Marshall signals 'tough' budget
SA Premier Steven Marshall says a “tough” upcoming state budget is needed to address a $250 million health department black hole.
Administrators KordaMentha will be hired in the September budget to analyse the Central Adelaide Local Health Network, including the Royal Adelaide Hospital, and create a three-year financial recovery plan.
Mr Marshall says there has been a “massive” health budget overspend.
“I think we all appreciate that we were left a complete and utter basket case by the previous government,” he said.
“We've got to fix up some of the mess that we inherited from the previous government but we're going to do that.
“Yes, it is going to be a tough budget.
“There are going to be some elements that not everyone is going to find satisfactory, but we'll be making our decisions in the budget in the best interests of all South Australians.”
The Opposition's Tom Koutsantonis said bringing in administrators is “appalling”, and that public sector cuts would be on the way.
Meanwhile, the local government sector wants the Government to honour its pre-election commitment to stop cost shifting to councils.
“Many South Australians wouldn’t realise the extent to which state government costs are being passed on through their council rates,” Local Government Association of South Australia president Cr Sue Clearihan said.
“Significant increases to the Solid Waste Levy and NRM Levy, mandatory rates rebates for community housing transfers, and “rubble royalties” are adding millions of dollars onto council budgets – and rates increases - every year."
“Annual increases in council rates have been trending down for a number of years, but it’s getting harder for councils to deliver efficiencies while taking on additional responsibilities, and paying more every year in taxes and levies.”
The association wants the Government to:
- Freeze the Solid Waste Levy and provide additional support to councils to respond to the impact of China’s National Sword Policy
- Amend the Natural Resources Management Act 2004 to remove the requirement for councils to collect the levy
- Abolish rubble royalty payments charged to councils for road works
- Remove the requirement or cover the cost of councils providing a 75 percent rebate in council rates to community housing providers