Education & Badgery’s Creek: more insights on #Budget2017

Prof. Stephen Parker AO, National Education Sector Leader

Politically, I believe it is likely the Senate will agree to the Budget measures, after some arm-wrestling. The groundwork has probably already been done, the flashpoints of the 2014 proposals have been removed, and the feeling that “it could have been worse” will make the proposals more palatable.

From the point of view of fairness, Australian students are already amongst the highest proportionate contributors to their degree costs in the OECD, possibly sixth highest. However on average they will still only pay 46 percent by 2021, compared with 42 percent at present, and it is hard to argue with precision for any specific split between the public good and private gain components of a degree.

From an equity point of view, increased tuition fees mean longer repayment periods, but there is little evidence that this yet deters students from aspiring to university.

It is true that graduate unemployment is currently above the long-term trend, and the lifetime earnings premium on a degree has probably come down, but it is still a good investment for those inclined to a profession rather than a trade.

A “HECS debt” seems still to be good debt for the graduate and good debt for the country.

Badgerys Creek airport
David Pring, Managing Partner, Greater Western Sydney

The Budget go-ahead for the Badgerys Creek airport is excellent news. This substantial investment is a vote of confidence in Western Sydney and its population – which in years to come will become as large as Melbourne is now.

To make it a success will require further infrastructure spend. This provides a real opportunity for NSW to get its train transport right and consideration must be given to fast train links with Parramatta, CBD and Sydney airport.

This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to create a hub of high-end knowledge jobs in Western Sydney. From logistics perspective, it will create a new business precinct around the airport. There is an opportunity to create an aerotropolis of associated businesses needed by the airport and to create links with science and technology park.

This project will means jobs for Western Sydney in the construction phase for the next decade. It will cause increase in asset values in Western Sydney which can assist existing landholders and existing businesses.

KPMG’s full Budget Brief


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