Extracted from Hansard - House of Assembly 11 November 2020

I, too, rise to speak on the Appropriation Bill. What a fantastic budget we have. In light of the COVID pandemic, this is the budget that we truly had to have. This is all about creating jobs, backing business and building what matters. We are investing a record of $16.7 billion in job-creating infrastructure projects over the next four years. This is an extra $3.8 billion over last year's budget. Spending will be on local roads, major sporting facilities, schools and hospitals and is expected to create over 19,000 jobs.

In education, there will be $37 million spent over the next two years on government schools and preschools for priority maintenance works, in addition to the $32 million already provided in the 2019-20 year that was over and above the department's usual maintenance spend. This will include grants of between $20,000 and $100,000 for government schools and an extra $30,000 for every government preschool to engage local tradespeople to deliver priority maintenance works. That is on top of the $20,000 they already received this year.

In health, there is a $676 million increase in health dollars, with the Marshall Liberal government reaffirming its commitment to a new world-class Women's and Children's Hospital, co-located with the Royal Adelaide Hospital, by budgeting $685 million over the forward estimates for the landmark build. This is an additional $50 million on top of the sustainment works on the current location that will be delivered by government, and that will include at the current site a new specialist care baby unit and a paediatric emergency department upgrade.

In mental health, there will be an extra $15.1 million to support the mental health of South Australians throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. The Marshall Liberal government is providing better services closer to home, with a $14 million investment to establish and operate an adult mental health centre in Adelaide. The centre will deliver cutting-edge, out-of-hospital care, with community-based organisation Neami National selected as the service provider. The mental health centre will be established in the CBD and link people with community mental health services and non-government mental health crisis services that can provide follow-up care at home or in the community.

Funding of $5.3 million over two years for the Statewide Wellbeing Strategy, which encourages South Australians to open their world to sports, arts and physical activities during the pandemic, has also been secured. The Marshall Liberal government is investing more than $130 million in South Australia's parks in the state budget 2021—the most in the state's history. The Marshall Liberal government's Parks 2025 initiative is boosted to a total of $44 million over four years to improve park infrastructure and conserve our natural landscapes and wildlife across South Australia.

The Adelaide Botanic Gardens will receive $9.2 million over three years for a range of capital upgrades. This includes investment in night lighting, new public toilets and other activation upgrades, making the gardens more accessible to visitors and a more flexible location for community and cultural events. Critical roof and building works for the heritage-listed Goodman and Tram Barn A building, as well as utility upgrades, including a new irrigation system at Botanic Park, will also be included.

In arts and culture, an additional $50 million has been committed for the Aboriginal Arts and Cultures Centre, bringing the total budget to $200 million, which includes $85 million in federal money under the Adelaide City Deal.

A new $86.5 million arts storage facility will be purpose built to preserve millions of dollars' worth of state collections from cultural institutions, including the Art Gallery, the SA Museum, the State Library and the History Trust of South Australia. This will create up to 170 jobs during construction and ensure the millions of dollars' worth of art, artefacts and collections are stored in a safe and secure facility.

In addition, $204 million of sport infrastructure funding will invest in upgrades to our key stadia and facilities, as well as expand support for local recreational infrastructure. Kickstarting the project is $44 million for stage 2 of the Memorial Drive Tennis Centre. This project will build on the momentum of stage 1 and continue the transformation of one of the nation's most iconic sporting precincts. This major project will drive international tennis to our state and includes:

  • increased seating capacity of 1,500, bringing it to 6,000;
  • space for concerts and festivals;
  • digital infrastructure to host future e-sports events;
  • elite training and recovery facilities; and
  • improved access to the Adelaide Oval precinct.

This will significantly build upon an already thriving area of the city and also has the potential to create a hub for the global e-sports phenomenon. We are investing $25 million in expanding the grassroots sporting facilities grants program. We are backing business through a second round of $10,000 cash grants, with lower payroll tax and land tax relief, and the additional support of tourism and events, building better parks and sporting facilities.

Other small businesses that do not employ staff, such as sole traders or partnerships, that are suffering due to COVID-19 can also apply for the $3,000 cash grants. There will be $233 million in total payroll tax relief for thousands of eligible businesses. We are also investing $13.4 million to roll out a statewide electric vehicle charging network.

We are also investing in support for our rough sleepers, which affects my electorate of Adelaide. The Marshall Liberal government is investing an additional $13.6 million over three years to help reduce homelessness in South Australia. Each year, 60 rough sleepers with complex needs will be housed in new specialised and supported accommodation at a cost of $2.3 million. A portion of the Holbrook public housing site at Brooklyn Park will be redeveloped with case management support provided for tenants.

Forty Aboriginal elders at risk of homelessness will have access to new housing thanks to a $4 million grant provided to Aboriginal Community Housing Limited for the development of culturally appropriate accommodation in Bedford Park. These initiatives build on the unprecedented efforts to house 250 South Australian rough sleepers during the COVID-19 pandemic and provide them with ongoing support through the $7.3 million funding injection. This government is committed to building what matters, and these developments will provide much-needed support for some of South Australia's most vulnerable.

The Marshall Liberal government is building what matters, with a record maintenance blitz on thousands of run-down public homes well underway, and $10 million of planned public housing capital maintenance has been fast-tracked to boost the South Australian economy in response to the COVID-19 pandemic and has supported more than 160 jobs.

Upgrades to 1,400 properties, including new kitchens and bathrooms, and improvements to common areas, lighting and security, paving, painting and horticulture works are almost complete. There will be a $1.1 million investment in the South Australian Housing Authority to help fund the Street to Home project in 2020-21. Street to Home supports people sleeping rough in the Adelaide CBD with a range of services, including rehousing and health care.

There will be huge hip pocket savings to everyday mums and dads, including massive reductions in average household water and sewerage bills, with an average of a $200 saving a year; cheaper ESL bills, at an average of $163.60; cheaper electricity, at an average of $158 in savings; and reduced car registration costs, through lower CTP insurance premiums. For a two-car family, this will mean a saving of $200. Swimming and sports lessons vouchers will be raised from $50 to $100. For a typical Adelaide household of two children and two cars, this equates to a saving of around $820 in their personal annual budget.

In child protection, there will be $124 million extra invested over the next four years to accommodate anticipated increases expected. We continue to progress the strategy of growing the number of placements in family-based care and improving outcomes for children and young people. The government is continuing to invest in additional early intervention programs and working across government to provide coordinated support to families at risk.

As part of the Marshall Liberal government's $120 million restart fund, $670,000 has been provided in the 2021 budget for the placement management system initiative. The placement management system will provide real-time visibility of placement capacity, current occupancy and availability of options. This will ensure an increased number of children and young people will be better matched to the most suitable placements. The Marshall Liberal government has delivered more frontline workers in child protection and reduced the number of vacancies through successful broadening of qualifications policy training and increased recruitment.

Even though debt will increase significantly, the estimated interest costs for general government sector debt over the next three years will be $440 million less than estimated in last year's budget due to the very low interest rates that are now available. This budget is about creating jobs, backing business and building what matters.