NSW Treasurer Daniel Mookhey has made it clear there is no room for any extra Illawarra projects to be funded by the state, but says everything promised during the election campaign will be delivered.
During his first visit to Wollongong since taking control of the state coffers, Mr Mookhey met with business groups and the University of Wollongong leadership to discuss their role under the new government.
He said businesses told him they faced numerous challenges regarding workers compensation premiums, rail connections and transport connection to the rest of the state and pressures related to energy prices and the energy transition.
Mr Mookhey also confirmed the government would meet all its election commitments, despite a worse than expected outlook for the budget.
"NSW is facing severe and serious budget challenges but every commitment we made in the election will be delivered," he said.
"We took a fiscally responsible approach to the campaign. We did not overpromise and we did offset all our spending with more than enough savings to ensure that they were delivered."
He said the government was facing $7 billion of additional budget pressures that were not provided for by the last government.
"That obviously is information we wanted to make public as soon as we could," he said.
"I look forward to giving the Parliament an economic statement in June in which we can shed further light at the state of the finances ahead of the September budget."
Planning Minister and Wollongong MP Paul Scully said having the treasurer just visit the region days after Premier Chris Minns was in town to visit BlueScope and Wollongong Hospital showed that the Illawarra would not be ignored by Labor.
"If there was any clearer demonstration needed of how seriously the incoming Minns government takes the Illawarra ... it's the fact that we have not only he had the Premier here last Friday, but in his first visit to a university campus since becoming treasurer, Daniel Mookhey is here joining me today," Mr Scully said.
"I understand this was the first university he visited as shadow treasurer and the first that he's visited as treasurer. So it's a true reflection on the importance of Wollongong, of the Illawarra, to the incoming government."
Mr Moohkey said regional universities like UOW would play a crucial role in the future of the state's economy.
"Every time I come to the University of Wollongong I walk away with ideas about what we could be doing better," he said.
"We're fundamentally an economy that makes its money by selling the intelligence of our people to the world, and so the ability to use our universities as a strategic asset economically is front of my mind."
UOW Vice-Chancellor Patricia Davidson said it was encouraging to see senior cabinet ministers on campus.
"We had a really good opportunity to talk about our shared interests," she said.
"In particular, moving our community on the clean energy transition, how we're addressing some of the complex health and social services challenges that the region is facing and also the important role that the University of plays as an anchor institution in the region."
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