2019-20 SA Budget Delivered
The 2019-20 South Australian Budget was handed down yesterday by Treasurer Rob Lucas.
OTA has prepared a summary of those Budget measures most relevant to occupational therapists. Click on the links below to skip to the sections of most interest to you.
South Australia’s debt will rise to $13.2 billion over the forward estimates in order to fund major infrastructure projects.
Delivering the Marshall Government’s second state budget yesterday, Treasurer Rob Lucas forecast a modest operating surplus of $94 million in 2019-20, with surpluses rising to $251 million in 2022-23.
Despite a $517 million drop in GST payments, and falling stamp duty revenue, the budget includes significant investment in the regions, roads, health and education.
Big ticket infrastructure items include $5.4 billion for the final stage of the North-South Corridor project and $1.1 billion over eight years for regional roads.
There is a $104.5 million housing stimulus package aimed at supporting a sluggish construction sector and a $361 million investment in new schools.
Health figures prominently in the budget, with the government seeking to cut expenditure by $169 million next year after an overspend of $95 million by the department in 2018-19. Offsetting this bad news is the announcement of a $550 million ‘down payment’ on a new Women’s and Children’s Hospital.
Savings measures include cuts totalling $80 million across all departments and an extra $120 million in revenue from increased fees, charges, fines, public transport fares and an increase in the solid waste levy.
The South Australian economy is forecast to grow by 2.5 per cent next year, and employment growth is forecast at 1 per cent over the next four years.
The State Government will provide an initial $550 million for the construction of the new Women's and Children's Hospital, with a completion date of 2025 at the earliest. The final cost of the project is still to be determined but commentators expect it to come in at around $1.5 billion.
The reactivation of the Repatriation General Hospital site as a health precinct will cost $69.1 million over four years, with funding of $5 million in 2018-19 to establish a state-wide eating disorder service there. Commonwealth Government funding for the project will be delivered to the Breakthrough Mental Health Research Foundation which will construct and own the purpose-built facility.
Stage three of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital redevelopment will receive an injection of $264 million. The funding will provide for a new clinical services building, including emergency department, outpatient services, operating theatres and clinical support.
A total of $97 million will fund upgrades and services at the Modbury Hospital, including a new acute surgical ward for more complex elective surgery, a purpose-built palliative care facility and acute medical unit, as well as refurbishment works.
Spending of $14 million per annum for 10 years from 2018-19 will fund sustainment works at, and significantly improve the amenity of, country hospitals and health infrastructure.
Additional funding of $6.7 million in 2019-20 will support the finalisation of service reform and disability functions as a result of the state’s full transition to the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).
In addition to this funding, the State Government will contribute more than $750 million per annum as its contribution to the NDIS.
As at mid-May, more than 28,000 South Australians were receiving NDIS supports and a further 2,500 have been found eligible and are awaiting a plan.
The State Government is currently developing South Australia’s first State Disability Inclusion Plan.
The plan, which is a direct result of the Disability Inclusion Act, will list specific outcome areas to remove barriers and make the community inclusive for all South Australians, with a draft plan to be released later this year.
Funding of $5.5 million over three years will establish a central response unit to address and coordinate the state’s response to the Commonwealth Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with a Disability.