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SA Budget 2015: Key measures in summary

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Scroll down to read quick summaries of the 2015 Budget measures including tax reform, increases in fees and charges, and moves in health, education, transport and more.

Tax reform

The centrepiece of this budget is a $650 million tax reform package.

Treasurer Tom Koutsantonis announced several taxes would be abolished, mostly to the benefit of business, including:

The tax-free threshold for land transfers will rise from $316,000 to $323,000.

The government will spend $65 million renovating and reconstructing public housing stock, $25 million of which will go directly to the northern suburbs.

$50 million will be spent over four years to attract more tourists and international students to the state.

The Government will also spend $165 million on a roads package, which it expects to create 400 jobs, including:

Fees and charges

The Government claims the average increase of fees and charges – 2.4 per cent – is the lowest rise for 11 years.

Motor vehicle registrations (four cylinders or less) will rise 2. 6 per cent from 1 August, while Compulsory Third Party premiums and the Lifetime Support Levy will rise an average of 2.5 per cent on the standard premium.

Public transport tickets will also increase – from $5.10 to $5.20 for a single adult fare, and from $117 to $119.80 for a 28-day pass.

Speeding fines will also go up again, with the fine for exceeding the speed limit by less than 10km/h to increase from $159 to $163.

The average residential water bill will increase by 1.3 per cent, to hit $804.8

Child protection

The Treasurer says he is not waiting for the findings of the Royal Commission into Families SA and the handling of child sexual abuse allegations to begin changing the child protection system in South Australia.

The government will spend around $50 million over the next four years on reforms to the child protection system.

Support programs will receive $20 million of that funding.

Funding for the frontline support program will be indexed to increase by $475,000 per year.

The government hopes to increase the number of foster carers in the state system by two to three per cent each year at a cost of $1.1 million per year.

There were 854 foster care households last year.

Funding for the Positive Parenting Program will grow by $2.2 million per year. It provides training and support to government and non-government agencies to increase the parenting capacities of families at risk.

$1 million per year is allocated for a program that helps adolescents in residential care return to their families.

$31 million will be made available over the forward estimates to cover an expected growth in the number of children in care.

Education

The budget includes $50 milion to improve facilities in disadvantaged schools and early childhood education facilitites.

$25 million of that will go towards upgrades at Fremont-Elizabeth City High School, Le Fevre High School, Swallowcliffe School P-7, Christie Downs Primary School and the disabilities unit at Christies Beach High School.

Health

As previously announced the State Government will spend $260 million on its “transforming health” reforms.

Much of that money will go towards turning the emergency departments of state’s largest hospitals into “super emergency departments” and transferring the rehabilitation services provided by the Repatriation General Hospital – set to close – to other facilities.

Flinders Medical Centre will receive just under $160 million for a 55-bed rehabilitation centre, an older persons mental health service and a new, multi-level car park.

Modbury Hospital will receive $32 million for an eye clinic, a new hydrotherapy pool and more rehabilitation beds.

The Queen Elizabeth Hospital will get $20 million to add a new level to its allied health and rehabilitation building.

SA Ambulance Service will receive $16 million to help it deal with the increased distances ambulances will need to travel with services consolidated in the larger hospitals.

Ambulance's arrive and leave from the Royal Adelaide Hospital, Adelaide, Friday, May 25, 2012 - (AAP IMAGE/Ben Macmahon) NO ARCHIVING

It will receive 12 new vehicles, new ambulance stations and renovations to existing stations.

The budget also includes $4.8 million to replace ambulance medical stretchers.

The Post-Traumatic Stress Centre For Excellence planned to replace the Repat’s Ward 17 will cost the government $15 million.

The South Australian Health and Medical Research Institute will receive an extra $5 million over the next four years.

Courts and police

A brand new courts building was a key promise two years ago, but that promise died during this financial year when the State Government couldn’t stitch up an economic deal with a private partner.

Instead, the Budget will provide just under $1 million to upgrade the crumbling Sir Samuel Way building.

Attorney-General John Rau said the works on the building were “unavoidable and immediately necessary”.

The courts will get a total injection of $24 million over four years mostly to fund an upgrade to its ageing IT systems.

Just over $20 million will go towards a new system to manage the electronic flow of courts documents, and to improve internal registry processes.

The funding also includes $2.2 million for the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions to purchase an electronic prosecution management system.

SA Police, as announced before the Budget, will get funding of $7.4 million over five years to fit out vehicles with “rugged” electronic tablets, $5.9 million over four years for body-worn video cameras, and $4.1 million over two years for a new HR and payroll management system.

Transport

The Government is pitching much of its transport spending as economic “stimulus” to create 400 jobs.

The centerpiece of this claim is $165 million over four years to improve roads across regional and suburban SA, and build a new road at Gawler East.

The Budget includes $70 million to improve “critical road infrastructure”, including sections of Goodwood Road, Waterloo Corner Road, RM Williams Way, Happy Valley Drive, about 17km of Cooper Coast Highway, and Main South Road between Myponga and Yankalillla.

In addition to the existing road maintenance budget, $40 million has been allocated to shoulder sealing and audio-tactile line-marking to improve road safety on high-speed roads in regional areas.

A new 2.8km Gawler East Collector Link Road will be built at a cost of $55 million over three years. The road will link Potts Road and the Springwood development.

The electrification of the Gawler rail line remains a distant dream, pushed out to 2017-18 in last year’s budget.

However, trains will get some love with $12 million over two years to upgrade signaling and communications cables on the metropolitan rail network.

The Government will also spend $4 million over four years to upgrade security and facilities at railway stations.

Springbank Road at Panorama will be upgraded at a cost of $1.1 million.

A further $6.5 million over four years will be spent on bike boulevards and greenways.

For vehicle users and buses, $1.7 million will be spent over two years to improve traffic flows in Adelaide.

The Arts

The Budget funds infrastructure upgrades for arts centres in regional South Australia.

These funds include $1.7 million to replace air conditioning and upgrade fire safety systems at Whyalla’s Middleback Theatre, $1.4 million for similar works at Port Pirie’s Northern Festival Centre, nearly $1 million to replace tiled panels at Mt Gambier’s Sir Robert Helpmann Theatre, and $90,000 to improve the curtaining and lighting systems at Renmark’s Chaffey Theatre.

The Art Gallery of South Australia has been given $200,000 to identify a solution for the future storage of its art collections.

The St Paul’s Creative Centre, a co-working centre in the city, will receive $415,000 over next four years.

As previously announced, the Budget includes more than $900,000 for the SA Film Corporation to build a set construction workshop at the Adelaide Studios at Glenside.

The Budget allocates $16 million over four years to “maintaining Arts activity”.

Emergency Services

There will be $20 million over the next four years for extra training, equipment and support for emergency services.

That includes almost $5 million for recruitment and training for the Country Fire Service, the State Emergency Service and Volunteer Marine Rescue SA.

The government will also purchase eight new bulk water carriers for the CFS at a cost of $1.6 million.

The replacement of the Emergency Services Communications Centre telecommunications system will cost the government $3.4 million.

Primary industries

It’s a quiet budget for agriculture, with only one headline new initiative – the establishment of a Northern Adelaide Food Park.

The precinct, funded to the tune of $2 million over two years, is designed to bring together food manufacturing businesses to access shared infrastructure and services.

The Environment

The Goyder Institute of Water Research will receive ongoing funding – $8 million over four years.

The institute researches ways to best manage SA’s water resources.

 

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