Western Sydney advocate Amanda Rose is a busy woman.
Ms Rose owns several businesses and recently traveled to the United States for a conference as the only Western Sydney representative.
She said a lot happened while she was away in the US, including NSW budget announcements. Here’s what she had to say in our latest Q&A.
What was your overall view on the budget for Western Sydney?
Amanda: It seemed to be more positive for Western Sydney then the Federal budget. The Active Kids was a highlight, and already Western Sydney are taking it up.
People always criticise a budget saying it’s not much money, but you need to look at it on the wider scale. In Western Sydney sport is huge!
This announcement means children can play for a soccer team that year. It lets them be active and social skills are important.
Especially when they’ve invested 2.1 billion in mental health, it shows what a big issue it is.
What were other benefits for this region?
Amanda: I have businesses where I help people who are looking for work and education and the biggest barrier is qualification so the fact there are apprenticeships available for free will seed demands in infrastructure for Western Sydney.
Look at the western Sydney stadium and the Parramatta railway. So many people are looking for ways to get a job. They want to be educated, so I think it’s brilliant!
There’s also a baby bundle. They’re giving it out to mothers from January next year. They’re spending something like $150 million on it.
Our surveys showed the cost of living is a personal concern for women in western Sydney so every bit of help adds up.
They also have more money being poured into nurses and midwives. A lot of people are doing it on their own and they don’t know where to start. I really believe this budget focused on the basics.
What did the budget miss?
Amanda: I think we need more housing for women and shelters. There’s investment in that being stripped but it doesn’t mean I’d discount everything else that’s good that’s needed.
The state library cuts, aren’t good. Libraries are very important community resources for mothers. It’s a place where they can take their children to learn for free and it’s for students with no space to study.
They need to look at being resource hubs in the community.
They need to be opened up to the community for longer hours and have more available news, more online courses and free internet.
We segment our resources a lot so people don’t know where to go.