Image Source: ABC News
By Giorgina McKay | @ggmckay11
State Treasurer Rob Lucas announced the 2019-20 South Australian (SA) State Budget on Tuesday night.
Premier Steven Marshall promised the Budget, the second under his Government, will give funds to those wanting to get into the housing market, and is “firmly focused on growing the South Australian economy”.
“It is going to be a tough budget, but it’s going to be a fair budget,” Mr Marshall said in a media conference on Monday.
“It’s going to be focused on keeping our economy going, keeping our jobs growth going, and making our state a more productive place.”
With Australia’s economy slumping to its lowest level since September 2009, this budget could not come at a more critical time.
But what is in store for university students?
. An additional $25.2 million will be given to TAFE SA over the next four years to allow it to reform its operations and become more competitive in the VET sector.
. $82.1 million is allocated to support six SA-based National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy facilities to assist researchers, businesses, and international partners to address key national challenges across the State’s growth sectors.
. $60 million will go towards the construction of a food, hospitality, and tourism hub at Lot Fourteen, at the old Royal Adelaide Hospital site, over the next three years.
. The government will spend $69.1 million over four years on reactivating the Repatriation General Hospital site as the Repat Health Precinct.
. An additional $5 million will be used to establish a statewide eating disorder service at the new precinct.
. $550 million will go towards the construction of the new Women’s and Children’s Hospital – this will be finished by 2025 at the earliest.
. Stage three of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital redevelopment will receive a $264 million investment.
. A total of $97 million will go towards upgrades and services, including a new acute surgical ward for more complex elective surgery, at the Modbury Hospital.
. An additional $6.7 million funding will finalise the State’s transition to the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).
. $387,000 will go towards the Royal Flying Doctor service to develop a purpose–built clinic and help provide quality and culturally safe health care and social services for remote communities.
. South Australians will face a five per cent increase to fees and charges, including licences, car registration, and traffic fines.
. A loophole payroll tax compliance and land tax surcharge, which generated at least $40 million each year, will end.
. Revenue SA will undertake additional payroll tax compliance work to ensure taxpayers are complying with payroll tax obligations.
. A land tax surcharge on certain trusts will be introduced to create a level playing field for all taxpayers.
. The State Government will spend $834 million over four years on road safety measures, including $692 million on new road infrastructure projects.
. A $92 million fund will duplicate Victor Harbor Road into a dual carriageway road between Main South Road to McLaren Vale.
. $26.5 million will be spent on widening Flagstaff Road in Adelaide’s south.
. $98 million over four years will go towards upgrading the intersection of Portrush and Magill roads to improve travel times, safety and address congestion.
. $61 million over four years will go towards upgrading the Fullarton Road and Cross Road intersection.
. $60 million over three years will go towards building a four-way intersection where Springbank, Daws and Goodwood roads meet to ease congestion.
. $35 million over three years will go towards improving traffic flow at the intersection of Glen Osmond and Fullarton roads.
. $19 million over three years will go to upgrading the intersection at Main North Road and Nottage Terrace.
. $19 million over three years will also go to upgrading the intersection at Grand Junction, Hampstead, and Briens roads.
. $13 million over two years will go towards upgrading the intersection of Main North, Kings and McIntyre roads.
. The government will spend $8 million on a new railway station on the Tonsley line, with improved lighting, security, and accessibility for residents and commuters.
. Public transport fares will rise ten cents for a single ticket and seven cents for the cost of a single fare on a MetroCard.
. The Tonsley railway station will close – and possibly relocate – to allow for work on the Flinders Link Project.
. The Government has locked funding for the Gawler rail electrification, and ‘Park ‘n’ Ride’ facilities for commuters on the O-Bahn Busway.
. The State Government will fund a $104.5 million housing stimulus package to support construction and low-income earners.
. This package includes an interest-free deposit gap loan of up to $10,000, funded by a $2 million Affordable Housing Fund. This will be administered by HomeStartand will be available for two years starting September 1.
. The package also includes a $21.4 million fund for the SA Housing Authority to undertake a housing construction program between 2019 and 2021, during which they will build about 90 homes.
