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State Budget 2024: The key measures

More cost-of-living measures to help struggling South Australians, more money poured into health and housing, no new taxes and “affordable and sustainable” net state debt rising to $44 billion by 2027/28 are the key takeaways of today’s State Budget. Here’s our easy-to-digest summary.

Jun 06, 2024, updated Jun 06, 2024
Photo: Tony Lewis/InDaily.

Photo: Tony Lewis/InDaily.

ECONOMY

Gross State Product is projected to rise by 1.5 per cent in 2024/25, 1.75 per cent in 2025/26 and by 2 per cent by 2026/27.

The Consumer Price Index is forecast to rise by 3.5 per cent in 2024/25 before dropping to 2.75 per cent in 2025/26 and again to 2.5 per cent in 2026/27.

TAX

State taxation revenue has risen by $357 million above Mid-Year Budget Review estimates due to higher collections from conveyance duty, payroll, land and vehicle taxes.

Further, tax earnings are forecast to rise an extra $1.1 billion from 2024/25 to 2026/27.

SA’s GST take has also been revised upwards by $162 million since the Mid-Year Budget Review, with an extra $635 million tipped from July until 2026/27.

Payroll tax is expected to reap $1.9 billion for Treasury coffers in 2024/25, up from $1.8 billion the previous financial year.

Land tax on private properties is forecast to rise from $498 million during the current financial year to $556 million in 2024/25, with the total motor vehicle tax take rising from $891 million in 2023/24 to $924 million in 2024/25.

Stamp duty has been axed for people building their first home or buying a newly-built home.

The Emergency Services Levy for median-value residential properties will increase by $6.55, with a residential property valued at $745,000 now levied $157.85.

COST OF LIVING

The state government has set aside $51.5 million for a one-off payment of $243.90 for each person who received the cost of living concession payment in 2023-24.

This will be paid in June 2024 to provide immediate targeted support and is in addition to the existing concession payment.

Another $26.6 million over four years will double the cost of living concession payment for tenants and Commonwealth seniors health card holders. This will boost payments from $127.80 to $255.60.

Access to concession payments will also be improved, with $14.1 million over four years to expand eligibility for:

  • Tenants in share houses, including those in disability accommodation
  • Access to glasses
  • Access to emergency electricity payments
  • Access to funeral concessions

The ability for asylum seekers to access concessions will also be improved.

FEES AND CHARGES

Government fees and charges will rise by about three per cent in the next financial year, which is about 30 per cent below inflation. The state government has committed to fees and charges not exceeding the current inflation rate of 4.3 per cent.

Metrocard single fares for public transport will increase by 15 cents to $4.40.

SMALL BUSINESS

Grants between $2500 and $50,000 will be available for small business owners to invest in energy-efficient equipment to reduce and manage their energy use and costs.

This is part of the second round of the government’s economic recovery fund worth $20 million, with applications opening in August 2024.

$18.4 million over four years will support non-government organisations that provide community services to support the growing cost of wages and inflation pressures.

$380,000 over two years will extend the SA Young Entrepreneur Scheme to all age groups designed to help SA entrepreneurs establish businesses or develop and grow an existing business.

$1.1 million per annum from 2024-25 for the Family and Business support program which includes rural financial counselling services.

PAYROLL TAX BREAKS

General practitioner wages related to bulk billed services will be exempt from payroll tax from July to incentivise GPs to bulk bill patients.

An amnesty on wages will also be paid to certain GPs and other medical service providers to 30 June 2024 will be legislated.

HEALTH

Photo supplied.

The government will spend $2.5 billion over five years in its attempts to relieve ramping and emergency department overloading issues.

$30 million will be spent to build an extra 36 beds at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital and 20 more at the Lyell McEwin hospital.

An extra $58 million will go to the SA Ambulance Service. Of this, $24 million will go towards building new ambulance stations at Marion, Two Wells and Whyalla.

$23.5 million will go towards a new electronic patient care record system and expanding phone services that assess and redirect patients in non-emergencies.

$5 million will be invested in new programs to improve the mental health of young people.

This includes a new paediatric virtual mental health service, one of the first in Australia, and expanding the child and adolescent virtual care service at the Women’s and Children’s Hospital.

$1.1 million a year will go towards more staff including mental health nurses.

$300,000 over the next two years will provide workshops to support parents with children or teens with mental illness.

A further $150,000 in 2024-25 and 2025-26 will go towards the organisation Eating Disorders Families Australia to support families and carers of those with eating disorders.

$4.3 million over three years will go towards building a new integrated cancer consult suite at Mount Gambier Hospital.

Port Pirie Hospital will receive $8.6 million over two years and $1.3 million per annum from 2026 onwards to support upgrades to their emergency department, and providing training services and a Clinical Simulation Training Laboratory.

