Land tax payers will have access to a special hotline staffed by Treasury officials from today, as part of a suite of measures designed to inform South Australians about the comprehensive reforms, which will come into effect from July 1 next year.
Other measures include an updated RevenueSA website, featuring a link to an online land tax calculator enabling individuals and company groups to assess their land tax liability for the 2020-21 financial year, as well as the capacity to email questions directly to RevenueSA staff.
There will also be an offer of Treasury-led seminars for professional organisations, representing accountants and lawyers for example, where RevenueSA staff provide expert advice to those people who provide professional advice to clients regarding land tax.
Treasurer Rob Lucas said it was important all property owners who were land tax payers, or who might become taxpayers, were fully informed of the Government’s land tax changes and how they might - or might not - be impacted.
“Now that these historic laws have passed, we have a responsibility to ensure that all South Australians liable for land tax are well informed of what the changes will mean for them,” said Mr Lucas.
“We have implemented a range of measures designed to make it easier for individuals and companies to seek and receive the information that’s relevant to them and provide them greater clarity and comfort in relation to the reforms.
“From today, the RevenueSA website will be up-to-date with the latest information, there’ll be an online calculator so individuals can assess their land tax liability for next financial year, and we’ll have Treasury staff ready and able to answer calls via the new land tax hotline.”
The reform package – which reduces the top land tax rate from a national high 3.7% to just 2.4%, making South Australia a far more competitive place to do business, to attract investment and create jobs – will benefit 92% of individuals and 75% of company groups.
As part of the information campaign, a letter from the Treasurer is also being sent to about 270,000 property owners (at an estimated cost of about $270,000) detailing the comprehensive changes, including revised rates and thresholds and information about the Government’s $25 million transition fund and eligibility criteria.
Mr Lucas said an inevitable consequence of this process would be that, if an individual owns multiple properties, they may end up receiving multiple letters. Unfortunately, this could not be avoided.
“Ultimately, we want South Australians to head into the new financial year armed with all the information they need when it comes to our positive land tax reforms,’’ said Mr Lucas.
To find out more about the land tax reform package or access the online calculator visit www.revenuesa.sa.gov.au/LandTaxChanges . The RevenueSA hotline is 8226 3750 or, alternatively, South Australians seeking more information can send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org
The Marshall Liberal Government is inviting councils to apply for grant funding to improve our public
spaces, create more green open space and support local jobs.
Applications have today opened for the 2019-20 funding rounds of the Marshall Government’s Open
Space and Places for People grant programs.
The programs are being taken in a new direction with a greater focus on preserving and creating
more green and open space throughout Adelaide and regional South Australia.
“This is a great opportunity to green our city and to keep Adelaide as one of the most liveable cities
in the world,” said Minister for Planning Stephan Knoll.
“This fund will help to build better parks, plant more trees and increase public open space.
“Open public and green spaces are so important to the fabric and identity of a local community,
whether that’s in metropolitan Adelaide or a regional town.
“We are looking for projects that deliver this quality public open space, particularly in areas of
growth and renewal.
“Funding will be targeted for projects which also provide a diverse range of open spaces with both
active and passive opportunities and promote urban greening and climate change resilience.”
Minister for Environment and Water David Speirs said last year the Marshall Government invested
$13.3 million to help fund 31 projects through the Open Space and Places for People programs.
“We are continuing to create more open green public spaces throughout our city and regions to
improve liveability,” said Minister Speirs.
“The Marshall Government is growing Adelaide’s green credentials and through this program we will
help deliver projects that preserve and grow our open spaces.
“We are delivering Glenthorne National Park, opening up our reservoirs for recreational activities
and fixing our metropolitan beaches as we continue to make Adelaide a greener liveable city.”
Grants from last year’s round included:
• $1.9 million for the redevelopment of main street and town centre precincts in Victor Harbor,
Clare, Kingston SE and Strathalbyn;
$1.7 million for Stage One of the City of Holdfast Bay’s Jetty Road upgrade;
• $1.7 million for the City of Marion’s Tonsley Greenway project (a cycling and walking path
connection to the Tonsley Innovation District and the Flinders Hub);
• $842,000 to support the development of safe shared use trails and trail precincts in Mount
Barker, Port Lincoln and Port Wakefield.
