New South Wales expected to be first trillion-dollar state economy in Australia

New South Wales is expected to be the first trillion-dollar state economy in Australia, NSW Treasurer Gladys Berejiklian has told a CEDA audience in Sydney.

Releasing the NSW Intergenerational Report, Ms Berejiklian said the NSW economy overall will be 2.5 times the size it is today reaching 1.3 trillion dollars in 2056.

“This Intergenerational Report is an opportunity to consider what decisions we can take… to… ensure that the next generation of individuals and communities can reach their full potential in NSW,” she said.

“By looking ahead 40 years, we get a glimpse of the enormous opportunities as well as the challenges we face and that future governments will face.”

Ms Berejiklian also addressed the fiscal gap outlined in the report, which sees the gap between the money needed to run NSW and the money brought in by the economy reaching $17 billion by 2056.

“Certainly, observing trends every five years and modelling projections over the next 40 is essential I believe for good government,” she said.

“But of course, we know, that responsible governments will make decisions to ensure the fiscal gap identified in this report never eventuates.

“We know we must deliver better services and infrastructure because strengthening the economy alone won’t close the fiscal gap.

“Given the growing demand for quality services, government will need to focus on how to better deliver these services and infrastructure which our citizens expect us to do.

“By 2056 there’ll be 18,000 people who have reached the age of 100, and that compares to 1500 people today in NSW.

“There will be relatively fewer people in the workforce than in the past. The number of people of working age to support the senior population will have fallen further from seven per senior to 2.5 per senior as the population ages.”

Ms Berejiklian addressed the housing crisis currently in Sydney through proposed changes outlined in the Intergenerational Report connecting metropolitan and regional centres in NSW.

“Sydney currently has an estimated housing undersupply of around 100,000 dwellings. To accommodate overall population growth, as well as the expected changes to the mix of the population, additional infrastructure will be absolutely necessary,” she said.

“It is entirely likely that technological advancements will present significant opportunities for regional centres to more easily participate in the new economy.

“Technological change such as e-learning and increasing virtualisation of the labour market may enable greater connectivity of regional and urban centres.

“Adequate housing is especially important if we want people to stay and come to NSW. We need to offset the effects of an ageing population to encourage people to move and to stay in NSW.”

Ms Berejiklian said in addition to addressing the points of the Intergenerational Report, governments need to act to enable a strong economy to close the fiscal gap.

“The report makes it clear that governments have options to deal with these challenges and opportunities presented,” she said.

“We should be mindful of (our) approach to legislation and regulation to ensure we don’t create unnecessary obstacles to those who feel they can provide essential services.”