State Government Delivers ‘no Frills’ Budget

Local Government NSW, the peak body for all 128 councils across the State, has acknowledged some positive announcements in today’s State Budget delivered by Treasurer Daniel Mookhey.

LGNSW President Darriea Turley AM says she is pleased to see several commitments that align with LGNSW priorities or bring benefit to the local government sector and the broader community.

These include funding for housing, roads and disaster recovery, prevention of domestic and family violence, and a significant investment to boost the capacity of the NSW Office of Local Government (OLG).

“As widely anticipated, the Treasurer has handed down a conservative budget for 2024-25, reflecting the state’s ongoing struggle with post pandemic and natural disaster budget repair, persistent inflation and a deepening housing crisis” Cr Turley said.

“With the budget forecast to be in deficit over the next four years, there is an understandable focus on seeking to reduce that shortfall and reign in state debt.

“Despite being a tight budget, it’s pleasing to see funding for several key concerns for which LGNSW has advocated strongly.”

Announcements relevant to the NSW Local Government Sector include:


  • $5.1 billion over four years to build 8,400 social housing dwellings, with 6,200 of these to be new builds (and the remainder rebuilds). At least half of these new homes will be prioritised for victim survivors of family and domestic violence.

“For years LGNSW has been calling for meaningful investment in public, social and affordable housing,” Cr Turley said. Although the scale of need remains vast, this is a very welcome investment from the NSW Government for our most vulnerable communities.

  • $200.1 million to increase accommodation for rural and regional health workers.

“Too often it has fallen to councils to provide this accommodation, which is a clear cost shift for what should be a state and federal government responsibility,” Cr Turlet said. “This investment is long overdue and we would welcome any further measures to offset the current practice of cost-shifting on to local government.”


  • $3.3 billion to repair local and state roads in areas impacted by natural disasters across NSW, as part of the $5.7 billion total investment in disaster relief and recovery over four years.

Cr Turley said the lack of funding for the maintenance of our roads was a constant source of frustration and concern for councils across the state and it was exacerbated by recent natural disasters.

“This funding will be very welcome, particularly in rural and regional NSW,” she said.


  1. $253.7 million over four years to 2027-28 to pay for NSW Government planners and technology to speed up the assessment of development applications, including $20.4 million to upgrade the NSW Planning Portal.

Cr Turley it was pleasing to see some funds being directed at fixing operational issues with the Planning Portal, which had been plaguing councils for years and contributing to delays in development processing delays.

  • $200.0 million for financial incentives for councils that meet housing targets, for infrastructure, roads, open space and community facilities.

“This funding was first announced in May, but it remains unclear how it will work given that the government is measuring these targets by dwelling completions (not approvals),” Cr Turley said. “It makes no sense for councils to be marked against whether new homes are completed when this is beyond the control of local government.”


  • $38.3 million over four years for the implementation of “Pathways to Prevention” which is NSW’s first dedicated strategy for the Prevention of Domestic, Family and Sexual Violence.

“Our communities bear the direct brunt of domestic and family violence,” Cr Turley said. “LGNSW contributed to the development of this strategy, which seeks to develop a range of initiatives to address the drivers of domestic, family and sexual violence and we’re optimistic that the Strategy will include funded measures for local government.”


  • $37.4 million additional funding over four years to build the capacity of the Office of Local Government (OLG), close to doubling its operational budget.

“LGNSW has repeatedly advocated for better resourcing of the OLG so that it can better support the local government sector,” Cr Turley said.

While Cr Turley welcomed the significant investment in several key local government priorities, she also pointed to some disappointing funding gaps.

“Only $43.1 million has been allocated to support water infrastructure, reduce leaks and improve water efficiency and drought resilience across NSW,” she said.

“The funding falls short of the $217.5 million allocated in 2023-24 increase allocated last year to the Safe and Secure Water Program (SSWP).”

Cr Turley also said the lack of significant new funding to support the necessary infrastructure to enable the foreshadowed uplift in housing density was a missed opportunity.

“Overall, the sector would welcome the increased funding measures announced today but none of them will alleviate the overall concerns about the financial sustainability for our sector.

“The current Parliamentary inquiry into local government’s ability to fund infrastructure and services as well as the State Government review of the Emergency Services Levy (ESL), present significant opportunities for reform towards a fairer, more sustainable funding model for local government.

“LGNSW will continue to advocate strongly for the sector to hold the State and Federal governments to account and ensure our councils and communities are strengthened and enhanced well into the future.”

More detailed analysis is provided in June 19’s President’s Message and Weekly Newsletter.


/Public Release. View in full here.