Spending announced in the NSW budget on Tuesday is geared towards "driving our regional economy and making sure we have jobs for our children for the future", according to state Member for Dubbo Dugald Saunders.
More than $100 million will be invested in Dubbo and across Western NSW, despite less revenue coming into the government's coffers than was expected and debt predicted to hit a record $38.6 billion in 2022-23.
In Dubbo, Mr Saunders said he was excited about the long awaited hospital redevelopment with a further $44.2 million to be invested in the next year.
"With the redevelopment of our hospital we're seeing the opportunity to employ more and more, not just doctors, nurses and midwives, but also other healthcare professionals," he said.
"The allied health professionals that we will be attracting will be vast. It's a really exciting time."
Mr Saunders said he is pleased there will be "more cops on the way as well" and big investments in police training and rail maintenance facilities.
"It's a major infrastructure project that'll be employing people during, but also after it's built," he said of the regional rail maintenance facility set to be constructed in Dubbo.
The budget also delivered for smaller population centres like Narromine, Mr Saunders said.
"We've got the industrial park at the aerodrome there but also $2.5 million for the Narromine wetland extension which was announced during the campaign," he said.
Geurie Public School will receive a new storage facility and further west, the Bourke Police Station will get a $7 million upgrade.
A new TAFE Connected Learning Centre will be built in Cobar as part of a $61.7 million investment.
The Great Cobar Heritage Centre will also receive about $295,000 to spend on weatherproofing work.
In Lightning Ridge, $7.5 million has been allocated to build the first stage of a new Australian Opal Centre.
Previously announced drought relief and mobile blackspot funding is also expected to improve the quality of life in country communities.
Western NSW budget highlights
- $37.5 million over three years to extend the Wild Dog Fence in Western NSW to prevent wild dogs entering the state.
- $8.275 million for drought-related mental health initiatives over the next year as part of an expansion of the Emergency Drought Relief Package.
- A second $100 Active Kids Voucher for every school child each year.
- 8,300 more nurses, midwives, doctors and medical and support staff, 45 per cent of which will be located in regional NSW
- Expanded before and after school care to all parents with children who attend public schools by 2021.
- $18 million for overtaking lines on the Mitchell Highway between Narromine and Dubbo.
- A Regional Seniors Transport Card providing $250 per year towards fuel or taxi travel from regional providers or pre-booked NSW TrainLink tickets for aged pensioners and Commonwealth Seniors Health card holder living in regional NSW.
- New two-year pilot of Drug Supply Prohibition Orders, which give police more search powers for drug-related crimes.
- $55 million to deliver roads and subdivision in collaboration with Aboriginal Land Councils and communities at Gulgargambone Top in the Coonamble Shire and Namoi Reserve and Gingie in the Walgett Shire.
- $24.4 million to deliver three new radars that provide real time rainfall data and wind observations.