• $577,500 for the City of West Torrens’ redevelopment of the playspace at Kings Reserve in
the western suburbs.
The Marshall Liberal Government has built a $12.9billion pipeline of infrastructure works over the next four years to create and support thousands of local jobs.
The massive $12.9 billion pipeline of infrastructure works is the most over a four-year period in South Australia’s history, underpinning the local construction industry and supporting the almost 80,000 construction jobs in South Australia.
The record infrastructure spend comes as the first sod is being turned today on the Paradise Park ‘n’ Ride that will create 78 full time equivalent jobs.
Since March 2018, the Marshall Government has secured billions of dollars for key road and infrastructure projects including;
•$354 million Regency to Pym Project;
•$220 million towards Gawler Line Electrification Project;
•$231 million Torrens Road (Ovingham) grade separation;
•$171 million Brighton Road (Hove) grade separation;
•$98 million to upgrade the intersection of Magill Road and Portrush Road;
•$61 million to upgrade the intersection of Cross Road and Fullarton Road;
•$60 million to upgrade the intersections of Goodwood/Springbank/Daws Roads;
•$35 million to upgrade the intersection of Glen Osmond Road and Fullarton Road;
•$19 million to upgrade the intersection of Main North Road and Nottage Terrace;
•$19 million to upgrade the intersection of Grand Junction/Hampstead/Briens Roads; and,
•$13 million to upgrade the intersection of Main North, Kings and McIntyre Roads.
•$200 million Joy Baluch Bridge Duplication Project;
•$122.5 million Port Wakefield Overpass and Duplication Project;
•$250 million to upgrade the Princes Highway;
•$143 million for road upgrades, including additional overtaking lanes and shoulder sealing;
•$125 million for the Eyre Highway to upgrade South Australia’s section from Port Augusta to Perth –including $32 million to upgrade Eyre Peninsula Roads;
•$87.5 million to upgrade the Sturt Highway from Renmark to Gawler;
•$62.5 million to upgrade the Barrier Highway from Cockburn to Burra;
•$92 million Victor Harbor Road Duplication; and,
•$55 million Horrocks Highway Corridor Upgrade.
“The State Liberal Government is investing a record $12.9 billion in infrastructure to build a stronger economy and create more jobs,” said Premier Marshall.
“We’re not just building roads, we’re also building schools, hospitals and affordable housing – our infrastructure build underpins a host of sectors within our economy and will improve the lives of everyday South Australians.
“There is more infrastructure work in the pipeline than ever before, and this massive investment will underpin thousands of construction jobs for years to come.”
Minister for Transport, Infrastructure and Local Government Stephan Knoll said the constructive working relationship with the Federal Government had paid dividends for South Australians.
“We are delivering billions of dollars to build for new road and infrastructure projects that will create jobs, reduce travel times and help save lives on our roads,” said Minister Knoll.
“By working constructively with the Federal Government we have secured billions of dollars to bust congestion in metropolitan Adelaide and fix over 1,000 kilometres of regional roads.
“We are also delivering key public transport projects including more Park ‘n’ Rides and the Gawler line electrification project, as well as big regional infrastructure projects like the Port Wakefield Overpass and Joy Baluch Bridge Duplication projects.
“Over the coming years we are going to see a transformation on South Australian roads as we upgrade intersections across the city to reduce travel times and fix our country roads.”
Member for Hartley Vincent Tarzia said the local community would be delighted to see works start on the long-awaited Paradise Park ‘n’ Ride.
“In a massive win for the local community, the Paradise Park ‘n’ Ride will now have 818 car parks, exceeding our election commitment of 775 spaces,” said Mr Tarzia.
“In addition, provision has been made for 20 motorcycle and 32 bicycle parking spaces.
“This massive upgrade will help get cars off the street and encourage more people to catch the O-Bahn service.”
Road safety improvements in the Mitcham Hills Road Corridor are one step closer with the award of a planning and concept design tender to SMEC.
The State Government released a tender last month for planning and concept design works to upgrade the corridor, to improve safety and bust congestion.
The following junctions within the Mitcham Hills will be a focus:
Old Belair Road and James Road
Main Road and Russell Street
Shepherds Hills Road, Brighton Parade and Waite Street
Community consultation will form an important part of the planning and concept design phase to ensure local residents and commuters have an opportunity to have their say on possible traffic solutions.
