Photo: @Luke_FoleyNSW via Twitter

NSW Budget reply: Labor condemns “stadium splurge”

NSW opposition leader Luke Foley today hit back at the Coalition government’s Budget, pledging that Labor would air-condition every public school in the state.

In his Budget Reply speech, Mr Foley promised to use $300 million earmarked for what he called the government’s “stadium splurge” to help keep NSW students cool in summer.

He also said the ALP would introduce mandatory detoxification and rehabilitation of “severe ice addicts”, building six clinics around the state in order to “take the most dangerous ice addicts off the streets”.

Responding to the government’s 2018 Budget, announced on Tuesday, Mr Foley reserved particular bile for plans to spend $1.5 billion rebuilding the Allianz Stadium at Moore Park and refurbishing the ANZ Stadium at Homebush.

He said Labor would not support that use of funds “when 120,000 kids are being taught in demountable classrooms”.

Instead, an ALP government would spend a total of $800 million on installing air-conditioning in public schools, fucusing initially on those in hotter regions of the state.

Mr Foley also condemned the announcement by Gladys Berejiklian’s government of plans to spend nearly $560 million on a new motorway tunnel linking Sydney’s Northern Beaches with the Inner West.

The six new drug rehabilitation centres would contain 150 beds for around 1,300 ice addicts to be treated annually.

Finally, Mr Foley promised that, under Labor, a long-awaited hospital would be built in the Tweed area of northern NSW, in a location that would not impinge on important agricultural areas.

“The Health Minister and the Member for Tweed have delayed the new Tweed Hospital for too long,” he told state parliament. “It is time to decide on a final location … If  elected, Labour will build a new Tweed Hospital at Kings Forest, protecting our state’s significant farmlands at Cudgen.” – @maxgay93