The 2014-15 State Budget continues to deliver a strong plan for a brighter future for all of Queensland, including the Sunshine Coast region.
Treasurer Tim Nicholls said the budget outlined the Government’s plan to secure Queensland’s finances by making the strongest and smartest choice to reduce debt.
“It carefully balances increases in education, health and community services spending, while not raising taxes or reducing services,” Mr Nicholls said.
“We are also making the strongest and smartest choice to secure our finances so we can reduce debt and reinvest funds into the schools, hospitals and infrastructure that we know our regions are going to need.
“This year’s budget includes a capital spend of more than $1.5 billion in the Sunshine Coast region alone.
“More than $11 million is also being provided for local government recovery and reconstruction projects in the region in partnership with the Federal Government.”
Mr Nicholls said the Queensland Government was delivering a record $13.6 billion health budget, an increase of 6 per cent from last year.
“In the Sunshine Coast we’re spending $370 million on the Sunshine Coast Public University Hospital and its Skills, Academic and Research Centre,” he said.
“We’re allocating 761 additional teachers and teacher aides state-wide as part of the total $11.8 billion education budget.
“We’re also spending more than $12 million to prepare the Sunshine Coast region’s schools for the transition of Year 7 into high school next year.”
Mr Nicholls said the 2014-15 Budget provided for 267 new police officers across the state.
“We said we’d revitalise frontline services and we’re delivering on that promise,” he said.
“This budget provides $2.2 million towards the relocation of the Coolum Police Station.
“We’re also spending $1.6 million to complete the Pomona replacement auxiliary fire and rescue station and $500,000 to commence the replacement fire and rescue station at Petrie.”
Mr Nicholls said the 2014-15 State Budget invested heavily in the Sunshine Coast’s roads network.
“The Government has committed a total $768 million state-wide to upgrade the Bruce Highway,” he said.
“This includes almost $180 million in joint State and Federal funding for the upgrade of the Cooroy to Curra interchange
“The State and Federal Governments and the Moreton Bay Regional Council are also partnering to deliver $374 million towards the upgrade of the rail passenger line between Petrie and Kippa-Ring in the region’s south.”
Mr Nicholls said the State Budget invested in the future of the four pillars of the Queensland economy.
“As part of our commitment to the Mary Valley, this budget includes $1.7 million to recommission infrastructure that will allow the Mary Valley Heritage Railway to once again become a tourist attraction for the region,” he said.
“We’re also improving access to the Sunshine Coast’s national parks, with $1.1 million allocated for an upgrade of the Charlie Moreland campground facilities at Imbil State Forest, $746,000 for a major upgrade of camping facilities at Peach Trees Camping Area and $350,000 to improve visitor facilities at Fig Tree Point.”
Mr Nicholls said the budget was another step forward in the Government’s positive plan for the state.
“We are making significant progress in restoring our finances, growing a four pillar economy, revitalising frontline services and funding infrastructure projects,” he said.
“But to sustain this we must reduce debt so we can truly keep building on our strong plan for a brighter future.”