2022-23 NT Budget Delivered
The 2022-23 Northern Territory Budget delivered on 10 May 2022 by Chief Minister and Treasurer Michael Gunner shows a strong economic recovery. Despite short lockdowns due to COVID-19, increased consumer confidence has strengthened national economic activity. The budget predicts the economy (gross state product) will grow by 3.7% in 2022-23, largely supported by an increase in private sector investment, with growth forecast to average 2.9% over the forward estimates. Employment growth is projected to strengthen to 2.3% in 2022-23, with the unemployment rate remaining low at 4.2%.
OTA has prepared a snapshot of the budget measures most relevant to occupational therapists. To access the Northern Territory Budget Papers in full, go to https://budget.nt.gov.au/budget-overview
- Budget overview
- Housing and community amenities
- Electricity reliability and renewable energy
- Mental health
- Education and engagement
- General public services - $567 million
- Public order and safety - $948 million
- Economic affairs - $490 million
- Environmental protection - $134 million
- Housing and community amenities - $664 million
- Health - $1.897 billion
- Recreation, culture, and religion - $170 million
- Education - $1.292 billion
- Social protection - $656 million
- Transport - $315 million
The budget provides $897.2 million to build new, and refurbish existing, housing in remote and urban areas, and progress CBD redevelopment works including the Alice Springs CBD revitalization project, and residential land release across the Territory. This includes a record $690 million for remote Aboriginal housing. A further $9.3 million is allocated to construct and upgrade housing for teachers in regional and remote communities and $19.5 million to construct new, and upgrade existing, urban public housing.
The Territory’s electricity reliability will be improved and renewable energy generation advanced through budget investments of $60 million over six years to progress the undergrounding power project in Darwin to increase resilience to cyclones and other extreme weather events. The budget also includes $7.97 million over four years for the Darwin-Katherine Electricity System Plan to help achieve the Territory’s target of 50% renewable energy generation by 2030 and $5.01 million over four years for accelerated hydrogen industry development.
The Budget provides $4.8 billion to deliver core government services that support Territorians and keep communities safe, including $1.897 billion for health, $1.292 billion for education, $948 million for public order and safety and $656 million for social protection.
The Territory Government recognises the importance of mental health support for Territorians and will contribute $13.3 million over five years towards the $43.9 million Bilateral Agreement for Mental Health and Suicide Prevention which includes:
- $15.4 million for two new Head to Health adult mental health satellite clinics and ongoing funding for the Territory’s first Head to Health centre
- $9.1 million for a new Head to Health Kids Hub to improve access to multidisciplinary team care for children
- $5.7 million to increase access to multidisciplinary youth mental health services in two headspace centres
- $9.3 million to establish universal aftercare services. Two trial sites will also be established in the Territory for aftercare services
- $1.3 million to ensure all people in the Territory who are bereaved or impacted by suicide can access support services
- $3 million to support perinatal mental health screening. In addition to investment in mental health, the 2022 Budget also provides $8 million for additional clinical spaces at Royal Darwin Hospital.
The 2022 Budget provides a record $1.18 billion investment in education in 2022-23. This includes:
- $71.25 million for early years and preschool education
- $564.9 million for primary education
- $444.3 million for secondary education.
Specific initiatives include:
- $39 million in 2022-23 for the continued implementation of the Indigenous Education Strategy
- $11 million in 2022-23 for the implementation of the Education Engagement Strategy 2022–2031
- $7 million in 2022-23 for inclusive education for students with a disability.
The 2022 Budget also invests in education infrastructure including:
- $4.41 million for upgrades at Yuendumu School
- $1.8 million for the Dripstone Middle School STEAM Centre.