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2016-17 Budget - Reinvesting in Essential Services

26 May, 2016

Will Hodgman, Premier

The Budget is back on track with a surplus this year of over $77 million. The hard work we have done over the past two years to balance the books means we are now in a position to reinvest in essential services such as health, education and support for vulnerable Tasmanians.

Our focus is on providing the essential services that people deserve and which improve the quality of life for all Tasmanians.

That is why we are again investing a record amount into education and training this year - $1.48 billion, so we can get better results for our children, upskill our workforce and create a job ready generation.

This includes $I13 million on school and TAFE infrastructure upgrades, to deliver the contemporary learning space, while honouring our $134 million commitment to deliver the full six-years of Gonski funding.

There’s an additional $50 million for frontline health including $30 million to support our One Health System reforms which will deliver new and improved hospital outcomes for patients. There is also funding for Patients First to better manage demand in our busy emergency departments, mental health and suicide prevention strategies, and our Healthy Tasmania preventive health Plan. We are also investing more than $515 million into frontline health infrastructure, including patient transport.

Protecting the most vulnerable is a priority of my government and the 2016-17 Budget includes an additional 80 million for this purpose, taking our total investment in support for the vulnerable to $900 million.

This includes $20 million for child protection and $60 million to implement our Affordable Housing Action Plan to build up to 900 new houses.

Our nation-leading $26 million Safe at Home anti-family violence program is also fully-funded in this year’s budget and forward estimates.

We are continuing our support for the full rollout of the NDIS with a $572 million investment which will revolutionise the way people living with a disability our able to participate in the broader community.

Neighbourhood Houses are at the heart of local communities and we will continue the strong support we have provided over the past two years, with an extra $1 million in one off funding.

We’re also investing $1.8 billion to build the infrastructure Tasmanians need, such as $457 million for the Royal Hobart Hospital, nearly $200 million on our program of continuing improvements to the Midland Highway and more than $100 million on vital freight rail upgrades.

The investments we are making now in essential services are only possible due to the prudent financial management of the past two years. We will continue to make responsible Budget decisions to ensure that taxpayer funds go where they can have the most benefit – in health, education and support for the vulnerable.