The 2013-14 State Budget is focused on growing the economy, rebuilding Queensland and making our communities more resilient, Treasurer and Minister for Trade Tim Nicholls says.
Mr Nicholls said communities across the State and in the Sunshine Coast region would benefit from the Newman Government’s positive plans.
“In more ways than one, this Budget is about rebuilding Queensland,” Mr Nicholls said.
“Just as we are working hard to rebuild damaged infrastructure – our roads, our water treatment plants, our bridges – we are also working hard to rebuild the State’s finances and make the Budget more resilient to the challenges we face.”
He said the Newman Government would spend $29.1 million on local government recovery and reconstruction projects in the region in partnership with the Australian Government.
“We’re also investing in major infrastructure for the region with $170.6 million from all levels of government being invested in the $1.147 billion Moreton Bay Rail Link between Petrie and Kippa-Ring,” Mr Nicholls said.
“$65 million will go towards the $790 million upgrade of the Cooroy to Curra (Cooroy Southern Interchange to Sankeys Road) section of the Bruce Highway, in partnership with the Federal Government.
“There’s also $4.8 million for water infrastructure as part of an $8.9 million upgrade over three years for the Image Flat Water Treatment Plant, including a connection to the northern pipeline near Nambour.”
Mr Nicholls said the decisions made in the LNP’s first Budget allowed the Government to increase funding in core service areas such as health, education and police.
“This year we’ve invested $537 million in our Great Teachers = Great Results program, ensuring funds are allocated to the Sunshine Coast region schools that need it most,” he said.
“Last year the Newman Government pledged $200 million to help clear the maintenance backlog at Queensland state schools.
“This year we’re spending a further $100 million as part of our Fixing Our School Fund, ensuring students across the State and in the Sunshine Coast region are learning in better facilities.
“That includes our very youngest students and this year we’ve allocated $1.2 million for a new kindergarten at the Undurba State School.”
Mr Nicholls said the Budget also allowed for $15.6 million to help the region’s schools with the transition of Year 7 to high school by 2015.
“The health budget has also increased by 4.5 per cent this year, growing to almost $12.5 billion, meaning better health services in the Sunshine Coast area,” he said.
“We’re also continuing work on the Sunshine Coast University Hospital, due for completion in late 2016.
“This Budget puts a further $115.6 million towards the project.”
Mr Nicholls said the Government was putting $45 million towards additional health services for the region including extra general and orthopaedic surgery and more ear, nose and throat and gastroenterology services.
“There’s also $1.4 million to continue the Redcliffe Hospital Paediatric Emergency Services Project in partnership with the Australian Government,” he said.
Mr Nicholls said community safety would be boosted in the Sunshine Coast region with a record $2 billion allocated to the Queensland Police Service in 2013-14.
The Newman Government is also tackling the rising road toll in Queensland by implementing a $350 million plan based on community engagement and education.
Mr Nicholls said the Budget aimed to support growth in the Sunshine Coast region while continuing the fiscal repair task begun in last year’s Budget.
“Rebuilding the State’s finances is vital if we are to deliver the better services that Queenslanders expect and deserve,” he said.
“The Budget is a demonstration of our commitment to fix the State’s finances and grow a stronger economy, so that we remain a great State with great opportunities for all.”