South Australian Treasurer Rob Lucas says lower taxation will act as a major economic driver, both nationally and in SA.
“Anything that reduces the dead hand of excessive taxation is good for the nation but is equally good for South Australia,” Lucas told AAP.
Lucas is also looking for resolutions to key funding agreements to help frame the state’s finances into the future, particularly his own budget in September.
That includes agreements on funding for the National Disability Insurance Scheme as well as long-term, hospital and education spending.
SA will also be looking to the budget for confirmation of previously agreed arrangements for the distribution of GST revenue with the latest deal providing for a $467 million boost for the state in 2018/19.
But Lucas said the federal budget had to be viewed as a complete package, given its potential impact.
“There will be no one single decision which will define whether it’s a good budget for South Australia or not,” he said.
“It’s really a series of decisions that have the potential to make an impact.”
In terms of infrastructure funding, South Australia’s top priority will be more federal money to help complete the South Road upgrade, the major road corridor through Adelaide.
The Federal Government has already provided cash for the northern and southern sectors, including an announcement this week, but some work is yet to be fully funded.
A series of other projects remain listed with Infrastructure Australia but Lucas said a number of those might not be among the new government’s priorities, such as further extending Adelaide’s tram network.
However, more funding for some regional projects would be welcome, such as a deep port facility on the upper Spencer Gulf.
On the question of the often talked about sealing of the Strzelecki Track in the state’s north, Lucas said the project fell into the “we’re interested” category but would require a significant contribution from the Commonwealth.
With the change of government in SA last month, this year’s federal budget will be brought down well ahead of the state’s financial blueprint, something the SA treasurer says will give him some welcome breathing space.
“We will have a reasonable period to absorb the details and what the implications for SA will be,” Lucas said.
“But given that more than half our total revenue comes from GST and Commonwealth grants, it will have a significant impact.”
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