National News

Farmers 'at the heart' of NSW budget

The NSW treasurer says this week's "state-building" budget will in many ways be one for the bush, with farmers at its heart.

On the eve of his third budget and first since the coalition was re-elected in March, Dominic Perrottet said Tuesday's books will show a record investment in infrastructure and lock in the government's election promises - including thousands of extra teachers, nurses and police.

An additional $355 million for drought support has already been announced, as has $400 million to improve regional data and mobile connectivity.

"In many ways, it is a budget for the bush, and our farmers are at the heart of the budget," Mr Perrottet told AAP on Monday.

"Overall, I think the budget doesn't just provide support for farmers today, but it will work towards building the water infrastructure that's required to protect us in the future."

It comes after the countryside swung away from the coalition at the March 23 poll, with NSW Nationals leader John Barilaro later saying they had heard the cry from the regions.

Mr Perrottet on Monday acknowledged NSW faced several challenges in the past year, including a correction in the property market and a drop in stamp duty and GST revenue.

The state's coffers have taken a $10 billion hit since the 2017 budget because of falling stamp duty revenue, while projected GST revenue is forecast to be down $2.3 billion by 2021/22.

But Mr Perrottet said building infrastructure would drive economic growth and while he didn't want to pre-empt the numbers, the budget would be in surplus.

"We're in a solid financial position which enables us to invest record amounts in the things that matter," he said.

Budget savings will include cutting the "back office" of the NSW government and changes to long service leave for public servants.

The treasurer said he expected job losses - in the range of 1000 to 2500 positions - would occur through voluntary redundancies and natural attrition.

"These aren't savings for the sake of it," he said.

"To have a ratio which is closer to 90 per cent frontline and 10 per cent back office is about where it should be at."

© AAP 2019