HOUSING

All first home buyers building a new home or purchasing a newly built home will not have to pay stamp duty – regardless of the value of the new property.

The first homeowner grant will be extended and $16 million over four years will remove the property value cap of $650,000 on eligible contracts from June 6, 2024.

This, combined with the expanded stamp duty abolition, is expected to cost the budget $30 million over the next four years.

Photo: Tony Lewis/InDaily

Developments at Seaton and Noarlunga will receive a $576m investment, with $425 million to deliver 1315 homes on a 36.4 hectare site in Seaton and $150 million for 626 new homes across two vacant parcels in Port Noarlunga and Noarlunga Downs.

$135.8 million over five years will accelerate the building and upgrade of social housing by June 30, 2028. The funding will be distributed across five SA Housing Authority and nine community housing projects across SA including Camden Park, Oaklands Park, Tonsley, Seaton and Eastwood.

The Aspire homelessness program run by Hutt Street Centre will receive $5 million to extend their intake across the next three years.

$1.1 million over two years will provide further help for consumers needing to resolve disputes with builders and contractors.

$30 million over three years will provide additional assistance for regional housing.

SPORTS

$80 million over three years will go towards the $92 million upgrade of the Mile End Netball SA stadium. The redevelopment will upgrade existing 26 outdoor courts, increase indoor courts and improve infrastructure.

$13.5 million in 2024-25 will expand the sports vouchers program, giving discounts of $100 each calendar year on sport, dance, swimming lessons, scouts and music lessons for kids between reception and Year 9.

SCHOOLS

$24 million will go towards a materials and services charge subsidy, reducing school fees by $200 for parents, caregivers and independent students in 2025.

$715 million over five years will go towards three-year-old preschool and other recommendations from the Royal Commission into Early Childhood Education and Care.

$218 million will build a new preschool and primary school in Mount Barker and a new northern suburbs high school. A further $38.1 million will be invested into schools across the state to fund upgrades and expansions

$212,000 will support the second year of a research project aimed at assessing and boosting disability and inclusion studies within teaching degrees.

POLICE

SA Police taser incident

Photos: Tony Lewis/InDaily. Image: Tom Aldahn/InDaily

$37 million has been allocated to get police “back to front line duties”.

This includes $19 million over four years for a “digital police station”, an online system to receive and process requests and reports currently only available from a police station.

Another $9 million will be spent over four years on a “telephone resolution desk” staffed by  31 new call-takers in order to reduce officer attendance at non-emergency events.

A new Naracoorte police station has been funded at $18 million over four years, with  $25 million set aside over four years to deliver South Australia’s commitment to a National Firearms Register.

JUSTICE

$205 million over four years has been allocated for 312 new high-security beds at Yatala Labour Prison, $21 million for another 40 beds at Adelaide Women’s Prison and $5.8 million to upgrade electronic security at Kurlana Tapa Youth Justice Centre.

Tobacco and vaping compliance and enforcement will cost $16 million over five years.

The Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions will also get $4.8 million to streamline trial allocations, improve training and “develop and implement a wellbeing program for staff”.

ENVIRONMENT

The state government says more than 500,000 cubic metres of sand will need to be found to replenish metropolitan beaches over the next five years. Photo: Tony Lewis/InDaily

$20 million next financial year will be spent on sand replenishment along Adelaide’s metropolitan coast, with $14 million of that allocated to “commence restoring West Beach” and to begin trials on nearshore dredging further north as a long-term sand recycling solution.

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$26 million has been allocated over five years to support River Murray maintenance and monitoring programs and management of the state’s new “mywater” water licensing system.

$15 million over three years will be spent on a new acid drainage treatment site at a former pyrites mine at Brukunga in the Adelaide Hills, which shut in the 1970s but left an ongoing water pollution threat.

$43 million over two years will go to fruit fly eradication programs.

JOBS AND TRAINING

State and federal investment worth $2.3 billion will be spent over five years to increase South Australia’s skills in naval shipbuilding, clean energy, mining and manufacturing, which the state government says includes a $692 million or 43 per cent increase in skills and training.

Funding will provide more than 160,000 training places in areas including defence, health, construction and early childhood education, including a 20 per cent boost to regional TAFE SA places, along with $56 million to support students and increase course completion rates.

ARTS

The state government will spend $47 million across a range of initiatives for the arts and creative industries.

An arts investment fund will be established which the state government said would provide about $5 million per year to “drive strategic initiatives across arts, culture and creative industries”.

A further $19 million will be spent over the next three years on developing new fit-for-purpose accommodation for the State Theatre Company, State Opera and Country Arts South Australia.

$7.2 million will go towards an extension of the South Australian Film Corporation’s (SAFC) partnership with the ABC.

