South Australians living in regional communities will benefit from a major $773 million investment in hospitals, roads, schools and emergency services to help improve services, lower costs and drive economic growth and development.
The 2018-19 State Budget provides $315 million over four years to upgrade regional roads and transport networks through a Regional Roads and Infrastructure Fund – supported by 30 per cent of mining royalties.
Treasurer Rob Lucas said regional SA – long forgotten by Labor – was a key focus of the Marshall Liberal Government.
“The State Budget fulfils all our commitments to help reinvigorate the regions, through better health and aged care, education and emergency services as well as significant capital works programs right across the state,’’ said Treasurer Lucas.
“Our investment over the next four years will not only clean up the enormous financial mess left to us by Labor, but ensure families and businesses living and working in the country are supported with better infrastructure from hospitals and schools to better roads and recreational facilities.
“We are investing $150 million over 10 years into a Regional Growth Fund to unlock new economic activity in our regions.
“Country health will receive a $140 million injection over the next ten years to address the backlog in capital works projects, while $20 million over four years will address the shortage of doctors and other healthcare professionals in rural areas.
“South Australian patients receiving chemotherapy will be able to access their treatment closer to home thanks to our $12 million investment in country cancer services.”
Treasurer Lucas said the government’s delivery of $613.1 million in promised tax cuts across the Emergency Services Levy, Land Tax and Payroll Tax for small business, would provide much-needed cost-of-living relief for regional households and businesses.
The budget provides $12 million over four years to enter into longer term agreements with Regional Development Australia Boards, to provide funding certainty over the forward estimates.
“Our $184 million energy solution will provide more reliable and affordable electricity for all South Australians, including those in regional areas.
“$10 million will also be spent over three years to address mobile phone black spots across the state.
“These measures will ensure we build a strong foundation for South Australia’s future and improve the daily lives of families in the regions, who can rest assured they will no longer be forgotten.”
Among the 2018-19 State Budget investment for South Australia’s regions are:
HEALTH AND AGED CARE
• $8.5 million to build a new 24-bed aged care facility at Strathalbyn
• $2.1 million to expand and upgrade the renal dialysis unit at the Mount Gambier Hospital
• $1 million Healthy Towns Initiative to encourage rural and remote communities to come up with creative ways to improve local health
• $605,000 to upgrade surgical facilities at Yorketown Hospital to enable general surgery, gynaecology and urology services to remain
• $160,000 towards a pilot program for an intensive outpatient addiction rehabilitation program in the Riverland
• $1 million in safety upgrades at Lighthouse Lodge Aged Care home
• $7 million to upgrade the Murray Bridge Soldiers’ Memorial Hospital Emergency Department
• $80,000 per year to increase paediatric services at Mt Barker Hospital
• $180,000 per year to expand services at Ardrossan Hospital
• $100,00 to develop a business case for a new Barossa Hospital
ROADS AND TRANSPORT
• $14.6 million Penola By-Pass
• $88.5 million Port Wakefield Rd Overpass
• Joy Baluch AM Bridge – $200 million
• $396,000 to upgrade the Clare Valley Aerodrome
• $2 million for the Cape Jervis Breakwater
• $20,000 to deliver a suite of road safety improvements on Kangaroo Island
• $500,000 Lyndoch Road upgrade
• $5 million for Nairne Intersection upgrade
• $100 million to establish a new Whyalla Secondary School
• $9.5 million to continue the state’s access to dedicated aerial firefighting resources
• $5 million Country Fire Service Station Upgrades
• $3.9 million to increase the emergency services presence in Mount Barker
TOURISM, RECREATION AND ENVIRONMENT
• $8.5 million for the Murray Darling Basin Royal Commission
• $5 million over two years to open reservoirs for recreational use
• $100,000 for a feasibility study into a Great Southern Bike Trail (from Adelaide to Melbourne)
• $120,000 for an extension of the Riesling Trail to Auburn
• $3.2 million to support environmental remediation activities at Bird Lake in Port Augusta
• $1 million for regional theatre sustainment works (Chaffey Theatre, Renmark; the Northern Festival Centre, Port Pirie; Sir Robert Helpmann Theatre, Mount Gambier)
• $200,000 to develop a business case for a Riverland Food and Wine Centre
• $300,000 for Mount Compass Recreation Park