Camera Lens
Media Release


NSW Government’s 2022-23 Budget response from Business Hunter



The Chief Executive Officer of the region’s peak business policy and advocacy organisation Business Hunter says that while the 2022-23 NSW State Budget was light on in terms of projects directed to the Hunter, the business community could look to broad policy announcements for some relief.

“The NSW Government said they would be delivering a Family Budget and it looks like, for the Hunter at least, they have been true to that word”, Mr Hawes said.

“The budget measures will offer the Hunter a share of a series of state-based initiatives and we have not been singled out in any particular way as has occurred on previous occasions. We will in some cases have to compete for these funds but I’m confident the region will be up to the task, particularly in the energy space.”

“Businesses have been faced with increasing costs and ahead of today’s Budget and we were hoping for an ongoing reprieve on payroll tax, however it seems businesses hopes are dashed by this and an increased payroll tax rate will come into effect on July 1. Some businesses might find that, along with imposts on energy costs, interest rate increases, supply chain uncertainty, as a tough cost to absorb.”

“Business can be happy with the fee-free training package that was announced early June, as it will help businesses entice their employees to upgrade skills that boost productivity,” Mr Hawes said.

“We’d have liked a bit more focused precinct investment in the region, and whilst it is pleasing to see the Williamtown Special Activation Precinct was dedicated $25million, it’s disappointing to see that the Hunter Park project didn’t get a line item and I hope there is capacity in the agency allocation to Venues NSW for the work to continue.

We will also benefit from investment in the fast rail initiative which will see $95million this year and $274 million over four years as well as the commitment to replace the Regional Rail Fleet or the aging XPT’s.

“Many previously announced projects and initiatives have been maintained in the current and forward estimates and this allays a fear we harboured that some projects may have been deferred or delayed to help pay for other new initiatives in the budget.

“This includes the M1 extension to Raymond Terrace and Hexham straight works, the Muswellbrook and Singleton by passes, Nelson Bay Road upgrades, however we’ll have to look closely at other allocations to see if projects like Hillsborough Road or the Pacific Highway at Merewether, or regional roads will get specific attention.

“It’s great that the $5.0 million fund to establish a prototyping and manufacturing facility for hydrogen energy storage in the Hunter has made it in too.

“Investment in the energy sector could prove to be a winner for the region but we have work to do. The Transmission Acceleration Fund will hopefully unblock reluctance on the part of the private sector to move ahead with investments in renewable projects that promise to deliver some relief to the current malaise in the energy sector.

“We need to move quickly to bring new projects on stream and increase the certainty around the grid as coal fired power stations are decommissioned.

“We also know that the region will benefit from the $703M Future Economy Fund. While not directed at the region, we are part of the overall program to drive growth in emerging high-value industries such as digital technology, medtech and the clean economy,” Mr Hawes said.

“We’ll certainly be advocating strongly to the NSW Government that the Hunter needs a generous slice of that pie for us to push ahead with projects in emerging industries like new energy, advanced manufacturing, and med tech.

“The Perrottet Government must continue to be reminded that the Hunter is a strong return on investment in growth industries.”



Bob Hawes
P: 02 9466 4665
M: 0418 496 745


Contact us