By ERWIN CHLANDA
The 2017/18 Budget of Treasurer Nicole Manison (pictured) is $6.73b, and will have a shortfall of $1.3b.
The government this year will pay $69.7m in interest on borrowings.
There is no start-up funding for the National Indigenous Art Gallery ($50m) and the Indigenous Art Museum (sic, previously referred to as a cultural centre, $20m) in Alice Springs in the Budget. They are “forward works – not in this financial year”. The $20m for the “revitalisation” of the CBD is also “forward works”.
When asked to comment, a spokeswoman for Ms Manison says: “$10m in cash will commence these projects this year, with the rest expended once projects have been finalised.”
The Infrastructure Budget paper says: “$10m to commence works on the $120m City Deals project for the development and revitalising of infrastructure in the Darwin and Alice Springs CBDs.”
Chief Minister Michael Gunner has announced $100m for Darwin and $20m for Alice Springs.
Mayor Ryan says this seems to indicate that Darwin and Alice will be sharing $10m in 2017/18. We have asked for further clarification.
The respective percentages of the Budget spend are: Central Australia 8.1%, Barkly 3%, Katherine 9.5%, East Arnhem 2%, Top End Rural 2.6%, Palmerston and Litchfield 14.7%, Darwin 18.5%, Across Regions 35.8%.
Alice Mayor Damien Ryan says: “The announcement of $6.25m for sporting facilities, with the Alice Springs Town Council sports facility advisory, will enable us to address the most pressing issues.
“With this investment we will be able to light another playing field, a great step forward. Sports will be able to play and train in the evenings, especially in the winter when it gets dark sooner.
“This will take the pressure off Traeger Park.”
Mayor Ryan says the Outback Way funding is great for tourism in Central Australia.
He is not happy that the CBD revitalisation money is not in the current Budget: “I will need to speak with the Chief Minister to bring the $20m forward,” he says.
(As the $20m is included in the list of works for Central Australia below, the Alice News is seeking clarification on this point.)
Chamber of Commerce CEO Kay Eade says it is a very good Budget for building and construction, including the $43m grants for domestic and community small projects.
“This keeps the local small businesses going, and provides employment opportunities,” she says.
The fossil exhibition is a good opportunity to fill empty retail space, she says: “This will be an added attraction for the CBD.”
Ms Eade says the women’s centre and youth facility funding will provide further construction jobs, as will do the remote housing funding. It will also promote Indigenous employment in remote communities.
Tourism Central Australia CEO Stephen Schwer says he welcomes the continuing funding for tourism associations, the continued sealing off the Outback Way, as well as the art trails grants.
“It is unfortunate the tourism development fund has been cancelled,” says Mr Schwer. “It was a very handy fund for upgrading tired tourist infrastructure.
“Whilst it’s good news about the Alcoota fossils in The Alice, we would also like to see the Alcoota site itself developed.
“It would link with the Queensland dinosaur and fossil trail.”
Main infrastructure projects for this year in Central Australia include:-
$53.3m under the National Partnership Agreements on Remote Housing and Remote Aboriginal Investment to continue to construct new and upgrade existing housing and provide associated infrastructure in remote Aboriginal communities.
$18.7m under the National Partnership Agreement on Remote Housing to continue providing property and tenancy management for remote Aboriginal public housing.
$1.3m ongoing to manage and operate Apmere Mwerre Visitor Park.
$1m ongoing to manage and operate Stuart Lodge in Alice Springs.
$20.38m to continue remediation and upgrades to Alice Springs Hospital.
$262.66m for hospital services including patient travel and aeromedical retrieval services.
$51.51m for primary health care services in urban and remote areas.
Palliative care unit
$3.314m – Multipurpose (palliative care) facility comprising an inpatient area, a consultation room, a residential lounge, a dining and kitchenette area and a secured outdoor area (included in $20.38m figure above).
$6m to replace the Alice Springs women’s shelter.
Youth justice facilities and programs
$5.99m for Better Outcomes for Youth Justice, including bail support.
$5.9m for youth justice services.
$1.1m for upgrades to Alice Springs Youth Detention Centre.
$11.5m to establish youth bail support accommodation facilities .
$1.25m to expand after-hours youth services in Alice Springs.
$3.5m Heavy Vehicle Safety and Productivity Program Round 5 – Lasseter Highway seal widening.
