SA announces lean budget
The South Australian Government has handed down its Budget for 2012-13, with Treasurer Jack Snelling announcing broad cuts to the public service as his Government aims to restore surplus in 2015-16.
Mr Snelling delivered the $284 million deficit budget after the state declared a "record revenue write down."
The State's Budget will see some 1,000 full time equivalent positions cut from the state's public service, which will save the state an estimated $160 million over four years.
Despite cuts to a number of large projects, Mr Snelling said he remains confident in the South Australian economic fundamentals.
“The economy is growing, unemployment is at historic lows, mining and exports continue to excel despite a relatively high Australian dollar and globally we are in a position of strength," Mr Snelling said.
“For the moment however we are faced with challenges which are being felt across the country, we have been faced with a $2.8 billion dollar revenue write-down from the last Budget - largely due to soft consumer spending and a subdued property market."
Major spending initiatives outlined in the budget papers include:
- $212.5 million to boost to disability services, the largest injection into disabilities in more than 25 years;
- $45.7 million on a one-off Water Security Rebate to help alleviate the costs of increased water prices;
$38.3 million on a new Mining and Engineering Industry Training Centre to ensure South Australians have the skills for the mining jobs of the future;
- $30.4 million on a new digital system for pathology testing for better patient care in our health system;
- $28.7 million to redevelop the Parks Community Centre in Adelaide’s north-western suburbs;
- $20 million to make sure South Australia is ready for a launch of the National Disability Insurance Scheme
- $19.8 million in additional funding to boost support for our children in need of alternative care;
- $8.3 million to boost equipment and training for our emergency services;
- $8.3 million on an Advanced Manufacturing Strategy to support growth in this vital sector;
- $5.6 million to extend the $8000 First Home Bonus Grant for at least another 12 months;
- $5.1 million for a stamp duty concessions for people buying off-the-plan apartments in the City; and
- $3.3 million for a pilot program in Adelaide’s northern suburbs for early support for vulnerable families with infants with young children
While major cuts include:
- $372.9 million on the suspension of the electrification of the Gawler and Outer Harbor rail lines. The electrification of the Noarlunga line through to Seaford and the network train capacity will increase;
- $255.6 million on making the public service more efficient by increasing their efficiency dividend from 0.25% to 1.0% from 2013-14 to be offset by $81.9 million of spending on a new public sector skills and retention entitlement to retain experienced public servants;
- $166.8 million on the reduction of 1000 full-time equivalent employees in the public service through either targeted voluntary separation packages (TVSP) or natural attrition to be offset by $60.4 million of spending to the cost of providing TVSPs over the same period;
- $121.2 million on deferring the abolition of stamp duty on non-real property transfers;
- $120.4 million on the abolition of payroll tax exemptions for eligble apprentices and trainees to be offset by $48.1 million of spending re-target support directly to registered group training organisations;
- $77 million on deferring a redevelopment of the Queen Elizabeth Hospital and a rehabilitation in-patient unit at the Modbury Hospital.
- Merging the Department of Environment and Natural Resources with the Department of Water, not renewing the Government’s lease on corporate facilities at the Adelaide Entertainment Centre and ending funding for the Thinkers in Residence program and the Integrated Design Commission.