Tasmanian Budget 2008-2009
Treasurer Michael Aird yesterday delivered Tasmania’s budget, marking the first time Tasmania’s budget has topped $4 billion.
The centrepiece of the budget was an investment of $1.5 billion over four years in an infrastructure plan for hospitals, health services, schools, roads and rails.
Highlights of the budget include:
Business and Taxes
- $65 million in additional tax cuts;
- $38.4 million to provide motor tax cuts on light vehicles;
- Abolition of non-real commercial property transfer duty from 1 July 2008;
- $10 million for the Workforce Participation Program.
Health and human services
$80 million in 2008-09 to implement health and human services reforms, including:
- $26.3 million for implementation of disability service reforms;
- $20.1 million for the Clinical Services Plan.
$99.3 million to improve local healthcare services, including:
- $29.5 million in additional funding to support reform and expansion of family support services;
- $31 million for upgrades to Bruny Island, Flinders Island, King Island, Glenorchy, Kingston and Longford/Westbury Health Care Centres.
$42.6 million for better patient care and health outcomes, including:
- $18.6 million for improving health information technology for better patient care;
- $5 million in additional funding for ambulance and patient transport services.
$99 million for improved housing services, including:
- $60 million to improve public housing and increase supply;
- $39 million for funding for housing iniatives, community housing programs and crisis accommodation.
$174 million to promote social inclusion, including:
- $11.2 million for the implementation of a Social Inclusion Strategy;
- $14 million for extending government concessions to Health Care Card holders;
$37.7 million towards keeping communities safe, including:
- $18.9 million for the redevelopment of the Devonport, Glenorchy and Bellerive Police Stations;
- $13.3 million for improving communications support for community services through the Government Radio Network;
- $2.8 million to employ full-time coordinators at Neighbourhood Houses.
Education and literacy
$66.7 million for school children, including:
- $34.8 million for the Raising the Bar and Closing the Gap initiative to improve literacy and numeracy;
- $16.8 million to improve support and resources for Tasmanian Government School children with high and additional needs;
- $12.9 million for grants to non-government schools to provide services to their school communities.
$135.5 million to invest in schools, including:
- $30 million in capital funding to redevelop education infrastructure in the Bridgewater and Southern Midlands community;
- $61.5 million in capital investment projects across the State to redevelop schools and libraries;
- $30 million for a new high school at Kingston.
$18.5 million to increase skills, including:
- $7.2 million to provide 2,000 new training places through the Skilling Tasmania initiative;
- $11.3 million for funding four new regional Learning and Information Network Centres across regional Tasmania to integrate community learning, libraries and technology access with other government services.
$1.5 billion over four years, including:
- $492.8 million for health and human services;
- $303.9 million for community infrastructure;
- $626.8 million for roads;
- $99.6 million for other transport infrastructure.
- $76.6 million to improve Tasmania’s rail infrastructure;
- $23 million State Government contribution to the Brighton transport hub;
- $250,000 to investigate the potential of light rail;
- $626.8 million for roads, including $42.5 million for north-east freight roads, $35.7 million for the Brighton bypass, $30 million for the Kingston bypass and $23 million for the north-west tourist road.
Environment and Climate Change
$92.6 million is allocated towards protecting Tasmania’s environment in 2008-09, including:
- $45 million for irrigation to drought-proof Tasmania;
- $5.7 million for climate change community projects;
- $10 million for the Environment Protection Authority;
- $12 million to save the Tasmanian Devil;
- $3.1 million for environmentally-friendly traffic lights;
- $15.4 million for water and sewerage reform.
Urban Renewal and Heritage
$21.4 million is allocated in 2008-09 for urban renewal and heritage, including:
- $12 million to establish the Urban Renewal and Heritage Fund;
- $4 million to develop recreation and bike track networks;
- $3 million for north-west cities and towns.
Police and Criminal Justice
- $28.4 million to redevelop Risdon Prison;
- $18.9 million to redevelop three police stations.