Queensland’s most vulnerable will be even more strongly supported through the 2014-15 State Budget, with more than $2.5 billion allocated to help those greatest in need.
Treasurer Tim Nicholls said the Government was delivering a strong plan for a brighter future, continuing its election commitment to revitalise frontline services.
“The 2014-15 Budget carefully balances increases in education, health and community services spending, while not introducing or raising any new taxes or reducing services,” Mr Nicholls said.
“This year, $25 million will be spent on implementing key reforms identified by the Carmody Child Protection Commission of Inquiry as part of an additional $406 million package over five years.
“We’ve increased spending on disability services by $45 million, to almost $1.5 billion, as Queensland continues to prepare for the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).
“Our Government is also investing $190 million in the vital Community Services sector and $863 million for Child Safety Services.”
Minister for Communities, Child Safety and Disability Services Tracy Davis said she was delighted to see extra funding go towards boosting frontline services, giving greater support to Queenslanders with a disability, their families and carers.
“The Budget also delivers innovative disability accommodation solutions, that are crucial ahead of the transition to the NDIS,” Ms Davis said.
“We are investing $11.5 million into upgrading and building new housing for people with disability.
“As well as continuing the third year of the Elderly Parent Carer Innovation Trial, funding of $6.6 million over two years will be allocated to delivering housing for people with a disability for whom other housing options are not sustainable.”
Ms Davis said further disability service funding would assist 300 young adults who were leaving school, up to 64 young adults with disability leaving the care of the State, and up to 27 people with spinal cord injuries who would leave the Princess Alexandra Hospital and live in the community.
“Frontline services across the portfolio will also be boosted through red tape reforms, which are expected to cut the cost of doing business for funded organisations by approximately $2.6 million,” she said.
“We will deliver new family support services to assist vulnerable families as well as revitalise child protection practices and help focus on making Queensland the safest place to raise a child.
“Other key features of the budget include $6.5 million for an additional 77 Child Safety officers to assist in revitalising frontline services and delivering on key reforms,” she said.
Ms Davis said the Budget ear-marked more than $35 million for capital projects including:
- $1.7 million for the Mornington Safe Haven Women’s shelter.
- $2.2 million to continue establishing Safe Houses to provide a safe place for Indigenous children known to Child Safety Services.
$4.6 million for neighbourhood and youth centres in Mount Isa and Chinchilla