In the coming months the community will be invited to provide feedback through letter drops, surveys and information sessions.
Member for Boothby Nicolle Flint said the local community would play an important role in the design process.
“If you regularly travel on Old Belair Road or James Road to get to work, to get the children to school or to get to the shops, then we want to hear from you so that together we can make the commute safer and easier for all motorists,” Ms Flint said.
“We know that local hills residents struggle to get onto Old Belair Road from James Road in morning and evening peak hour and that’s why we are fixing this intersection as part of our broader commitment to the Mitcham Hills Road Corridor.”
The Mitcham Hills Road Corridor will be upgraded thanks to a $40 million joint funding agreement between the Morrison and Marshall Liberal Government.
Member for Waite Sam Duluk said there was strong support within the local community for an upgrade to the intersection of Shepherds Hill Road, Brighton Parade and Waite Street, as well as other junctions along the road corridor.
“Local residents consistently raise the issue of safety and congestion at the intersection of Shepherds Hills Road, Brighton Parade and Waite Street with me and as someone who travels through the intersection every day, I know how dangerous and frustrating it can be,” Mr Duluk said.
“I look forward to working with our community to help inform the upgrade of this intersection, as well as the Main Road and Russell Street junction, as part of our $40 million joint state and federal commitment to fixing roads in the hills”.
After the planning and concept design phase has been completed, upgrades to the Main Road and Russell Street junction, the Shepherds Hill Road, Brighton Parade and Waite Street intersection, and Old Belair Road and James Road will be delivered to improve safety for motorists, cyclists and pedestrians.
The first significant demolition works have begun at the Repat as the Marshall Government continues to revitalise the precinct.
Minister for Health and Wellbeing Stephen Wade said the redevelopment for the Older Persons Mental Health Service was a key step towards revitalising the site, signalling a steady return to a thriving health precinct.
“We are committed to reactivating and revitalising what we know is a critical part of South Australia’s health system,” Minister Wade said.
“Labor closed the Repat, we’re building it.”
The Southern Older Persons Community Mental Health team is operating from a temporary location on site while the first lot of construction works to refurbish and repurpose the C Block building delivers their permanent base.
The community team will be located alongside the non-government dementia facility and the new 18-bed neurobehavioural unit and, forming the state’s first dementia village.
As a key initiative in implementing part of one of the recommendations of the Oakden report, the neurobehavioural unit is being built in the former Ward 18 building.
The Office for Ageing Well, in partnership with the Office of the Chief Psychiatrist, has been working to ensure the new dementia facilities and services planned for the site meets the needs of consumers and the expectations of their families, as well as the wider community.
“As part of this, individuals who have lived experience of caring for a family member with extreme symptoms of dementia have been involved in shaping the design for the new 18-bed neurobehavioural unit,” Minister Wade said.
Local Liberal member for Elder Carolyn Powers said: “There is considerable passion for the Repat and our community has fought hard to secure its future as a vibrant precinct."
“The upgrades we are seeing before us are helping to make sure the Repat will continue to help families through difficult times well into the future,” Mrs Powers said.
Member for Waite, Sam Duluk, said the upgrade was an important step in reactivating the Repat.
“The Repat was a key pillar of the southern health network for 75 years and thanks to the Marshall Liberal Government it will continue to play a significant role in the health care needs of all South Australians,” Mr Duluk said.
Director of the Office for the Ageing Well, Cassie Mason, said engaging families with lived experience had been instrumental in plans to develop the neurobehavioural unit as a fit-for-purpose facility.
“As part of the design process, we worked with The Australian Centre for Social Innovation (TACSI) Oakden families and families who currently have loved ones in care,” Ms Mason said.
“The experience, knowledge and perspective these family members and carers have contributed to the design work has been invaluable.
“Thanks to the engagement process, we were able to better understand the unique care needs of people living in the neurobehavioural unit and how we can enable people to continue living their best life.
“This included the addition of flexible spaces that allow families to bond and be together, good connections between indoor and outdoor spaces and the creation of shared spaces that support safe interactions.
“Alongside expert input, the first-hand knowledge from families has ensured the architects have a deep understanding on how to design a facility to support and improve outcomes for people with the most extreme behavioural and psychological symptoms of dementia.