$6.25m – Outback Way – Plenty Highway upgrades.
$18.022m – Improve Outback Way roads – upgrade and seal various sections of the Plenty Highway and Tjukururu Road.
$1.987m – Complete the sealing of the Mereenie Inner Loop of the Red Centre Way tourist drive.
Collaboration with SA on Stuart Highway improvements.
Alice Springs solar hub
$1.5m to invest in the Alice Springs Centre for Excellence in Solar Energy.
CBD empty shops, meeting place, re-igniting the town centre
$2.27m to establish and operate an Alcoota Megafauna Fossil Exhibition in Alice Springs (Todd Mall).
$20m City Deals project to unlock business and industry development and ensure community wellbeing through revitalized infrastructure in the Alice Springs CBD. $10 million in cash will commence these projects this year, with the rest expended once projects have been finalised.
Attracting Chinese tourists: $5m over two years for tourism initiatives to attract tourist from China and India.
OTHER BUDGET ITEMS
(in thousands of dollars)
Department of Infrastructure, Planning and Logistics
Revote 863 Headworks and subdivision works to support the release of residential land in Larapinta.
Revote 1 987 Complete the sealing of the Mereenie Inner Loop of the Red Centre Way tourist drive.
Revote 18 022 Improve Outback Way roads†-†upgrade and seal various sections of the Plenty Highway and Tjukururu Road.
Revote 4 900 Selected upgrades of Maryvale Road.
Revote 3 000 Upgrade and seal targeted sections on Tanami Road.
New 20 000 City Deals project for the development of revitalising infrastructure in the Alice Springs CBD.
New 3 500 Heavy Vehicle Safety and Productivity Program Round 5 – Lasseter Highway seal widening.
New 25 000 Northern Australia Roads Program – continue to extend the seal of the Plenty Highway.
New 9 980 Northern Australia Roads Program – continue to extend the seal on Tjukaruru Road.
New 6 250 Outback Way – Plenty Highway upgrades.
Department of the Attorney-General and Justice
New 3 000 Upgrade the domestic violence court in Alice Springs
Central Australia Health Service
Revote 9 568 Fire protection, airconditioning and remediation.
Revote 3 314 Multipurpose (palliative care) facility comprising an inpatient area, a consultation room, a residential lounge, a dining and kitchenette area and a secured outdoor area.
Revote 1 845 Refurbish old emergency department to create oncology and cardiology clinic space.
Revote 1 526 Remediation and upgrade of operating theatres and wards.
Revote 2 798 Storm rectification works to selected buildings.
Revote 464 Upgrade and expand medical records area, including fire compliance.
Revote 864 Upgrade emergency power, water reticulation and electrical systems.
Revote 416 Construct new renal clinics in Kaltukatjara and Papunya and upgrades in Mount Liebig.
Department of Housing and Community Development
Revote 198 Housing for nursing staff in Kaltukatjara and Papunya.
Department of Tourism and Culture
New 1 500 Fitout of office space in the Todd Mall to exhibit megafauna from the Alcoota fossil collection.
New 6 200 Upgrade sporting facilities in Alice Springs.
Department of Education
Revote 6 700 Acacia Hill School†- final stage of the master plan to redevelop the administration and students services facilities and two new classrooms.
Revote 3 452 Braitling Primary School†- stage 2 of the master plan to complete the new early childhood precinct with repurposed areas for a community centre connected to outdoor play areas, and a new cafe to replace the old canteen.
Revote 2 339 Infrastructure upgrades to schools.
Revote 940 Ross Park Primary School – extend existing hall facility to provide flexible, all-weather use for school assemblies and specialist learning programs.
Revote 200 Alice Springs Youth Detention Centre upgrades to electrical, fire and mechanical services.
New 900 Alice Springs Youth Detention Centre upgrades to electrical, fire and mechanical services.
New 11 500 Facilities for male and female youths requiring accommodation for bail support.
63 396 Total Capital Works Program – Revote.
87 830 Total Capital Works Program – New.
151 226 Total Capital Works Program.
(in thousands of dollars)
Department of the Chief Minister
400 Support for Territory show societies to upgrade facilities – Alice Springs (2016-17).
6 000 Alice Springs women’s shelter, stage 1.
By ERWIN CHLANDA