While there were no major surprises in Thursday's 2019-20 state budget, Northern Tasmania will certainly reap the rewards of "record infrastructure" spends across the state.
The second state budget of the Hodgman government's second term largely continued projects brought to last year's state election, and existing commitments made in the 2018-19 budget.
So, what does it all mean?
All up, the 2019-20 budget contributes:
- $1.96 billion to health (30.9 per cent)
- $1.67 billion to education (26.4 per cent)
- $615 million to public order ($9.7 per cent)
- $291 million to transport (4.6 per cent)
- $519 million to social protection (8.2 per cent)
- $169 million to housing and community amenities (2.7 per cent)
- $843 million to other areas (13.3 per cent)
Unsurprisingly, health expenditure of $8.1 billion over four years represents nearly 32 per cent of the entire state budget.
Health Minister Michael Ferguson said the spend was the second highest of any state in Australia and compared to around 25 per cent a decade ago.
New additions for 2019-20 include $180 million to address health pressures across the state, including $5 million a year for the Royal Hobart Hospital emergency department.
Further funding of $30 million in 2019-20 and $10 million in 2020-21, is included in finance-general for health demand, to support emergency care and bed access.
Ambulance Tasmania will also receive an additional $20 million to help meet demand pressures.
Highlights for the North consist mainly of continued funding for key projects and election promises, including the redevelopment of Launceston General and Mersey Community hospitals.
Of the government's $3.6 billion infrastructure spend, more than $350 million will go towards new and upgraded facilities and hospitals.
The 2019-20 state budget includes $12.8 million for the Launceston General Hospital redevelopment and $48.3 in forward estimates.
There is also $3.6 million for eight beds on ward 4K at the LGH in 2019-20, plus $11.4 million in forward estimates.
In his budget speech Treasurer Peter Gutwein said the government continued to listen and engage with Tasmanians and the health sector, and was responding.
"We have continued our investment and while we know there is always more to do, the government is delivering," he said.
"In total we have now hired more than 550 more nurses, more than 160 doctors, more than 90 paramedics and more than 110 allied health professionals."
LAW AND ORDER
There is a total of $170.6 million into law and order
There's $43.5 million for the $270 million, 270-bed Northern Prison in order to fund the first four years' work on the project, with a location expected to be announced in the coming months.
The state government said it was taking the first step towards establishing a full-time Special Operations Group which will support an enhanced rapid response to terrorism incidents and other emergencies with $1 million investment to support the creation of a purpose facility.
The state government said it is taking the first step towards establishing a full-time Special Operations Group which will support an enhanced rapid response to terrorism incidents and other emergencies with $1 million investment to support the creation of a purpose facility.
In addition to the one-off capital investment in Thursday's state budget, the government has allocated $100,000 a year over the forward estimates to procure specialist equipment.
Teachers will be trained to assist traumatised and vulnerable children in the education setting, with $7.3 million set aside over four years.
Students with disabilities will benefit from an initial $4 million in 2020, followed by a further $30 million in the following three years for student needs based funding.
A Regional Sports Coordinator will commence in the North in 2019 to encourage sport participation in schools.
There is a total spend of $12.4 million in infrastructure for education in the North in this years budget, which includes the final $7.1 million for the Riverside High School upgrade, $2.3 million for East Launceston Primary, and $3 million for farming education at Sheffield.
Additional funding will flow to Launceston College for general infrastructure upgrades.
Funding for the new $20 million primary school in Legana is not expected to flow until 2022, while $3.1 million for the East Tamar Child and Family Learning Centre falls in the next four years.
Infrastructure spending has once again been placed front and centre in the state budget, with $3.6 billion of funding earmarked over the next four years. The lion's share of funding will be devoted to road and bridge projects, with $323.5 million to be spent this financial year and $1.6 billion by 2022-23.
The government has also allocated $800 million to support infrastructure project undertaken by businesses fully or partly owned by the government, such as TasWater.
Treasurer Peter Gutwein said the "unprecedented" level of investment in infrastructure over the next four years matched the growth in Tasmania's population, visitors and exports.
Two thirds of the roads funding marked for 2019-20 will come from the state with the federal government kicking in $117 million to support projects including the Midland Highway upgrade and the new Bridgewater Bridge.
Another $304.9 million will be devoted to rail infrastructure over the forward estimates, $58 million to support tourist roads and $292 million to renew surfaces, markings and for maintenance.
Health-related infrastructure will receive $152.9 million this financial year, including $11.5 million for the Launceston General Hospital redevelopment, $10 million on Mersey Community Hospital capital upgrades and $82.3 million on the Royal Hobart Hospital redevelopment.
Just over $60 million will be spent this in 2019-20 on education and skills infrastructure, including $4.8 million towards the new Penguin K-12 School and $7.1 million for Riverside High School.
But the government has slowed the flow of the $21 million needed to establish six new child and family learning centres. The 2018-19 budget allocated $10.5 million to the project over the forward estimates, however, only $2 million has been allocated in this year's budget.
There is $75 million for the Launceston and Tamar Valley Traffic Plan, starting with $4.79 million in 2019-20. The plan includes increasing the Charles Street Bridge capacity and planning for a second Tamar River Bridge.
The Mowbray interconnector will get $6 million in 2019-20, with $52.7 million allocated for the Midland Highway and almost $60 million for the following three years.
HOUSING AND COMMUNITY SERVICES
There is not much specific to the North.
There will be $850,000 invested in implementing key actions under an updated Tasmanian Elder Abuse Prevention Strategy, including a community awareness campaign, a new website to streamline referral pathways and training tools for sector workers.
Tasmania's Out of Home Care system will receive additional funding of $16.9 million to meet the growth in demand for children placed in foster care, with kinship carers or other organisations that provide a specialised service.
Office of the Commissioner for Children and Young People will receive an additional $112,000 per year for resources to support its work promoting the rights and wellbeing of young people.
Due to the roll-out of the National Disability Insurance Scheme, the majority of existing specialist disability services will no longer be directed funding by the state government, however, Tasmanian Autism Diagnostic Services will receive $1 million.
The state will invest over $1 billion over the forward estimates into the NDIS.
ENVIRONMENT, HERITAGE, TOURISM, ARTS
The government will continue to invest in a number of arts projects including $200,000 for the both the Northern Arts Program and the Tasmanian Theatre Fund.
A commitment of $3.5 million over two years will build on the success of Mona Foma in 2020 and 2021.
Funding support will also continue for Launceston's Festivale.
To help grow sports in schools, the Education Department will put on a new regional sports coordinator in each of the state's three regions.
Launceston's Elphin Sports Centre is set to gain $400,000 for a replacement roof, to ensure it can continue to operate and meet workplace health and safety requirements.