The NSW Government has handed down its 2021-22 Budget, committing $862 million to sustainable water resources and $490 million to reduce barriers to electric vehicle (EV) uptake.

NSW Minister for Water, Property and Housing, Melinda Pavey, said preparing now for future droughts must be a priority, and the budget will help the government deliver on a sustainable, secure and healthy water sector for all.

“While much of NSW is officially out of drought, we cannot be complacent. We must prepare our state now for potentially more severe dry spells in the future,” Ms Pavey said.

“For the first time in decades we are building dams on top of investing in other water infrastructure that will provide water security for our cities and towns and protect our agricultural sector during drought.

“The NSW Government will continue the development of business cases and early planning for dams in the Lachlan Valley, Peel Valley and Border Rivers Regions, as well as the Lostock Dam to Glennie’s Dam pipeline, as part of the government’s $245 million commitment to address water security across regional NSW.

“An additional $20 million will ensure work can continue on the rollout of 12 Regional Water Strategies, the first ever NSW Water Strategy and Aboriginal Water Strategy.

“These strategies will set the direction for water policy, planning and infrastructure decisions for the next 20 years, putting water security and drought resilience on the same footing as other vital services, like transport and health.”

Ms Pavey said funding had also been committed to fighting water losses in regional areas where water infrastructure may be aging or under pressure due to higher populations.

“Over three years, the government will spend $12.5 million on a regional program to help local water utilities fix leaks across their networks, saving water and securing a safe supply for residents throughout the state,” Ms Pavey said.

“By acting now to repair infrastructure and improve efficiencies, we can save regional communities the much bigger cost of replacing or augmenting water treatment plants and pipes.

“This commitment, along with others in the budget, supports water users, communities and the environment across NSW now and for generations to come.”

Driving an ‘electric revolution’

The NSW Government says its nation-leading Electric Vehicle Strategy, with almost half a billion dollar investment in tax cuts and incentives to drive an electric revolution, will make the state the best place to drive an EV.

NSW Treasurer, Dominic Perrottet, said $490 million is being committed in the 2021-22 NSW Budget to cut taxes, incentivise uptake and reduce barriers for electric vehicle purchases over the next four years.

“Our comprehensive strategy is about making sure we have the right mix in place to incentivise the take-up of electric vehicles while ensuring everyone who drives on our roads contributes to funding and maintaining them,” Mr Perrottet said.

“Our strategy also commences long-term major tax reform. We now begin the process of permanently phasing out stamp duty on electric vehicles and a deferred transition to a fair and sustainable per-kilometre road user charge for electric vehicles.

“From September this year, we will waive stamp duty for eligible EVs under $78,000 and $3,000 rebates will be up for grabs for the first 25,000 purchasers of battery and hydrogen fuel cell electric vehicles under $68,750.

“From young adults saving for their first car in Western Sydney to retirees planning a road trip to Broken Hill, these incentives will make electric vehicles accessible and affordable for all NSW residents.”

NSW Minister for Transport and Roads, Andrew Constance, said the EV Strategy will help the State Government take action on climate change.

“Our transport sector currently makes up 20 per cent of the state’s emissions, with almost 50 per cent of those coming from passenger vehicles,” Mr Constance said.

“Electric vehicles are not only cheaper to run and quieter on our roads, but they also reduce both carbon emissions and air pollution which results in dramatically improved health outcomes for our communities.

“As the world’s right-hand drive market moves to manufacturing electric vehicles, we have to make sure we have the policies in place to give industry the green light to increase model availability and cut entry price points.

“The average NSW driver will save around $1,000 a year in running costs by switching to an EV, and those savings can be up to $7,500 a year for businesses, taxis and freight.”

NSW Energy and Environment Minister, Matt Kean, said we need to give drivers more options to make their next car an EV.

“Countries and car makers around the world are moving to EVs and NSW consumers deserve access to the latest vehicle models when they go to buy a car,” Mr Kean said.

“We also know that, with new cars staying on the road 15 years on average, the vast majority of new cars sold in NSW need to be EVs by 2035 to achieve net zero emissions by 2050.

“Our aim is to increase EV sales to more than 50 per cent of new cars sold in NSW by 2030 and for EVs to be the vast majority of new cars sold in the state by 2035.

“This nation-leading plan will help us achieve these objectives by tackling the three biggest barriers to purchasing an EV – range anxiety, upfront cost, and model availability – and is forecast to see EV new car sales hit 52 per cent by 2030-31.

“We want new and cheaper models of EVs to be available here in NSW and this strategy is designed to drive that outcome.”

The $490 million in funding and tax cuts includes:

  • Stamp duty will be waived for eligible electric vehicles (battery and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles) priced under $78,000 purchased from 1 September 2021
  • Rebates of $3,000 will be offered on private purchases of the first 25,000 eligible EVs (battery and hydrogen fuel cell vehicles) under $68,750 sold in NSW from 1 September 2021
  • $171 million for new charging infrastructure across the state. This includes $131 million to spend on new ultra-fast vehicle chargers, $20 million in grants for destination chargers to assist regional tourism and $20 million for charging infrastructure at public transport hubs on Transport for NSW owned land
  • $33 million to help transition the NSW Government passenger fleet to EVs where feasible, with the target of a fully electric fleet by 2030. These vehicles typically are on-sold after three to five years, providing availability for private buyers in the second hand market

The Strategy builds on the programs in the State’s Net Zero Plan Stage 1: 2020-2030 and Future Transport 2056 Strategy.

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