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NSW budget to ‘safeguard’ home buyers

by Kate Aubrey12 minute read

The NSW state government has announced plans to expedite the planning system and “safeguard home buyers from substandard buildings”, as part of the state’s budget.

NSW Treasurer Daniel Mookhey handed down Labor’s first state budget in more than a decade on Tuesday, 19 September, acknowledging the heavy burden of mortgage payments and rents on Australians.

“Housing affordability and availability is the biggest single pressure facing the people of NSW,” Mr Mookhey said.

“The Minns Labor government is working to provide relief now while putting in the proper planning to ensure we’re ready for the challenges of the future.”


The NSW government has allocated $38.7 million to improve the planning system and $224 million to its Essential Housing Package.

The government’s Faster Planning Program aims to expedite the planning system and protect home buyers from substandard buildings.

This program includes:

  • $24 million for a NSW Building Commission to protect home buyers from substandard buildings
  • $9.1 million to assess housing supply opportunities across government-owned sites, including for new social housing
  • $5.6 million on artificial intelligence to make planning systems more efficient
  • Overhauling and simplifying the planning system by redirecting resources from the Greater Cities Commission and Western Parkland City Authority

At the core of the budget is the $2.2 billion Housing and Infrastructure Plan, which includes:

  • $300 million reinvested in Landcom to accelerate the construction of thousands of new homes, with 30 per cent of these to be affordable housing
  • $400 million reserved in Restart NSW to deliver the infrastructure that will unlock housing across the state
  • $1.5 billion committed for housing-related infrastructure through the Housing and Productivity Contribution

In addition, as announced ahead of the state budget, the $224 million Essential Housing Package aims to rebuild the social and affordable housing sector.

This package includes funding to expand temporary accommodation options, provide a more suitable environment for individuals in crisis, allocate resources to specialist homelessness services, and offer stability and certainty to those in greatest need.

The $224 million Essential Housing Package encompasses:

  • $70.0 million financing facility to accelerate the delivery of social and affordable homes, primarily in regional NSW, by funding initial land and site works
  • $35.3 million for housing services for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people and families through Services Our Way
  • $35.0 million to support critical maintenance for social housing
  • $20.0 million reserved in Restart NSW for dedicated mental health housing
  • $15 million towards a NSW Housing Fund for priority housing and homelessness measures
  • $11.3 million urgent funding to continue the Together Home program in 2023–24
  • $11 million emergency funding for Temporary Accommodation in 2023–24 to support vulnerable people
  • $10.5 million additional funding to the Community Housing Leasing program
  • $10.0 million for a Modular Housing Trial to deliver faster quality social housing
  • $5.9 million urgent funding to Specialist Homelessness Services to respond to increasing demand

National Energy Bill Relief expanded

Additionally, the government has taken steps to provide relief in the energy sector.

Alongside the National Energy Bill Relief payment, which was introduced in July 2023 in collaboration with the Australian government and included a $500 electricity rebate for 1.6 million eligible families and a $650 bill relief for 300,000 eligible businesses, the government is allocating new funding to support families facing the rising cost of living.

This new energy relief funding comprises:

  • An increase in the Family Energy Rebate to $250
  • An increase in the Seniors Energy Rebate to $250
  • An increase in the Low Income Household Rebate and Medical Energy Rebate to $350
  • An increase in the value for each equipment type, up to $1,639, under the Life Support Rebate

Business NSW welcomes budget

Business NSW chief executive Daniel Hunter said the large investments in housing, regional NSW, and the energy transition “will assist businesses in getting the workers they need, help regional communities thrive and keep energy costs lower”.

“We are encouraged by the proactive measures outlined by the government to begin the work of solving the state’s housing crisis,” Mr Hunter said.

“Business – especially family-owned firms and SMEs – need support to keep delivering local jobs in the face of tough economic conditions.

“The NSW government must be commended for following through on their promise of no new business taxes.

“It is crucial the government ensures businesses remain free to do what they do best employ people, innovate, and grow the wealth of our great state.”

First home buyers

First home buyers have also received support, through the expanded First Home Buyers Assistance Scheme, which has already benefited over 1,000 first home buyers by granting them a stamp duty exemption for property purchases in the $650,000–$800,000 range.

This assistance will persist, with the government continuing to offer concessions and exemptions from transfer duty for properties valued up to $1 million for eligible first home buyers under the expanded First Home Buyer Assistance Scheme.

[Related: Stamping out the tax burden]

daniel mookhey ta yi mop


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