The 2019-20 State Budget recognises the enormous importance of the regions as a key economic driver for the State, with major investment in schools, roads, emergency services, housing and tourism.
The record $878 million of new funding for regional roads and infrastructure is the single biggest injection of new funding in a State Budget for regional roads in South Australia’s history.
Whilst there are no new major road projects announced this year for the Narungga electorate, $15 million is allocated for the commencement of the $90 million Port Wakefield Overpass and Highway duplication project which is in its final design phase.
I was also pleased with the $11 million allocation to improve access to the Dublin saleyards, and the $303,000 to help seal the Yorketown airstrip to ensure it can reliably continue to provide all-weather, lifesaving healthcare services for southern Yorke Peninsula.
Of the record $1.1 billion for regional infrastructure projects, I look forward to strongly advocating for local road safety projects from the $143 million that has been allocated specifically for additional overtaking lanes and shoulder sealing on rural roads.
These initiatives are in addition to the existing annual regional maintenance program worth $237 million over 4 years.
Other Budget highlights include
- $12.9 million to address road black spots
- another $14 million allocated to improve facilities in regional hospitals, and the maintained commitment from 2018-19 of $20 million over four years to address the shortage of doctors and specialists in rural areas
- the continued roll out of the $600,000 upgrade of surgical facilities at Yorketown Hospital
- the allocation of another $15 million from the Regional Growth Fund to be accessed by rural businesses and organisations;
- $15.5 million over 5 years to specifically upgrade regional high schools
- $25.2 million over four years to boost TAFE SA
- $7.5 million over 3 years for a red meat and wool industry growth program; and
- $4 million Regional Coast Protection Fund for local councils in the regions to access to directly tackle coastal problems
For households, lower costs should start being noticeable with abolished payroll tax, reduced net expenses to run the family car through $114 reductions in CTP fees, another $90 million annual cuts to the Emergency Services Levy and, from next July, the $50 million per year land tax reductions.
The Marshall Liberal Government is also continuing its commitment to a $100 sports voucher for every primary school aged child to assist families pay sports club membership and registration fees.
More than $100 million has been invested in community sports facilities since the 2018 state election, and I was very pleased to announce last week specific new investment in the Narungga electorate from the new Grassroots Football, Cricket and Netball Facility Program.
The three successful applicants in round 1 of this new initiative are:
- $350,000 to build new unisex change rooms at Port Broughton Combined Sporting Club;
- $76,000 for Mallala Netball Club for flood lighting and court re-surfacing; and
- $142,250 for Long Plains Netball Club Incorporated to extend and resurface its courts and build a new multi-use court.