Member for Narungga Fraser Ellis MP is satisfied the Budget handed down yesterday by Treasurer Rob Lucas MLC provides significant new investment in the seat of Narungga and, importantly, delivers on all pre-election promises.
“This is a budget that makes the tough decisions that are necessary to ensure we return to living within our means but also delivers the promises that were made during the election -- we get the balance right,” Mr Ellis said.
“Much has already been said about the $88.5 million Port Wakefield overpass and four lane highway project announced last week, and this week I was greatly relieved and equally excited to see the significant investments in health for Narungga.
“The $720,000 over four years starting this year to fund services at Ardrossan Hospital will significantly ease funding pressures felt at this community-owned facility and ensures continuance of vital accident and emergency services, and palliative care and sub-acute care services.
“The Yorketown Hospital allocation of $605,000 over four years to upgrade surgical facilities and employ more staff is also a vital inclusion in the budget, and talks can now commence on how best to spend this investment.
“I fought hard pre-election for these commitments and it is only when you see the printed budget lines within the five volumes of statements tabled in Parliament that it hits home that the funding is a reality and has been delivered. Narungga has done well in this budget,” Mr Ellis said.
“I also very much welcome the $12 million initiative to deliver additional chemotherapy services in regional areas, the commitment of $150 million for the Regional Growth Fund to pursue new economic opportunities, the $10 million for Mobile Phone Black Spots, and the $315 million Regional Roads and Infrastructure Fund to improve regional and remote transport networks, funded by 30 per cent of mineral and petroleum royalties.
“This is finally a State Budget that has plenty in it for regions which is a gale of fresh air after 16 years of city-centric Labor.”
Other Budget highlights:
- $20 million over four years for Rural Health Workforce Strategy to recruit more doctors and nurse in rural areas.
- $6.9 million over four years to deliver additional chemotherapy services in regional areas.
- $6.8 million over four years to establish Local Health Network Governing Boards, including six boards in country South Australia that will put decision-making closer to people who deliver and receive health care.
- $613.1 million tax relief over four years which includes reductions in the fixed property Emergency Services Levy, Payroll and Land Tax.
- $100 million to establish the Economic and Business Growth Fund.
- $30 million for $100 sports vouchers for primary school aged children, being double the value of previous sports vouchers given to help families pay membership subs and registration fees.
- $5 million to abolish the $59.40 fee for volunteer screening checks from 1 January 2019 in recognition of the importance of community service volunteers.
- $45 million to reduce elective surgery and colonoscopy waiting lists in public hospitals.
- $140 million over 10 years to address backlog maintenance in country health facilities.
- Extra $30.9 million for child protection over two years.
- $16m over four years to increase palliative care support.
- $2.5 million over four years for additional suicide prevention services.
- $4 million over two years of an additional 40 domestic violence crisis accommodation beds.
- $1 million Healthy Towns Initiative to encourage rural and remote communities to come up with creative ways to improve local health.
- $9.5 million to continue the state’s access to dedicated aerial firefighting resources.
- $5 million Country Fire Service Station upgrades.
- $300,000 per year to fund grave leases on an ongoing basis for war veterans, as opposed to families having to re-purchase leases every 25 years.
- $10,000 per annum for three years to provide headstones for unmarked graves of World War One veterans who served our nation.
- $1 million for an independent inquiry into water pricing in South Australia. This will inform the government if the methodology used to determine SA Water’s bills is reasonable.
- $260,000 additional funding for Rural Business Support to deliver rural financial counselling services through to 30 June 2020, helping farmers manage their books and fill out applications for assistance programs.
- Waiving $1.6 million in oyster industry fees while oyster growers rebuild following the impact of the POMS outbreak in Tasmania.
- $2.6 million for the development of a new Alert SA app to deliver a reliable public safety and warning information service.
- $14 million in the next four years to boost the fleet of CFS firefighting aircraft from 18 to 26 aircraft.
- $10 million over the next two years for grassroots community sports clubs, with a focus on female and family-friendly infrastructure.
- $20.9 million over four years for the Literacy Guarantee for literacy coaches, Year 1 Phonics Checks, more breakfast programs in schools.