SA Budget: A quick guide

SA BUDGET: Transport Minister and Schubert MP Stephan Knoll sat down with the Herald to talk through the local highlights and lowlights of this year's budget.
SA BUDGET: Transport Minister and Schubert MP Stephan Knoll sat down with the Herald to talk through the local highlights and lowlights of this year's budget.

Last week's 2019-20 State Budget was a big and boring pile of documents outlining South Australia's biggest spending and savings.

So, to save you the trouble, we've boiled it down to exactly what it means for you and your area.

This year, the State Government is going big on infrastructure spending, promising $1.1 billion over eight years throughout the states regional areas.

Treasurer Rob Lucas said their "hi-vis" wearing budget is focused squarely on "building South Australia" through transformative infrastructure projects.

Transport Minister and Schubert MP Stephan Knoll last week confirmed a number of previously announced infrastructure projects in the Barossa, Light and Gawler.

A $87.5m project will prioritise the investigation of a Truro Bypass and upgrade the Sturt Highway from Renmark to Gawler.

The Horrocks Highway will get $55m to add up to six overtaking lanes, some bridge replacements, and significant shoulder sealing and pavement correction.

$6m towards a Kroemers Crossing roundabout will guarantee the revamped intersection between Tanunda and Nuriootpa.

"If I think back two years ago, there was not a single project designated for our region and it was extremely frustrating. But, this year's budget builds hugely on last year's budget with what it delivers for the region," Mr Knoll said.

The State Government is boasting a $1.1 billion spend on infrastructure in regional SA. Most of this figure is a Federal Government contribution, with the State Government contributing only 20 per cent of the $1.1 billion.

A $150,000 grant will fund half of Light Regional Council's plan to redevelop the Freeling Skate Park.

Education

The Government is moving full steam ahead on transitioning high-schools as they upgrade them to accommodate Year 7 intake throughout the regions, allocating $15.5 million regionally.

Additionally, Gawler and District College B-12 will receive $10m for capital works upgrades.

Health

A notable omission from the budget is any funding announcement for a new Barossa Hospital.

Last year's election promise to develop a 'Business Case' into the viability of the Barossa Hospital is still underway.

Schubert MP Stephan Knoll remains tight lipped about the project but said he is expecting to have more to say on the progress of the business case "soon".

Statewide, the Government will spend $14 million each year to address a backlog in capital works projects, while $20 million over four years will attempt to address the continuing shortage of doctors in rural areas.

Agriculture

Primary industries will take a $20 million hit as the Government will seek to slash $5 million from PIRSA every year for the next five years through 'operational efficiencies', reduced funding to portfolio agencies and 'business reforms'.

Mr Knoll says job cuts will target "back office staff" at PIRSA.

Dog fence maintenance and repairs will cost the State Government $10m to help replace 1600km of dog fencing, with industry expected to front up $5 also.

A $7.5m program to improve productivity, integrity and market confidence in the red meat and wool industries will be introduced.

Regional SA

  • MINERALS: $10m to facilitate new minerals discoveries and new mine development in our regions.
  • CFS: $4.5m to support the CFS to meet national heavy vehicle laws.
  • COASTLINE: $4m to secure our regional coastline.
  • NATURE AND HERITAGE: $3.3m to upgrade our parks to activate nature and heritage based tourism
  • VISA CHANGES: $1.8m to provide dependents of 457 and 482 visa holders with an exemption from student education contribution fees.
  • SES: $1m for additional upgrades to SES facilities.

Builders, plumbers, gas fitters and electricians will feel a 10 per cent increase in fees relating to trades licences.

Hospital car parking and public transport price hikes will also hit the hip pocket.