23 June 2017

Yesterday the Hon. Tom Koutsantonis MP, Treasurer, delivered the South Australian Government's 2017/18 Budget.

Initial information about the Budget is covered in a separate Information Update to all PSA members and is available here.

This Information Update is a brief summary of items of interest for members.

Statewide Gambling Service
The announcement that funding will continue for the Statewide Gambling Therapy Service until at least 2018 is a major win for PSA members.

This service was proposed to close earlier this year and was subject to PSA campaigning and lobbying, and sustained media pressure.

The sustained pressure has contributed to a government commitment to fund the service through additional revenue raised through the Wagering Tax. The Wagering Tax is an ongoing tax and provides some security for our members looking to the future.

Child Protection
The budget continues significant funding in response to the recommendations of the Nyland Royal Commission. There is a boost of $86.5m however the majority of this funding will be provided to Non-Government Organisations.

There is no additional funding to cover the key Royal Commission recommendations to cease using commercial carers and to abandon having workers working alone overnight in Residential Care.

The PSA will continue to campaign for protections for children and young people and the PSA members who provide care and services for them.

Significant spending has been announced to upgrade metropolitan hospitals as well as construct a new Adelaide Women’s Hospital. Not all announcements have been made with time frames attached, for instance the Flinders Medical Centre additional operating theatres.

The PSA expects that additional funding will need to be included in future budgets to appropriately staff these upgrades.

$14.7m was also announced for a new specialist older persons' Mental Health facility and development of a model of care in response to recommendations from the Oakden Report.

Additional funding has been included to convert some civil courts to criminal courts, renovate remaining civil courts, assist the Coroner with a backlog of inquiries and provide for a full-time Supreme Court Judge.

Correctional Services
PSA Community Corrections members will be pleased to see that $5m has been included for Integration of Home Detention.

There is a significant increase in funding for programs to reduce recidivism.

Two new schools will be built in Northern and Southern Adelaide respectively.
The government will honour its original commitments to Gonski Funding.

The PSA is continuing to examine the Budget papers.

PSA members are encouraged to provide feedback and information regarding Budget implications, particularly on how members, South Australian families and the community will be affected.