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From free travel for kids to sport vouchers and discounted train tickets: The big promises being made to woo voters in the knife-edge NSW election

Daily Mail logo Daily Mail 23/03/2019 Stephen Johnson For Daily Mail Australia

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 Video provided by AAP

Hip pocket issues could decide what is shaping up to be the closest New South Wales election contest in a generation.

Transport and child-raising costs have been centre of the election campaign, as more than 5.2 million voters cast their ballot today.

Liberal Premier Gladys Berejiklian has campaigned strongly on public transport projects in Sydney, as her government faces a potential backlash over motorway tolls.

She highlighted this in the final week of the campaign by pledging a $50 weekly cap on Opal fares for train, bus and ferry travel. 

a person standing in front of a subway train: Liberal Premier Gladys Berejiklian (pictured with Transport Minister Andrew Constance) has campaigned strongly on public transport projects in Sydney © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Liberal Premier Gladys Berejiklian (pictured with Transport Minister Andrew Constance) has campaigned strongly on public transport projects in Sydney

Both major parties have capitalised on hip-pocket anxiety by also pledging to reduce the cost of raising a child.

Opposition Leader Michael Daley last year promised to allow all school children in the state to travel for free on public transport, estimating this policy will cost $44 million a year.

His Labor Party is also hoping to capitalise on the issue of tolls in western Sydney by promising to restore the cash back scheme on the M4 motorway.

A senior party source involved in the campaign told Daily Mail Australia Labor sensed voters were angry at Ms Berejiklian for reintroducing tolls in August 2017 to pay for road widening.

a screenshot of a cell phone: She highlighted this in the final week of the campaign by pledging a $50 weekly cap on Opal fares for train, bus and ferry travel © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited She highlighted this in the final week of the campaign by pledging a $50 weekly cap on Opal fares for train, bus and ferry travel a group of people in a park: Opposition Leader Michael Daley (pictured) last year promised to allow all school children in the state to travel for free on public transport, estimating this policy will cost $44 million a year © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Opposition Leader Michael Daley (pictured) last year promised to allow all school children in the state to travel for free on public transport, estimating this policy will cost $44 million a year

'Tolls are really biting in western Sydney,' he said.

'It's emblematic of a government that has lost touch with the electorate on a whole host of cost of living issues.'

This sensitive issue was raised during Wednesday night's Sky News leaders' debate.

Ms Berejiklian tweeted shortly after the People's Forum that the M4 west of Parramatta would not be tolled to pay for the Westconnex motorway, connecting western Sydney with the airport.

'During tonight's debate, I was asked about the M4 west of Parramatta. It is not part of Westconnex and will not be tolled,' she said.

a group of people sitting at a table: The Premier (pictured in Penrith) has also offered goodies for parents, in February announcing the Active Kids program would be doubled, with two separate $100 vouchers available for each child to encourage them to become involved in sport © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited The Premier (pictured in Penrith) has also offered goodies for parents, in February announcing the Active Kids program would be doubled, with two separate $100 vouchers available for each child to encourage them to become involved in sport

The Premier has also offered goodies for parents, in February announcing the Active Kids program would be doubled, with two separate $100 vouchers available for each child to encourage them to become involved in sport. 

'This is all about making sports more accessible for more children across the state and by making it affordable for parents, we are doing our part to help make kids active and healthy,' she said in a statement.

Seven of the Liberal Party's most marginal seats are in Sydney, Australia's most expensive housing market.

Median house prices stand at $888,117 in the NSW capital, following a 15 per cent plunge in values since July 2017, CoreLogic data shows.

a group of people posing for the camera: Ms Berejiklian (pictured with her mohter Arsha, sisters Rita and Mary and father Krikorat) could be forced to form a minority government with key independents © Provided by Associated Newspapers Limited Ms Berejiklian (pictured with her mohter Arsha, sisters Rita and Mary and father Krikorat) could be forced to form a minority government with key independents

Home owners dealing with fall real estate values are more budget conscious. 

An increasing number of Sydney residents are now living in apartments, which means much of their savings are eroded by strata fees.

Polls and betting odds predict the Coalition government will lose its majority, with Sportsbet punters predicting Labor will take East Hills and Coogee in Sydney off the Liberal Party.

It also has Labor three gaining seats from the National Party, in Upper Hunter, Tweed and Lismore.

The loss of five seats, as predicted, would make Ms Berejiklian the first premier since 1991 to be forced to cobble together a minority government with independents. 

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