“This engagement is just the first step in creating a well-designed, person-centred Dementia Friendly Community at the Repat site.”
Engagement with a broader group of people with lived experience of dementia, including those living with dementia, will occur as plans for the neurobehavioural unit and broader precinct progress. The design plans will be publicly available following further consultation.
To view the full Office for the Ageing engagement report, visit www.sahealth.sa.gov.au/NBUConsumerEngagement
Cranes, high-vis vests and hard hats will become a regular sight at local clubs as the Marshall and Morrison governments continue to build the infrastructure needed to service the booming popularity of grassroots sports in our state.
Modular building company Ausco, which employs 140 people at their Edinburgh North site, has today installed family-friendly changerooms at Blackwood Football Club, thanks to funding from the Federal Liberal Government and the Mitcham Council.
The company also has another five clubs who have nominated Ausco as their likely builder after successfully applying for funding through the Marshall Government’s Grassroots Football, Cricket and Netball Program.
Minister for Sport, Recreation and Racing Corey Wingard said the Marshall Government had invested more than $100 million into local sports since the March 2018 election.
“There has been a boom in participation rates and we are making sure the local sporting community is ready for that by helping to build the infrastructure clubs need to accommodate them,” Minister Wingard said.
“This is why we launched the State Sports Infrastructure Plan – a community based consultation which will provide the road map towards what facilities are needed to ensure the sporting needs of all South Australians are met.”
Federal Member for Boothby Nicolle Flint said: “Supporting our local sporting clubs and volunteers is really important because of the significant role they play in promoting an active lifestyle and in bringing people together in our community.
“Ensuring clubs like the Blackwood Football Club have the facilities they need means even more men and women of all ages can get involved in our local community and in grassroots sport."
Member for Waite, Sam Duluk, said: “It is fantastic to be able to support the Blackwood Football Club which has over 21 teams across men’s, women’s, juniors and sub junior competitions.”
Blackwood Football Club President Kris Winchester said: “Community, Government and Council working together to facilitate a healthy lifestyle for our children at the Blackwood Football Club and encouraging kids to play our national sport - what a great story.”
Ausco regional manager Simon Manser said the company’s innovations in modular construction was of particular benefit to community level grassroots sport.
“The fit between the benefits that modular construction offers in terms of less time, cost, disruption and high quality, and what’s needed to meet the facilities requirements for local and regional clubs, couldn’t be stronger,” he said.
The Marshall Government has also doubled the value from $50 to $100 of its Sports Vouchers Program - returning more than $4 million back into the pockets of hardworking mums and dads whose children take up local sports.
The Grassroots Netball, Cricket and Football Grants program provides funding for family-friendly facilities to ensure all teams have access to changerooms which cater for their male and female sides as well as visiting opponents at the same time.
The $3.5 million Blackwood Roundabout upgrade was long overdue, and I am incredibly pleased with the completed work.
However, I have heard the concerns of our community after receiving many calls and visits to my office regarding the safety, signage and line markings on the Roundabout.
Last week, I met with the Blackwood Roundabout Project Manager to discuss the new signage, speeding concerns and to request bollards be installed in front of the Frank Collins Memorial Fountain.
I have been advised that pedestrian safety is being considered in an independent audit.
I have also been assured of the continuation of reviewing the safety of the Blackwood Roundabout.
I will always take concerns about road safety seriously and bring them to the attention of DPTI and to the Minister for Transport, Infrastructure and Local Government, Hon. Stephan Knoll MP.
Former Labor government in hot water as independent pricing inquiry finds Labor inflated water bills for consumers
An Independent Inquiry into Water Pricing in South Australia has found the former Labor government deliberately inflated the value of SA Water’s opening regulated asset base (RAB) to maximise profits and protect government revenues, driving up water bills for hardworking families and businesses.
The damning final report of the Inquiry, led by a former regulator and respected corporate leader Lew Owens, found that the RAB had been deliberately inflated by at least $520 million (in 2012 dollars) and ‘despite the (Labor) government claiming it was acting in the interests of consumers, that was not apparent and it appeared that the main driver of the decision was the securing of revenue for the Government’.
“While the Government was able to deliver a small reduction in price from July 2013, that needs to be seen in the context of an increase in water prices of over 150% in the previous 5 years,” the report found.
