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New Women's and Children's hospital announced in budget

 

July 2017

New taxes on banks and foreign investors, a focus on jobs and a cash splash on the suburbs are the headline measures in the South Australian Government's pre-election budget.

Described by Premier Jay Weatherill as a "traditional Labor budget" designed to stimulate employment ahead of Holden's closure in 119 days' time, its centrepiece includes a $200 million Future Jobs Fund to support growth industries.

Some $50 million in new money will be spent towards industry-specific grants and $70 million in low-interest loans to support job creation in focused areas.

The announcement does, however, include an existing fund of $60 million for the Industry Attraction South Australia program — due to run out next year — and $14.5 million for the Events and Convention bids fund, leaving just $120 million in new money.

Treasurer Tom Koutsantonis said businesses would get this money "very, very quickly".

The Treasurer has followed the Commonwealth's lead and gone after the big banks, introducing a major bank levy from July 1 that is expected to raise $370 million over four years.

The levy will apply to bank bonds and deposits over $250,000 but exclude mortgages and ordinary household deposits.

Foreign buyers have also been targeted with a 4 per cent conveyance duty surcharge on residential properties from January 1, 2018, reflecting similar levies interstate, in a move to keep house prices within reach for the youth of South Australia.

HEALTH AND HOSPITALS

According to the State Government's announcement, the new Royal Adelaide Hospital will open in September, providing the highest ever level of care to the people of South Australia. "The hospital is a cornerstone of far-reaching reforms to health creating a system which is patient-centred, safe, effective, accessible, efficient and equitable", the Government says.

New measures in the health sector, include:

* $528 million to build a new Adelaide Women’s Hospital adjacent to the new RAH. The project will receive $30.3 million over the forward estimates and will be complete in 2024.

* $9.2 million over three years for an emergency extended care unit adjacent to Modbury Hospital’s emergency department.

In Education, the new budget includes:

* $250 million to redevelop 139 schools to deliver science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) with 77 primary, 44 secondary and 18 R-12 schools being upgraded (48 regional and 91 metropolitan).

* $608 000 over two years for a pilot program providing free fresh fruit and vegetables to selected primary schools under the Right Bite program.

The Weatherill budget also announced a sum of $5 million in 2017–18 for once-off grants to multicultural and community organisations for infrastructure and equipment.

Other sectors to be funded include:

* $18.1 million in 2017–18 for homelessness services,

* The First Home Owner Grant of $15 000 that remains on offer for the purchase of a new home.

* The Job Accelerator Grants will be increased by up to $5000 for each new apprentice and trainee hired, in addition to the existing grants of up to $10 000, supporting an estimated 2000 positions.

The government says that its $550 million energy plan will help businesses by ensuring South Australia has reliable, affordable and clean energy despite the dysfunction of the national electricity market.

Also, the Government says that a range of concessions are available to eligible South Australians. These include the cost-of-living concessions of up to $200, assistance for water and sewerage, energy, public transport, vehicle registration, drivers’ licences and the purchase of spectacles or contact lenses.

 

Greek Tribune

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