Budget good for home buyers, kids at risk, roads

p2329-youth-centre-2By ERWIN CHLANDA

 

First home buyers acquiring existing homes will benefit from a 50% stamp duty discount up to a value of $450,000 and capped at $10,000 thereafter in the NT Budget handed down this morning.

 

And there will be vouchers of up to $2000 for home improvements on a 50/50 basis.

 

Under “protecting vulnerable Territorians,” $10m will be spent in Central Australia on “increased demands” for out of home care, $6.7m on continuing to deliver “a suite of domestic violence initiatives”, $4.2m for expanding the electronic monitoring program, and $2.2m for upgrading the correctional centre.

 

Spending on roads will be for:–

 

• Improve Outback Way roads – upgrade and seal various sections of the Plenty Highway and Tjukururu Road ($28m).

 

• Strategic economic development roads – upgrade and sealing of targeted sections on Tanami Road ($5.4m).

 

• Extension of the open speed section on the Stuart Highway from north of the Ali Curung turn‑off towards Tennant Creek ($1m).

 

• Sandover Highway upgrade – extend the seal to the Utopia health clinic ($1m).

 

• Selected upgrades of Maryvale Road ($5m).

 

Chamber of Commerce CEO Kay Eade says the Budget is “good for small business.

 

“It helps the construction businesses and trades by reducing the up and down trends of that industry.

 

“It will allow them to keep people employed on a stream of smaller jobs. It will keep trades in town.

 

“The discount will stimulate the ‘renovator’s delight’ type of purchases, a boon to young people.”

 

Mayor Damien Ryan says he welcomes continued funding for the Apmere Mwerre Visitor Park  and Stuart Lodge, both of which had been at risk, with the lodge even closing at one point. They are facilities mostly used by bush visitors.

 

He says the money for the Outbback Way is vital for our tourism industry, and he also welcomes $1.5m towards the Masters Games this year.

 

As chairman of the Central Australian Heath Service  (CAHS) he welcomes the extension of dialysis services and a fourth medical retrieval team to take patients from remote areas to health care.

 

Mr Ryan says this Budget provides for the transfer of oral and hearing services to CAHS.

 

The total Budget is $6.5b – much the same as last year – but the income from GST, usually making up half the revenue, is reduced in 2016/17 buy $145m as a result of the reduced Territory share of the national population.

 

The $506 lease of Darwin Port added to the 2015/16 revenue. The sale of TIO for $411m was receipted in 2014/15.

 

See also Budget report earlier today.

 

PHOTO: The Youth Centre undergoing an upgrade. There is $2.8m for it in today’s budget.

 

 

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  1. Peter
    Posted May 25, 2016 at 9:28 am

    Hey Erwin, can you please explain just how the Budget is good for “kids at risk”?
    The Corrections section of the Agency statements (p195) shows that yes, there is an extra $3.2 million for youth justice but explains that is all for electronic monitoring.
    However, funding for “programs and services” is slashed by a third, while boot camps – which have also achieved little of their hype – is also down.
    In all three cases, the funding is significantly below the estimated spend for this financial year.
    The jury is out on whether electronic monitoring will work here, which makes it a big gamble on a tight Budget.
    There is an extra $21 million for jails and again, that is still significantly below the estimate for this year. Why? What has changed that will lower the rate of incarceration, especially given the changed to legislation that will see more people remanded in custody?
    The agency’s strategic directions, by the way, talks about “implementing a community-based youth-supervision model to provide alternatives to detention” but there are no details about that nor any sign of funding.
    Interestingly, there is $350,000 for an extra deputy commissioner position – what the Hell is Mark Payne on and more importantly, how much were they paying “Turnstile Kenny” Middlebrook?
    As for DCF – more at risk kids – the increase in funding in out of home care in real terms is less than CPI.
    Overall, there is about $2 million increase in overall funding – again, lower than CPI – against budgeted notifications to the agency rising more than 15% next financial year.
    Across all agencies, it’s hard to make the real figures line up.
    It’s probably why it can be seen as unwise to give the keys to the vault to realtors, buffalo shooters, dog catchers, bush cops, kiddy cops, shock jocks and those mired in the murky world of indigenous politics.

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