Tasmanian groups call for education, health, infrastructure funds in 2017-18 state budget

With the hand down of the state budget just weeks away, Tasmanian groups have compiled a significant wishlist of funding allocations. 

Treasurer Peter Gutwein has already announced that his fourth budget would include a $100 million revenue boost, and has also hinted at increased funding for apprentices and health. 

“This budget will be responsible and disciplined,” Mr Gutwein said previously. 

“It won’t be a typical pre-election budget because we won’t be splashing around cash that we don’t have.

“Because our economy is growing strongly, state-sourced revenue is expected to be well above last year’s forecasts.” 

Several Tasmania groups from a range of different sectors have now put forward their requests for funding in this year’s budget. 

Funds for health, infrastructure, education, and sustainable housing were among the priorities for many groups across the state. 

Anglicare Tasmania used its budget submission to call for Housing Tasmania to be relieved of its debt to the Commonwealth, for all recommendations in the Affordable Housing Strategy 2015-2025 to be funded, and for transport funding to increase per capita. 

The Tourism Industry Council Tasmania said in its submission that Tourism Tasmania’s Access Development Fund should be increased to $4 million, and that funds for the Cradle Mountain Master Plan should ​be directed to non-commercial visitor infrastructure upgrades. 

National Seniors Australia would like to see the role of a minister for aging expand to better represent older people, a review of public transport, and the introduction of stamp duty relief for those downsizing their homes.

Shelter Tasmania has called for extra funds to support transitional accommodation for people exiting prison on parole​, funds to address the deferred maintenance backlog on social housing, and funding for specialist services.

The Local Government Association of Tasmania called on the government to fund major sewerage and water infrastructure projects, and a fund for a consultancy service to help councils assess critical bridge infrastructure and networks.

The Mental Health Council of Tasmania used its submission to the state government to call for the introduction of a Tasmanian Mental Health Promotion and Stigma Reduction Strategy to increase the community’s understanding of how to talk about mental health and mental illness. 

The council called for this to be done through promotional and prevention activities, a central information resource, an advisory group, and the introduction of a mental health specific service directory.