Winners and losers in the 2023 NSW budget

The New South Wales budget spruiks major wins for essential workers and flags big costs for coal companies as the government works to improve the state’s bottom line.

Treasurer Daniel Mookhey’s first budget after Labor’s win in the NSW election this year sees significant funding towards essential services but major cuts to previous government projects.

Here are the winners and losers in this year’s NSW budget.



Teachers are set to be the highest-paid workers in Australia with a “historic” 12 per cent pay rise agreed on by the government following an ongoing dispute between unions and politicians. 

The entry-level pay will now be $85,000 for teachers compared to $75,791 previously. 

The government also plans to convert 10,000 teachers and 6000 administrative staff to permanent positions, all of whom have accepted the job offers.

There’s also a $20 million boost to the Innovative Teacher Training Fund to “attract the best teachers”.

Healthcare workers

The NSW government is investing a whopping $2.5 billion in supporting healthcare workers.

What does this look like? Well, there’s funding to recruit an additional 1200 nurses and the government will making temporary nurse and midwife positions permanent.

There’s also funding for 500 new rural and regional paramedics.

A 4.5 per cent pay increase for health care workers has been promised too.

If you’re looking to become a healthcare worker, the budget will subsidise 12,000 students over five years to study to join the profession. 

New students will receive scholarships of $4000 per year while existing students will receive one-off payments of $8000.


Parents of three to five-year-olds are in for a small win with the government trialling a $500-a-year preschool fee relief in long day care.

The budget is also keeping fee relief of $4220 per year for parents and carers of three to five-year-olds in community and mobile preschools.

And there’s $2110 in fee relief for children aged four years and older attending preschool in long day care centres.

The government is fast-tracking 100 new preschools on public school sites.

There are also going to be new primary schools built in the Carter Street precinct, Gables, Nirimba Fields, Tallawong, Westmead South, Gregory Hills and Melonba. 

New high schools will be built in Melrose Park, Schofields-Tallawong, Jordan Springs, Leppington, Gledswood Hills/Gregory Hills, Melonba, Edmondson Park and Wentworth Point. 

The budget also puts aside funding for upgrades to primary schools and high schools across Western Sydney.

Hospital patients

As hospitals have faced consistent pressures since the COVID-19 pandemic and patients see extended wait times, the government is promising more beds and upgrades to the health system. 

There’s funding for 600 more beds in Western Sydney hospitals.

Blacktown and Mount Druitt Hospital will have their bed capacity increased.

Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Canterbury Hospital and Fairfield Hospital will also be upgraded.

For residents in Rouse Hill, there’s good news for more infrastructure with a new hospital development.

For regional and rural hospital goers, free parking at public hospitals will also be continuing for patients, staff and visitors.

Western Sydney drivers

The $60 toll cap the government promised in the election will start from January 1, 2024 to assist more than 700,000 motorists.

There’s also a 33 per cent reduction in the truck toll multiplier on the M5 East and M8.

A two-year trial to reduce the truck toll multiplier is designed to encourage more trucks to use the motorway network and “help address the heavy vehicle traffic that has choked roads and hampered businesses near these toll routes”.

Speeding drivers

It’s good news if you’re a speeding driver in NSW – although it’s not recommended – as fine revenue has been revised down by $226.2 million over the four years to 2026-27.

Why? Well, the government expects the number of mobile speed camera fines to decrease as warning signage is reintroduced.

Tourism and the arts

Although the tourism and arts sector is not the biggest winner in this budget, there is some funding to spruik the Narooma Oyster Festival on the state’s south coast and the Great Southern Nights festival.

The government is also continuing to fund the state’s iconic festivals like Vivid, Mardi Gras and the Sydney Festival.

To encourage families to head to the cities museums, the government is introducing free general admission at the Australian Museum and Museums of History NSW.

Women and girls in grassroots sport

The might Matilda’s fever has caught on in the NSW budget following the success of the FIFA Women’s World Cup for the state, with $30 million put towards “supercharging” sports facilities for women and girls in grassroots sport.

There has also been $14.5 million put aside for the Football in Schools Program in Western Sydney and $3.7 million for Central Coast infrastructure.

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Middle-income families

The Active Kids Vouchers and Creative Kids Vouchers will become a combined voucher of $50 twice per year and is means-tested instead of being available to everyone.

This means low-income families benefit from the vouchers but middle-income families are scrapped from the benefits.


Although there’s the $60 weekly toll cap win, the treasurer has taken a red pen through the previous government’s infrastructure projects.

The Great Western Highway Tunnel and the Northern Beaches Tunnel have been scrapped.

For anyone wanting the ease of technology for Sydney parking, consider the Park’nPay app unfunded and scrapped.

Electric vehicle tax breaks have also been cut.

Footy fans

For NRL fans looking for upgrades to the Penrith Stadium, think again.

The rebuild has been scaled back to a refurbishment.

Coal companies

Mookhey described the budget as finding extra cash under the sofa and coal companies are at the front of that as the government increases royalties for the first time in 10 years.

Now, royalties are expected to rake in $2.7 billion over four years.

The Star Casino 

The government hiked the casino duty rates from July 1, 2023.

If the casino earns more than $1.125 billion in a year, there will be an additional levy of 35 per cent on total gaming revenue for the government.

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