25th May, 2017
Will Hodgman, Premier
This year’s Budget is all about Building Tasmania’s Future.
With the biggest ever boost to health in a single budget - $650 million and 106 hospital beds – it puts health front and centre.
This additional investment will be spread right around the state but will particularly target the Royal Hobart Hospital which is under pressure as a result of increased demand and temporary capacity constraints due to the hospital redevelopment.
Jobs, particularly jobs for young Tasmanians, are also a key focus of the 2017-18 Budget, with a package providing incentives to employers, including small business, to employ young Tasmanians.
In this Budget we are also taking action against cost of living pressures. We are taking action to cap electricity prices, which will save the average household around $300 on their power bill in the coming 12 months. And, by taking control of TasWater, we’ll deliver lower prices to customers, saving the average household up to $550.
We’re also making it more affordable to build your first home, with a New Housing Incentive Package, which includes the First Home Builders’ Boost, and reducing stamp duty on house and land packages.
In education we are investing more – including funding the “full Gonski", $117 million to upgrade our schools, and we’re employing more school staff to help our kids get a better education.
Supporting Tasmanians in need features strongly in the Budget, with an additional $45 million to strengthen the child protection system. And, we’re acting to keep Tasmanians safe, with funding to put more police in our community, and provide them with the latest equipment, body-worn cameras, to help them protect us.
This Budget’s $2 billion investment in infrastructure is spread right around the State - for example, we’re building a new hospital in St Helens; there’s $35 million to upgrade the Mersey Hospital at Latrobe; and in Launceston we’re providing funds to revitalise Launceston with the University of Tasmania and City Heart projects.
There’s also over $800 million investment in roads and rail, with new projects including the Perth Link Road, the Mowbray Connector, and a $19 million bridge upgrade program.
We’re continuing to invest in our economy’s competitive strengths, with a $37 million boost for tourism which includes $8 million for tourism infrastructure in our national parks, $44 million to support agriculture and aquaculture to continue to employ Tasmanians, as well as further investments into our mining and forestry sectors.
Most importantly, the Budget continues our strong fiscal discipline, with a small surplus this year, and surpluses every year across the forward estimates.
We’ve kept spending under control, since our election and through to the end of the budget's forward estimates, with spending growth rate to be around 2.4 per cent, while the annual growth in revenues over the same period is forecast to be 2.7 per cent.
By comparison, under the last eight years under Labor and the Greens, spending grew at 4.8 percent.
We’re absolutely committed to keeping the Budget in balance, because it means we can continue to invest more in essential services, and build Tasmania’s future.