A $45 million boost to health funding to tackle Sunshine Coast waiting lists was welcome news in today’s State Budget, Member for Maroochydore Fiona Simpson said today.
Ms Simpson said the funding would improve access to general, orthopaedic surgery, medicine, ear, nose and throat and gastroenterology services.
“I appreciate the big focus initially was on tackling emergency waiting times but this additional money to help these key services is good to see.”
Ms Simpson said the Budget continued to fund the new Sunshine Coast University Hospital with $115.6 million going towards the new public hospital site this year.
“Health is one of the big items to receive significantly more funds this year with a 4.5% increase, bringing the overall State budget for health to $12.5 billion.”
· Total of $774,383,000 in capital purchases this year for the Sunshine Coast
· Total of $60,259,000 in capital grants for the Sunshine Coast
· $115.6m for Sunshine Coast University Hospital
· $1,909,000 for Coolum State High School building.
· $65m Bruce Highway (Cooroy/Curra)
· $37,390 Bruce Highway (Roys Rd to Bells Creek Road, grade separation work)
· Sunshine Coast schools will benefit from an extra $100 million in maintenance funding across the state to address backlogs. This highly popular program has resulted in significant, locally driven, locally contracted school improvements.
Ms Simpson said the State-wide increases to tourism industry spending were bright spots for the local Sunshine Coast economy which relied heavily on this sector.
“Tourism is one of the four pillars in our strategy to grow the economy. This budget will provide an extra $15 m to the drive visitation market in an overall budget of $100m.
The State Government has also published a statement of concessions to help ease the cost of living as well as continuing to cut red tape burden for families and business.
These initiatives include: Abolition of Labor’s $7000 tax on buying the family home
· Freezing the family car rego in first time
· Cutting the cost of public transport fare increases by half
· Discounted weekly fares for go card users
· Abolition of waste levy
 Capital Statement 2013-14 p.5 Statistical Division 316.
 Capital Statement 2013-14. P68
 Capital statement 2013-14. P.35 $1.909m of $2.012m project
 Capital Statement. P.114