By 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.
Budget good for home buyers, kids at risk, roads
By ERWIN CHLANDA