Labor campaign offers 'fresh start' with help from Albo
NSW Labor has put the promise of a "fresh start" at the centre of its election campaign, which it officially launched with the help of Prime Minister Anthony Albanese in Sydney on Sunday.
Mr Albanese said the NSW government is "plagued by scandal and dogged by resignation" and urged the state to vote for change.
"A government falling apart before our eyes, cracking like an imported light rail carriage, breaking down like an outsourced ferry," Mr Albanese said.
"Something so much better awaits NSW and it starts with a great leader."
After over a decade of coalition government, opposition leader Chris Minns said his party would start to fix the state's schools and hospitals and end privitisation of key public assets.
"The last few weeks have shown chaos and division inside this 12-year-old government," Mr Minns said.
"They don't even know if they want the responsibilities of office. Deep down they know they've run out of gas, they've run out of ideas and they've run out of energy."
The 43-year-old also introduced his prospective key ministers, with Jo Haylen on transport, Ryan Park on Health, Anoulack Chanthivong on finance, Prue Car for education, Penny Sharp on environment and Daniel Mookhey as Treasurer.
Mr Minns pushed the parties "strong commitment" against privitisation and promised to invest in better conditions for teachers and nurses.
Labor also announced new spending policies at the launch, committing to $76 million in subsidies for health students, more than $90 million to hire a thousand apprentices and $70 million to build three helicopter ambulance bases.
If Labor wins the election it will pay to deliver university scholarships for thousands of nurses, doctors, paramedics, and allied health workers to help staff public hospitals.
Students undertaking a healthcare degree will be eligible for a subsidy on their study expenses, if they commit to working a minimum of five years in the NSW public health system.
Coinciding with Labor's campaign launch, Premier Dominic Perrottet announced his own plan for a better health system, committing $1.2 billion to build and upgrade 20 hospitals and health facilities across NSW.
Under the investment, $260 million will go towards stage two of the Concord Hospital redevelopment, which completed stage one earlier last year.
"These critical investments in health infrastructure are only possible thanks to the Liberal and Nationals long-term economic plan to keep our state moving forward," Mr Perrottet said.
A Minns government would also spend $93.7m towards hiring 1000 apprentices and trainees across the state government by 2026.
Apprentices would have the opportunity to train in workplaces including Essential Energy, Sydney Water, and National Parks and Wildlife Services.
The initiative is being touted among a suite of Labor measures designed to "rebuild" the state's skills and vocational education system.
It would target the skills shortage, and the more than one quarter of students leaving school without their HSC, Labor said.
"There's no more important choice than the choice to invest in our education system," Mr Minns said.
A Labor government would also bolster the number of helicopter ambulance bases in NSW from six to nine in a bid to slash emergency health response times in regional and rural areas.
Each base would have a helicopter and road-based ambulance, and they would begin operating in the next term of a Labor government, the party said.
About 57 per cent of life threatening cases in rural areas were responded to within the recommended time-frame of 10 minutes, compared with about 67 per cent in urban areas.
"It shouldn't matter if you live in rural or regional NSW, or Western Sydney, everyone in NSW should be able to access quality healthcare in a reasonable and appropriate timeframe," Mr Minns said.
"Under Labor we'll have more ambulance bases, more paramedics for the regions."