Tonight’s Federal Budget is a welcome “no surprises” budget for Tasmania.
As expected, the $730.4 million we negotiated for the Mersey Hospital has been confirmed, along with $6 million for Missiondale and palliative care that we negotiated as part of that deal.
We will also receive an additional $40 million more in GST in 2017-18 than previously forecast in the Revised Estimate Report released in February.
The improvements to Medicare, including the lifting of the rebate freeze, are also welcome and should assist to ease pressure on our emergency departments over time.
Our additional education funding under Gonski 2.0, which means an extra $200 million for our schools, has also been confirmed as has funding for the UTAS northern transformation projects.
A number of measures including the Energy Security Plan payments and First Home Super Saver will be of benefit to Tasmanians.
In infrastructure, it is pleasing to see that funding for promised road projects has been provided. I also note the establishment of a number of new funds potentially available for our state, including the Regional Growth Fund, the National Housing Infrastructure Facility, and the $10 billion National Rail Program.
Departmental officials will continue to examine the fine print of the budget over coming days and I will provide further commentary as necessary.