The 2016-17 Tasmanian Budget contains important initiatives and projects, particularly for Denison.
This Budget is about capitalising on the gains we have made over the past year and building on the momentum in our economy.
The Budget is back on track with a surplus of over $77 million this year. The hard work we have done over the past two years to balance the books means we are now in a position to reinvest in essential services such as health, education and support for vulnerable Tasmanians.
Our focus is on providing the essential services that people deserve and which improve the quality of life for all Tasmanians. There are no new taxes, no new savings measures but better core service delivery.
I hope you find this newsletter helpful and I look forward to hearing your thoughts when I next see you.
More detailed information on the State Budget and our commitments can be found online here
Some highlights of the 2016-2017 State Budget include:
Fighting Family Violence
We are continuing to fight the scourge of family violence. Our nation-leading $26 million Safe at Home anti-family violence program is fully funded in this year’s budget and forward estimates.
$60 million has been allocated to deliver the Affordable Housing Action Plan to help our most disadvantaged families. This will include the construction of 900 new homes.
The Budget also doubles the First Home Builders Grant to $20,000 to support the building and construction sector and provide a welcome boost for Tasmanians wanting to realise the dream of building their first home.
As a strong supporter of the Disability Sector, I am incredibly pleased to report that we are continuing to support the full rollout of the NDIS with a $572 million investment which will revolutionise the way people living with a disability are able to participate in the broader community.
Tourism is a key sector for Tasmania, and this Budget supports the industry in a variety of ways.
TT-Line’s Spirit of Tasmania I and II are an important part of Tasmania’s future tourism and freight needs, but they will not last forever. Therefore, the Government is preparing for their replacement in the early-to-mid 2020s through the creation of a dedicated Vessel Replacement Fund.
Highlights also include $6.3 million for the Great Eastern Drive and the Cradle Mountain Master Plan will receive $15 million to proceed with this bold and exciting initiative.
All Neighbourhood Houses will receive additional funding totalling nearly $1 million. Locally, Bucaan Community House, Goodwood Community Centre and West Moonah Community House Food co-ops will also receive a total of $36,000.
This year’s budget invests a record $113 million on school, college and TAFE infrastructure upgrades across the state; the biggest ever education infrastructure package from a Tasmanian Government.
After supporting high schools in the last budget, primary schools are in focus this time. Locally, Lenah Valley Primary School, Glenorchy Primary School, Windermere Primary School, Austins Ferry Primary School, South Hobart Primary School, Montrose Bay High School and Hobart College have received multi-million dollar grants.
The Pharmacy at the Royal Hobart Hospital will receive $3.7 million for a refurbishment to help deliver better outcomes for patients and staff alike. The new facility will arguably be Australia’s most contemporary public hospital pharmacy, representing a significant upgrade of the facility which was built in 1999.
The Launceston General Hospital’s children’s ward will also be upgraded and expanded thanks to an $8 million allocation.
Supporting our returned service men and women
The Budget contains $350,000 to support the RSL and Tasmania’s veteran community. The Returned and Services League is Tasmania’s leading supporter of the veteran and ex-veteran serving community, with more than 40 sub-branches around the State. Some of the local projects that will benefit are the Tasmanian Headstone Project, a Battle of Britain Commemoration and a Walk of Remembrance at the Claremont Military Training Camp.
House of Assembly sitting schedule
Tasmania's House of Assembly next sits on Tuesday, 31 May 2016. The four week sitting period included the Budget on Thursday, 26 May and Estimates Committee hearings from Monday, 6 June 2016. The next sitting dates for the House of Assembly can be found online here.