daley today said:

“This is straight out of the Liberal playbook; sack staff, run down the services and then sell services off or close them down.”

“This is Mike Baird’s big pre-budget announcement that he is going to sack even more people and cut more services for every family in NSW.”

“When Mike Baird was Treasurer he cut billions of dollars in services from areas like health and education, and he sacked 15,000 people. Now he’s coming back for more.

“There is $2.5 billion a year in cuts to health and education coming next year from Malcolm Turnbull. Instead of standing up to Turnbull and demanding he reverses those cuts, he has capitulated and decided his plan is to make more cuts of his own.”