NSW Labor's plans for election success

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NSW Labor leader Chris Minns has pledged to alleviate cost-of-living challenges, increase manufacturing and halt privatisation as his party seeks a return to government after 12 years in opposition.

Mr Minns used his budget reply speech on Thursday to call for a constructive debate about the state's future in the lead-up to the March election.

"Our people face a future of deep uncertainty, of spiralling costs, of slow wage growth - and an ever-growing sense that our economy demands of the many, but only delivers for the few," Mr Minns said.

He said a Labor budget would have provided more help for household budgets, invested more in education and shaped the economy to deliver more for more people.

Treasurer Matt Kean on Tuesday laid out his "10-year blueprint for prosperity", with toll-road rebates, back-to-school vouchers and subsidies for preschool among other cost-of-living measures.

Mr Minns said Labor would deliver toll rebates and use revenue from the roads the state still owns to subsidise the cost for drivers on the ones it no longer does.

He promised to keep the Sydney Harbour Bridge and tunnel in government hands, saying after his speech it would be a gross breach of trust for the government to privatise them in the months between contracts expiring in August and the election in March.

Opposition education spokeswoman Prue Car said Labor's plans to build 100 preschools at new and existing primary schools and under-served areas in its first term was more proactive than the government's long-term plan for a universal year of pre-kindergarten by 2030.

However, she said Labor's education policies will need to address staffing.

"We will need a comprehensive teacher recruitment strategy," Ms Car said.

"(The government) have failed on every single account to recruit enough teachers."

Opposition treasury spokesman Daniel Mookhey has already begun looking for ways to pay for promises to do more than the government.

"The Transport Asset Holding Entity (TAHE) goes - that entity will burn a $13 billion hole in the NSW budget by 2031," Mr Mookhey said.

The state-owned corporation owns transport assets, and charges operators such as Sydney Trains for access.

Labor has called TAHE a budget con and part of a larger plan to privatise public transport.

Premier Dominic Perrottet told parliament TAHE was in line with the approach to rail assets taken in Queensland and Victoria.

"It's a better way of managing assets, it improves safety, and it's something we have worked on in every single budget probably for the last eight budgets or so," he said on Thursday.

Mr Perrottet said Labor's budget reply speech "promised so little but delivered even less".

Mr Minns said he wants policies costed by the parliamentary budget office before release, which he promised to do in time for voters to decide.

Local manufacturing and procurement will be another election focus, particularly in relation to transport.

NSW is waiting for cracked Spanish-built trams to return to service, and the continued use of new ferries built in China is under review.

Mr Minns wants to restore the "proud history of building in NSW" and would make it his first priority if elected.

A commission would also be established to oversee local industry growth and advocate for businesses bidding for government contracts, which would have new requirements for local content.

In response, Mr Kean said the opposition leader did not announce enough policies.

"This is not a small target strategy, this is a small-minded scare campaign," the treasurer said.

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