Budget is for the Bullet and the bush, not Blayney

ON TRACK: Paul Toole and Bathurst Rail Action Group chairman John Hollis welcome news that the Bathurst Bullet 2.0 will begin in the spring.
ON TRACK: Paul Toole and Bathurst Rail Action Group chairman John Hollis welcome news that the Bathurst Bullet 2.0 will begin in the spring.

A PDF search for Blayney within the NSW Government's budget papers will draw a blank, although there are welcome and often record spends across the region that Blayney will benefit from.

Although the state's coffers are dwindling in size due primarily to a downturn in the housing sector, the NSW state government are bolstering their support in the bush by spending up big.

Treasurer Dominic Perrotet included the impact of the drought, along with weak household income growth and the aforementioned slow housing market as the top three factors that are weighing on the economy.

READ MORE:

When the output from farmland decreases, so do the level of exports, and according to the budget papers agricultural exports from NSW are expected to decline 20 per cent in 2018/19 and will most likely stay at lower levels over the next two years.

To try and combat the effect the government is setting aside $800 million in drought assistance for regional NSW.

The $800 million includes a top up of their farm innovation fund of $350 million which includes low-interest loans to improve drought resilience.

An extra $70 million will be dedicated to transport rebates for fodder, stock and water, while $170 million has been reserved for a drought infrastructure package to improve water security in several regional towns including $32 million over three years to investigate the raising of the Wyangala Dam.

Whilst Blayney itself is notably absent from any major spending initiatives, centres like Dubbo, Orange and Bathurst continue to rake in the funding, although $20 million to continue delivery of the Main Western Rail Line Capacity Enhancements may help boost Blayney as a transport hub into the future.

Nearby both Orange and Bathurst's criminal element will be able to enjoy refurbished court houses totalling $2.2 million and Bathurst will have an upgraded police station costing $7 million.

Millthorpe Public School's rebuild is going ahead as promised and so is the funding of 4,600 new school teaching jobs and a promise to end maintenance back logs.

The start of Bathurst's second daily rail service to Sydney has been fast-tracked to the spring after money was made available in the NSW Budget on Tuesday.

The Bullet 2.0, an election promise from Bathurst MP Paul Toole, was due to start in early 2020 but will now be up and running well before the end of the year.

While timetable details are yet to be finalised, Bullet 2.0 will depart Bathurst around 7.30am each weekday and return about 7pm. It will also run on weekends, with stops planned at Tarana and Rydal.

Mr Toole said the new hours would be attractive to many commuters.

"People love the Bullet for being a fast, comfortable way to take a day trip to Sydney," he said.

"But leaving at 5.46am and getting back at 9.32pm is not convenient for everyone.

"This new service doubles the options, making the journey more appealing to more people."