State Opposition responds to state budget

SPEAK: Rob Lucas delivered the state budget earlier this month. Photo: File.
SPEAK: Rob Lucas delivered the state budget earlier this month. Photo: File.

The Labor Opposition has slammed last week’s state budget released by the Marshall Liberal Government. 

MPs Clare Scriven and Stephen Mullighan both criticised various aspects of the budget, saying the focus was on the wrong areas and funding figures were “inaccurate”.

Mr Mullighan’s concerns centre around GST costs and whether the Marshall Government had seriously considered the full funding requirements of the project.

“We are not sure how this funding will work, or how the Marshall Government will get around the GST costs,” Mr Mullighan said.

Housing trust changes were another hot topic for the two Labor MPs, after the government announced rent increases and assessment changes that Labor believed will have a negative impact.

On one criteria change, Mr Mullighan argued that just because employees work full-time, it did not necessarily mean they could afford the increase.

Ms Scriven hit out at the government’s reduction in sports funding, and was particularly disappointed about the female facilities fund being cut.

The government announced a new grassroots funding program, which is specifically for football, netball and cricket, and will require the sporting groups to contribute matching funds of 50 per cent of the project’s costs. 

Both Labor MPs believe limiting the program to only three sports will cause other developing such as hockey and soccer to miss out. 

​Moving Year 7s into high school was also an area of concern for the two Labor MPs, Ms Scriven expressed her worry for regional schools. 

Believing it will put those schools at a disadvantage, Ms Scriven and Mr Millighan both felt the funding could be spent on upgrading existing facilities rather than transferring students. 

Questioning the Marshall government’s motives, Mr Mullighan said there was “no evidence of educational benefits” of the move and that there is no additional funding for teachers in the higher allocation.

“It will put pressure on the primary schools as well,” Mr Mullighan stated. 

Concerns about overseas trading and funding mobile blackspots were also touched on by the Labor MPs. They were concerned about the government “losing momentum” on the overseas trade Labor has already built, and they felt the state government was funding blackspots which should be coming from the federal government.