Small wins and ballooning debt

07 Jun 2024

Of the announced State Budget, Member for Narungga Fraser Ellis welcomed small cost of living wins for families and low-income earners but really wanted to see more emphasis on regional health services.


“The doubling of the sports vouchers for kids, a reduction in the school materials charge for parents, an extra one-off concession payment and removing stamp duty for all first home buyers with all caps removed are welcome initiatives but I am sorely disappointed in no new money for Narungga health services.

“Port Pirie Hospital has its upgrade, and welcome beds are being brought into the system in metropolitan Adelaide which all helps. However, any upgrades of Wallaroo, Maitland and Yorketown health infrastructure is not forthcoming and I will continue to push for our turn in 2025”, Mr Ellis said.

Of the health petition he presented to Parliament last November with its near 11,000 signatures requesting reform and fair funding measures, Mr Ellis said now the new legislation around referring such large petitions to the most appropriate and effective committee for consideration has been passed in the chambers, action will now be forthcoming.

“In other budget positives, we also see secured local infrastructure funding printed in black and white such as some jetty money and significant dollars for stretches of the Upper Yorke Road, the new ambulance station at Wallaroo and new emergency service infrastructure at Maitland and Wallaroo.

“There’s also a cash injection in the Regional Housing Fund which hopefully benefits our community.

“Finally, there is also a significant commitment in the budget for early childhood education and our region is slated to be in the first tranche to benefit from pre-school for 3-year-olds in 2026. With childcare in scarce supply hopefully this has a positive effect on our local economy”, Mr Ellis said.

“On the other side of the ledger, there is major disappointment about no new incentive funding for mobile phone towers in our electorate, nothing for beach protection outside of the metropolitan area, and I have personal concerns about the ballooning State debt that some how has to be serviced in coming decades.

“So many households around the state are doing it tough with rising interest rates and increased mortgage repayments and, at the same time, the Government is borrowing a major amount of money.

“It will become increasingly expensive for taxpayers to make repayments.”