Business and jobs
. $3.4 million over four years will go towards boosting business investment migration to support a targeted increase of 1,000 business migrant nominations each year. This will fund a service that will work with business migrants, local businesses, and industry to capitalise on investment and trade opportunities.
. The State Government will spend $10 million over three years to support industry co-funded exploration activities, driving new major mineral discoveries and growth in the mining sector.
. A reduction of 1,588 full-time positions in the public sector will occur in the next year.
. 1,403 jobs have been retained under the provisional service of the NDIS.
. About 1,400 new teachers and support staff are predicted to be brought on to deal with surging enrolments.
. The State Government will spend $52.4 million over four years to protect beaches, including West Beach, and fund a range of regional coastal works.
. This includes $48.4 million for sand carting and sand replenishment along the metro coastline.
. $11.8 million will fund state parks and open spaces.
. The State Government will support the Murray River by spending $9.4 million over four years to operate, maintain, and monitor assets built under the SA Riverland Floodplains Integrated Infrastructure Program.
. A $12 million water modernisation and transition package will be allocated over four years to assist councils and the waste management industry.
. The State Government will spend $390 million to install solar generation and storage solutions that will enable SA Water to achieve zero net electricity costs from 2020.
. $155 million will go towards the construction of the Northern Adelaide Irrigation Scheme, which will supply treated water from the Bolivar Wastewater Treatment Plant to the Northern Adelaide Plains.
. $1.1 billion will fund regional road projects and transport infrastructure upgrades over eight years.
. $7.5 million over three years will go towards implementing a red meat and wool industry program to help improve farm productivity.
. An additional $10 million will help establish the new Mount Gambier Regional Community and Recreation Hub, which is set to cost $39.1 million in total.
. The State Government will invest $150 million in the construction of the Aboriginal Art and Cultures Gallery at Lot Fourteen.
. $2.6 million over two years will be used to upgradestorage facilities protecting the State’s collection of Aboriginal cultural material.
. The Government will contribute $718,000 to facilitate the transition of Mintabie to the control of Anangu Pitjantjatjara Yankunytjatjara (APY) Lands.
. $75 million will go to addressing critical housing needs for people in remote communities.
Law and order
. Grant funding will be cut from the Victims Support Service, which currently receives $1.2 million per year from the Attorney-General’s Department.
. The Women’s Domestic Violence Court Assistance Service will also lose $150,000 a year.
. $3 million over three years will go towards a two-year trial of an intensive family support program to assist vulnerable families in northern Adelaide.
. A $9.5 million fund will further improve SA Police’s enhanced rapid response capability over four years, which will enable police to safely resolve high-risk incidents, including terrorist threats.
. $3.1 million over four years will go towards a strategic and coordinated fixated threat assessment capability, involving cross collaboration between health and police professionals to mitigate the threat of mass casualty terrorism events.
. The government will spend $7.7 million over the next four years to replace the current Expiation Notice System, which records, issues, and administers expiation notices for road traffic offences.
. There will be funding cuts for both Brand SA and the Adelaide Motorsport Festival.
. The Adelaide Fashion Festival has been completely axed.
. An additional fund of $588,000 over two years will go towards the establishment of international defence companies at Lot Fourteen, building on the $1 million committed to the Australian Space Agency in last year’s budget.
. $400,000 will go towards Lot 100 Beverage to increase craft spirits, beer, and cider production.
Upgrades to the health system in the 2019-20 State Budget look promising for nursing graduates searching for job availabilities, and will help to reduce waiting times for the sick, elderly, and terminally ill.
Additional funding for environmental projects would address the issue of climate change and provide vitalresources and assistance for the Murray Darling-Basin.
However, funding cuts from the Victims Support Service and the Women’s Domestic Violence Court Assistance Service could be disastrous for the health and wellbeing of abuse victims.
Major upgrades to SA roads will also impact travel time for students who drive.
Additionally, changes to fare prices and railway station foreclosures could potentially affect students who rely on the public transport system.