Budget 2014: Promises to Tasmania honoured

Funding for the Midland Highway, starting with $40 million next financial year, has been honoured, but there are still no details on how the money will be spent.

Funding for the Midland Highway, starting with $40 million next financial year, has been honoured, but there are still no details on how the money will be spent.

FEDERAL election promises designed to revive Tasmania's struggling economy have escaped the Coalition government's axe.

Funding for the Midland Highway, starting with $40 million next financial year, is the major new spending in the state.

However, there are still no details on how the money will be spent and the long-promised four-lane highway remains a far off vision.

The budget papers state the federal and state governments are working together to finalise the projects to be undertaken in the next 12 months.

``It is likely that a package of works will include road widening, additional lanes and other safety measures,'' the document states.

Bass Liberal MHR Andrew Nikolic said it would be a progressive duplication, but stopped short of committing to a full length, four-lane highway. 

``That's a conversation we have got to have with Will [Hodgman] and Peter [Gutwein] and Rene [Hidding],''  Mr Nikolic said.

The budget confirms $2.7 million has been set aside to establish the Major Projects Approval Agency in Launceston, set to be up and running by July 1, and work to clean up the Tamar River will also begin with $3 million allocated over three years from next financial year. 

``This funding aims to help improve water quality and address the problem of silt deposits which have been an ongoing issue along the Tamar for over 100 years,'' he said.

Promises to extend Hobart Airport's runway - key to attracting international flights - and $24 million for Antarctic research were also delivered in the budget.

New spending has been offset by cuts to security at the airport, which will now be provided by Tasmania Police, abolishing scholarships for nurses and clawing back $4 million in funding that had been set aside for new reserves created by the now defunct Tasmanian Forests Agreement.

Significant changes to the way health is funded, such as linking Commonwealth payments to inflation and population growth, is also likely to impact the Tasmanian health system.

The state government welcomed the budget spending measures and is analysing the impact on the Tasmanian budget including the state's share of GST.

Smartphone
Tablet - Narrow
Tablet - Wide
Desktop