STATE BUDGET

Mr PEDERICK (Hammond) (14:28): My question is to the minister representing the Minister for Health and Wellbeing. Can the minister update the house about how the recent state budget will deliver better health care closer to home for elderly residents in the Adelaide Hills. With your leave, sir, and that of the house I will explain.

Leave granted.

Mr PEDERICK: The recent state budget contained an extra $6 million of funding for aged-care services in Strathalbyn in the Speaker's electorate.

The Hon. J.A.W. GARDNER (Morialta—Minister for Education) (14:28): It's a pleasure to have this question from the member for Hammond, who I know takes a deep interest in health issues for people in country South Australia, in his electorate and, indeed, in nearby areas to his electorate, regions such as the Adelaide Hills. Sir, I know that this question is of interest to you because it's similar to a discussion that you and I had in this building not more than a week ago, when we were talking about the benefits to people in Strathalbyn and throughout your electorate of some announcements in the state budget.

It's a pleasure to have the opportunity to talk about that in the chamber today, thanks to the member for Hammond's question. I can advise the Speaker that subsequent to our discussion I took the opportunity late last week to avail myself of some information from the health minister, and I'm happy to share with you some of that information that the health minister was very happy to provide about your constituents.

Sir, you know, as do all members of this house, that the Marshall Liberal government is building what matters when it comes to supporting the health and wellbeing of all South Australians. Absolutely a key concern for many South Australians in regional South Australia is the opportunity to have care delivered closer to home. Since coming to government, we have already delivered $140 million worth of investment to address the backlog in country capital works left after the previous government's 16 years.

In this year's budget, we have additionally committed more than $40 million in further individual projects across South Australia, improving the delivery of health services. Also, of course, one of the matters related to stimulus spending such as this is that it creates jobs close to home at a time when those jobs have never been more needed. More than $35 million of this $40 million investment in health is going to be spent in regional South Australia.

As the member for Hammond rightly drew to my attention and that of the house, there is a $6 million particular investment in the Adelaide Hills in the Strathalbyn community. Expanding the Strathalbyn aged-care lifestyle facility in which this government has already invested $11.4 million, we are adding a further $4 million, taking this project, which is so important to residents in your electorate in the town of Strathalbyn, sir, to a total value of $15.4 million, a significant commitment that that community has been looking for, I would suggest, for many years.

The additional funding will provide support services for the facility to provide exceptional aged care to members of the Strathalbyn community. A new kitchen and laundry, to be used by both the aged-care facility and the hospital, will be built within the undercroft. The new 36-bed residential facility expansion, set to include a 24-bed open ward and a 12-bed memory support unit, all with single bedrooms, will deliver quality aged care in a modern environment for elderly South Australians to support them to live and age well. The purpose-designed facility will also feature private ensuites for residents, communal open areas and dedicated outdoor spaces to provide a welcoming home for residents and their families.

Sir, I know you will also be very pleased to hear that a further $2 million has been added to the redevelopment of the Kalimna Hostel, tripling our original commitment in the election of $1 million to provide additional aged accommodation for people in the area who need it. This will also fulfil another election commitment, demonstrating the government's determination to deliver better services for the people of South Australia. I know that the people in your community will welcome this news, sir, as will you, but I promise you it is no more than they absolutely deserve.