Average household water bills in SA under Labor rose from $236 in 2001-02 to an estimated $782 in 2017-18 – an increase of 232 percent.
The report found Labor ignored advice and criticism by the Essential Services Commission of SA and other stakeholders and used their powers under the Water Industry Act (2012) to set a $7.77 billion opening RAB value in May 2013 – which was “not reasonable’’ and “locked in its revenues for many years to come, at the disadvantage of customers”.
The RAB (which reflects the value of SA Water’s economic assets) is important, because it is used to set a Pricing Order which sets parameters that must be adopted by ESCOSA in setting its fouryear price determination for water bills.
“… the process was not transparent, balanced or credible: the decision was taken without proper public consultation or explanation, and there was no demonstrable effort to balance the interests of consumers against those of the Government,” the final report said.
“The Inquiry concluded that the process and the RAB value were not ‘reasonable’ under the criteria it applied, and concluded the value was at the upper end of a range of possible values.”
The Inquiry – which fulfils an election commitment of the Marshall Liberal Government - has found that, a ‘reasonable’ value of the RAB at 30 June 2013 (in December 2012 dollars) is probably in the range $7.1 billion to $7.25 billion, which would represent a fair balance between the interests of consumers and the Government.
Treasurer Rob Lucas said this report was a stunning and damning indictment of the former Labor government.
“We now know what many have suspected for years, and that is Labor puts its flagrant self-interest above the needs of hardworking South Australian families and business,’’ said Mr Lucas.
“They ignored criticism and advice and arrogantly pushed ahead with inflating the opening value of SA Water’s regulated asset base, knowing full-well it would ultimately cause undue hip pocket pain to consumers.
“It’s disgraceful, shameful and typical Labor, who say one thing publicly and do another in private.
“Labor, under the leadership of Mr Malinauskas, now owe South Australians an apology and must explain to them why they deliberately jacked-up their water bills and cost of living for the past six years.”
Mr Lucas said the Government would now consider the report in full, and he expected it – together with a lower interest rate environment – will result in lower water prices to customers and lower returns to the budget from 2020-21 onwards.
The next SA Water Regulatory Determination will apply from 1 July 2020 to 30 June 2024.
The heroic volunteers of the CFS and SES will soon have their rights to consultation about matters that affect them assured by legislation thanks to Marshall Government support.
The State Liberal Government will support Greens MLC Tammy Franks’s Fire and Emergency Services (Volunteer Charters) Amendment Bill 2018 when it is brought before the Lower House.
The Volunteer Charters represent a commitment by the Government to consult with the CFS and SES volunteer associations and CFS and SES volunteers about matters that might affect them.
The Franks Bill is identical to those introduced in 2012 by former Liberal MP Duncan McFetridge and then Robert Brokenshire MLC in 2015.
Minister for Correctional Services and Emergency Services Corey Wingard said the Bill would ensure volunteers continued to be adequately consulted and their advice taken onboard when decisions are made concerning the sector.
“The State’s volunteers are the backbone of our emergency sector,” Minister Wingard said.
“They have valuable insights into how the sector should operate and we are proud to ensure their knowledge and feedback will continue to help build a safer South Australia.”
“We pride ourselves on being a cooperative Government and we are honoured to work with Ms Franks to bring this important legislation through the Lower House and into legislation.”
The identical Bill which was introduced in 2015 by Robert Brokenshire, passed in the Legislative Council with bipartisan support during the previous session of Parliament.
Unfortunately, inaction by the previous Labor Government meant it did not pass in the House of Assembly before the March 2018 election.
The desire to have Volunteer Charters in legislation first arose during the Holloway review and stemmed from a concern of some volunteers that existing agreements on consultation processes and consideration of the views of volunteers would not be treated seriously enough under reforms proposed by Labor’s then Emergency Services Minister Tony Piccolo.
TAFE SA will maintain its presence at the Urrbrae Campus and continue its delivery of horticulture training, after meeting its required savings targets for the site and completing a review of how its training offering can be best delivered.
The announcement comes after the Government announced a further $25.2 million injection into TAFE SA in this year’s budget, as well as an additional $1.6 million to recognise delays in the training provider meeting its existing efficiency measures.