Health and education score a budget boost while multicultural groups benefit from grants
Premier of Queensland
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The 2013/14 budget is all about growing Queensland’s economy, rebuilding after natural disasters and making communities more resilient for the future. It is a no-nonsense budget that delivers the frontline services Queenslanders expect while also fostering economic growth. We’ve invested $537million in our Great Teachers = Great Results program, ensuring money goes to Brisbane schools that need it most and we are putting a further $100million into the Fixing Our School fund to help clear maintenance backlogs in schools.
Another $62.1million will be spent on Brisbane schools to make sure they are ready for year 7 to join high school in 2015. Included in our record health budget is $330million for the new Queensland Children’s Hospital, with a further $80million going towards attracting child health specialists to its Hospital Academic and Research Centre. A further $13.1million will go to the Head and Neck Cancer Centre at the Princess Alexandra Hospital.
Cleveland and Spring Hill ambulance stations will be redeveloped with an $8.2million allocation.
We know that travel and transport is one of the biggest lifestyle issues in the south east corner and Brisbane’s road networks are a focus of the budget – with $54.4million going towards the construction of roads over the rail line at Telegraph Road in Bracken Ridge and Robinson Road in Geebung. A further $44.5million will be spent upgrading the Wardell Street and Samford Road intersection at Enoggera.
Commuters are also going to be celebrating upgrades to the rail and bus passenger network, including $15.8million to extend the South East Busway and almost $69million towards the new rail track between Lawnton and Petrie stations.
Grants for multicultural events
At the last census, more than 20 per cent of Queenslanders identified themselves as being born overseas. Our cultural diversity is one of our greatest assets and now groups can apply for grants of up to $20,000 to celebrate Queensland’s multiculturalism next year.
Applications can be made for funding under two categories of the Valuing Diversity program: Signature Events and Culturally Diverse Events which will provide grants of up to $20,000 and $10,000 respectively. Signature Events are typically major events like Paniyiri, Italian Week and other big multicultural festivals, while Culturally Diverse Events will focus on events which promote acceptance and understanding of small and emerging cultural communities. Grant applications close on Wednesday 10 July 2013.
Portal benefits business
Cutting red tape is proving to be a big hit with Queensland’s small businesses, with more than one million people finding better ways to do business in Queensland through the whole-of-government Business and Industry Portal. The portal is an online, one-stop shop for forms and other services provided by local, state and federal governments. A recent telephone survey found that it saved Queensland businesses around $155million in time and money last financial year – and we are going to be expanding it so Queensland businesses can get even more benefit from it. The Queensland Small Business Strategy and Action Plan 2013-2015 is also creating a clear pathway for people wanting to run their own businesses and was created with the help of Queensland’s small business sector.