Families are in focus in the 2014-15 State Budget, writes Premier Campbell Newman.
Premier of Queensland
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Last week the Treasurer outlined our strong plan for Queensland families in the 2014-15 State Budget. It strikes the right balance between increased spending on education, health and community services, while not introducing or raising any new taxes or reducing services.
It also outlines our plan to secure our finances by making the strongest and smartest choice to reduce debt so we can sustainably invest in hospitals, schools and other vital infrastructure our growing state will need.
We have already been able to increase the education budget by seven per cent to $11.8 billion and the health budget will be a record $13.6 billion in 2014-15. Sick children and their families will soon receive better care in the Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital with $224.5 million to complete the $1.433 billion project.
We have also put money into key infrastructure and road projects across the state including $41.1 million to widen part of the Centenary Motorway to six lanes in conjunction with the Legacy Way tunnel project and the Moggill Road interchange upgrade, due for completion in May 2015.
More Brisbane families and tourists will be able to enjoy the D’Aguilar National Park after an injection of $2.5 million to upgrade Walkabout Creek visitor centre.
There will also be an allocated $30.7 million for specialist homelessness services for vulnerable Brisbane residents doing it tough. Already we have been able to decrease the public housing waiting list by 37 per cent in the past two years and with this funding, we hope to help more families into homes.
Other key Brisbane projects included in this year’s budget include:
• $1.7 million for the detailed proposal stage of the Queen’s Wharf redevelopment in the Brisbane CBD
• $3.8 million of $5 million to stage the 2015 AFC Asian Cup at Suncorp Stadium
• $143.5 million from the Australian Government for the $1.162 billion Gateway Upgrade North project, between Nudgee and Bracken Ridge, due for completion in 2018-19
• $43,000 for additional river gauges in the Brisbane River
• $2.3 million to commence a $3.3 million refurbishment of the Forensic Service facility at police headquarters, to be completed by June 2016
• $5 million to commence the $10.5 million second stage of the Southern Queensland Centre of Excellence in Indigenous Primary Health Care at Inala
• $511,600 for the Get in the Game initiative to help sport and recreation organisations develop facilities to support active club membership (Brisbane Region)
We have a strong plan for the state and Queensland families. This budget is about investing in the services and projects we need not just for today but for future generations.