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NSW Budget 2023: Rebates and handouts for energy, toll relief, childcare and more


Residents of NSW will be eligible for a slew of rebate programs in the 2023 Budget, as the state races to combat the brutal cost of living crisis.

While the budget was light on sugar hits and handouts overall, energy bill rebates, toll caps and preschool fee relief are among 130 cost of living measures announced in the budget, worth a whopping $8bn.

Here’s what you could be eligible for.

Energy and water bill rebates

The government will spend $1.3bn over the 2023-24 financial year on rebates and other relief measures for energy bills. In conjunction with the federal government, up to 1.6m households will be eligible for a one-off $500 rebate automatically applied to bills before July 1, 2024, and about 300,000 small businesses will be eligible for $650 in energy bill relief.

Those who install solar panels could get up to $600 off their bills under the Rebate Swap for Solar program.

Additionally, the cap on the Energy Accounts Payment Assistance crisis support payment for households experiencing financial distress has been increased by up to $500.

Some concession card holders will be eligible for a $121-per-year discount on their gas bill, while eligible pensioners and low-income families are entitled to a concession on their water rates through the Low Income Households Water Rebate.

The Life Support Rebate for each equipment type will also be boosted from $1343 to $1639.

Another $100m has been set aside by the Minns government for further bill relief measures in the 2024-25 financial year.

Toll cap

A $561m initiative will see tolls capped at $60 a week from January 2024, with about 750,000 drivers expected to be eligible for a quarterly refund from Service NSW.

For drivers using the M5 South-West Motorway in a car registered for personal, pensioner or charitable use, the value of tolls will be refunded under a cashback scheme.

Truck drivers will also see a boost, with the truck toll multiplier being slashed by a third, from three times to two times the cost of a private vehicle, on the M5 East and the M8.

Health worker relocation bonus

Healthcare students are eligible for a $20,000 relocation bonus if they move to rural or regional areas for work.

In addition, applicants are also potentially entitled to salary boost, sign-on bonuses and retention payments of up to $20,000 per year, relocation assistance and housing, additional leave, and access to training and education.

Packages are scaled, and increase in value in more remote locations.

First home buyers assistance scheme

Funding for the NSW First Homebuyers Assistance Scheme has been increased by nearly $300m, with the state government now contributing $998m towards stamp duty discounts across four years. There is no change to eligibility, but the funding has been increased as a result of demand, with 84 per cent of first homebuyers in the state eligible for some sort of discount under the scheme.

First homebuyers purchasing a property for under $800,000 will pay no stamp duty, a saving of $30,735, and those paying between $800k and $1m will pay a concessional rate of stamp duty.

On top of this, the NSW government offers a $10,000 first homeowner grant for those buying a newly built residence with a purchase price of less than $600,000, or those buying land and a new house with a combined total cost below $750,000.


Families with three-year-old children enrolled in long day care at eligible preschools can now receive $500 worth of fee relief per child.

Additional fee relief of $4220 per child aged between three and five enrolled in community preschools, and $2110 per child aged from four to five enrolled in long day care will continue.

Kids recreational vouchers

A means-tested $50 Active and Creative Kids voucher will be available for eligible families from February 2024. Households will be able to claim two vouchers per child each year from Term 1 and Term 3.

Parents and guardians of children aged between three to six years of age who are not enrolled in school can also apply for a $50 voucher to help cover the cost of swimming lessons.

IVF rebate

The Minns government has committed to continue the Coalition’s existing program for women undergoing IVF.

Under the policy, women using IVF or other assisted reproduction technology are eligible for a $250 rebate, and the $80m policy is funded to June 30, 2026 or until funds are exhausted.

Rural and regional parking

$19m has also been allotted to give staff, patients and visitors free parking at rural and regional hospitals and health facilities.

Joanna Swanson

Joanna Swanson is Europe correspondent at the Thomson Reuters Foundation based in Brussels covering politics, culture, business, climate change, society, economies and inclusive tech. With specific focus in breaking news, she has covered some of the world's most significant stories.