Generations in Jazz, a Mount Gambier annual jazz festival for school students, will receive $720,000 to construct four permanent pavilions to host the event in the future, which draws jazz musicians from Australia and New Zealand to the region.

FAMILY VIOLENCE

$1.5 million over two years will fund the Royal Commission into Domestic, Family and Sexual Violence, and $3.3 million will be spent on programs to respond to and prevent domestic violence, including holistic support for Aboriginal families, earlier and trauma-informed services for survivors and behaviour programs for perpetrators.

ROAD SAFETY

$80.1 million has been allocated for road safety, including $2.6 million for new signage near schools where the speed limit will be reduced to 40km/hour at priority locations.

Push button crossings and new cameras will be installed at a cost of $38.7 million over four years. The package includes 12 new red light and speed cameras, and three new point-to-point cameras.

$31.8 million over three years will create three overtaking lanes on Main South Road between Normanville and Cape Jervis, funded in partnership with the federal government.

An additional $150 million over four years will upgrade two interchanges with the South Eastern Freeway at Mount Barker and Verdun.

The existing Mount Barker interchange will be upgraded to have a three-lane bridge across the freeway, a shared use path, improved ramp capacity and new traffic signals, while Verdun’s interchange will be upgraded and include an eastbound entry ramp and westbound exit ramp.

$3.8 million over three years will fund a new heavy vehicle rest area along the Princes Highway at Salt Creek.

TOUR DOWN UNDER

$8.3 million over four years will go towards the Tour Down Under with the SA event celebrating its 25th anniversary next year.

ENERGY GENERATION

$4.1 million over four years will further hydrogen and renewable energy projects.

A further $1.7 million over two years, which began in 2023-24, will support the Whyalla steelworks to phase out coal-based steelmaking and transition to green steel.

$5.8 million over two years will go towards accommodation for workers involved in the Hydrogen Jobs Plan, focussing on worker housing in Whyalla.

$3.6 million over two years to implement the Green Iron and Steel Strategy.

MUSEUMS

$6.3 million will go towards urgent structural works at the Migration Museum’s heritage-listed buildings, including the galleries and chapel.

$167,000 per annum starting in 2024-25 will expand the Adelaide Holocaust Museum’s educational activities.

PUBLIC TRANSPORT

Tony Lewis/InDaily

$10 million over two years will be spent on planning outer metropolitan and regional passenger rail service extensions, funded in partnership with the federal government.

$5 million to complete planning for bus and depot infrastructure to support a zero-emissions bus fleet, plus $2 million to identify solutions to support a zero-emissions rail fleet.

$1.5 million in 2024-25 and a continuing $3 million per annum from 2025-26 onwards will extend public transport concessions to health care card holders.

$5 million over two years will go towards planning for regional passenger rail service extensions.

BUSINESS EVENTS 

$14 million over four years to attract more conferences and business events to South Australia, during winters in particular.

YOUTH VIOLENCE PREVENTION

$620,000 a year per towards early intervention and prevention of youth violence within African South Australian communities, including community program support.

DEFENCE

$6.8 million over four years to increase Defence SA’s presence at major exhibitions locally and overseas, with a focus on UK and US events.

$250,000 to support veteran community programs.

TOBACCO AND VAPING

$3.8 million in 2024-25 and $3.6 million per annum from 2025 will expand licensing, compliance and enforcement around the sale of tobacco and e-cigarettes.

INDIGENOUS AFFAIRS

As part of the National Skills Agreement, $18.3 million will go to Closing the Gap initiatives to deliver culturally safe and respectful education to First Nations students through Aboriginal Community Controlled Organisation training providers and TAFE SA in order to lift the number of Aboriginal people with a Certificate III or above.

The residential facility for Aboriginal men under community corrections orders, Lemongrass Place, will receive $1.2 million from 2024-25 to enable the facility’s ongoing operation.

As part of the $1.9 billion early childhood education and care reform, $14 million will be spent on partnering with Aboriginal communities to co-design a fund to help ensure the benefits of three-year-old preschool are retained and increased for Aboriginal children. The fund is set to commence in 2026.

Nearly $3 million of Commonwealth money will be spent on coordinating scientific, local and Aboriginal knowledge to continually improve the management of Murray River ‘icon sites’ like the Lower Lakes, Coorong, Murray Mouth, Chowilla Floodplain and the River Murray Channel.

An extension of a multi-agency response to support the safety and wellbeing of remote Aboriginal visitors, residents and businesses in Adelaide and regional South Australia will receive $1.6 million over three years. The response includes outreach services and assistance to return to community in Adelaide and Coober Pedy, as well as mobile drug and alcohol services.

CHILD PROTECTION 

$852,000 and 1.2 million per annum from 2025 will go towards the Guardian for Children and Young People to hire more staff.

The state government says the increase in staff requirements is driven by the growth and complexity of matters for children and young people in care or detention.

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