We must plan for the future: NSW Premier

There are real challenges in the Federation that need to be resolved, NSW Premier the Hon. Mike Baird has told CEDA’s State of the State in Sydney ahead of the leaders retreat with the Prime Minister and state premiers.

“We can’t afford to just go along and have a talk fest,” he said.

“There needs to be some real discussions on the real issues we are facing and that’s what I intend to do.”

Mr Baird said the public is sick of key issues getting pushed aside and political point scoring.

“I think what they want is their leadership to just tell them in an honest way what are the problems and then tell them how you are going to deal with them,” he said.

Mr Baird said for the first time there is an opportunity to look at tax and federation reform alongside each other.

“We are in a position where there are critical issues we are facing,” he said.

“Health expenditure is growing well beyond what states are going to have the capacity in the long term to be able to fund.”

On outlining Sydney’s position for the future, Mr Baird said now is the time to plan for Sydney’s expected population increases. 

“We are actually right now building tomorrow’s Sydney,” he said.

Mr Baird said building infrastructure at Badgerys Creek now will help the new airport development when it opens.

“Build the infrastructure first, build it, provide the capability as the population increases and the jobs come with it,” he said.

In addition to infrastructure at Badgerys Creek, the NSW Government will also focus on public transport infrastructure including metro and roads throughout Sydney to ease future congestion, he said.