Member Update: QDN Welcomes 2022 State Budget
The state budget was handed down on Tuesday 21 June, 2022. The following highlights key budget announcements across key government portfolios that affect people with disability. Among a number of highlights that will directly benefit Queenslanders with disability, QDN is particularly pleased to see a commitment to the continuation of the Taxi Subsidy Scheme, including an increase in the capped amount from $25.00-$30.00. This will assist many people dependent on taxis for their everyday travel.
Other announcements include:
Cost of Living
- The Budget includes $6.8 billion in concessions for Queenslanders in 2022–23, including a $175 Cost-of-Living Rebate at a cost of $385 million to help manage electricity costs. The total dividends provided to Queenslanders over the past 4 years is $575 in direct financial assistance through electricity bill rebates that households have received since April 2018.
- continue to administer the Queensland Government's annual investment of over $2 billion in the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS), participate in interjurisdictional governance structures, and monitor performance to ensure it is achieving value for money and outcomes for Queenslanders with disability
- publish a new co-designed state disability plan that articulates Queensland’s commitment to people with disability and implements Australia’s Disability Strategy 2021–2031
- continue to support the growth of employment opportunities in the disability care sector through the administration of an efficient disability worker screening system
- continue to lead the whole-of-government consultation and engagement process in response to the Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability
- provide advice to government through Ministerial Advisory Councils on disability and carers and ensure funded advocacy for people with disability.
- The estimated cost of recovery and reconstruction from devastating floods will be more than $3 billion over 5 years, while there will be broader economic and social impacts of the floods. During this time, joint State-Commonwealth Disaster Recovery Funding Arrangements (DRFA) funding was provided to 66 of Queensland’s 77 local government areas. At the end of May 2022, more than $22 million has been distributed under the hardship scheme, benefiting just over 96,000 people. For lower-income earners without insurance, the Structural Assistance Grant has been raised to $50,000 to make homes safe and secure. For primary producers, small business, non-profit organisations and sporting clubs, $558.5 million in grants were made available following the South-East Queensland floods to assist with clean-up and reinstatement.
- partner with the University of Sydney, Queenslanders with Disability Network and Community Services Industry Alliance to adapt the Person-Centred Emergency Planning Framework and Toolkit to build the disaster resilience of people experiencing homelessness and the services they use
- $13.1 million as part of the $65.5 million Queensland Resilience and Risk Reduction Fund to support disaster mitigation projects and build resilience to natural disasters over 5 years, jointly funded with the Australian Government.
- increased funding of $263 million over 4 years from 2022–23 and $77 million per year ongoing to support kindergarten funding reform to reduce out-of-pocket expenses for families, increase disability funding and implement educational need funding for children in Queensland attending a kindergarten
- $80.6 million over 3 years from 2022–23 to support schools transition to a new resourcing model for students with disability
- support the Inclusion and Diversity Strategy 2021–25 and Disabling the Barriers to employment in the Queensland public sector implementation plan to drive improved representation and the employment experience of people with disability
- The 2022–23 Budget provides $23.6 billion in 2022–23 and $9.785 billion capital to the health system over 6 years.
Long-stay rapid response
Long-stay patients are inpatients who could live in the community if they had access to appropriate supports and accommodation.
The Long-Stay Rapid Response Program – part of the $263.7 million Care4Qld Strategy – was established to support hospital discharge for patients awaiting access to disability and aged care supports.
Since April 2021, the program has been able to secure a range of supports for patients, including interim accommodation, home modifications and increased nursing supports.
As of 8 June 2022, 271 patients involved in the program have been able to leave hospital and a further 60 patients were in the process of being supported to discharge.
$16 million over four years will be invested to continue this program.
Patient flow initiative
Improving patient flows in our public hospitals means people won’t stay in hospital longer than they medically need to and ensures those needing acute medical services can access them.
To achieve this, up to $26 million is being made available in 2022-23 to provide targeted support to Hospital and Health Services to identify actions that will improve patient flow.
Working with partners in the health system and social care sector, this initiative will enable and support:
- people with minor injuries and illness to access care but avoid Emergency Departments.
- people to receive their health care in non-hospital settings such as care in the community or virtual care in their homes.
- people who are medically fit, to avoid staying longer than necessary in hospital.
- improved partnerships with primary care services so people who need primary care services can access them rather than having to go to Emergency Departments.
The Queensland Government will seek to collaborate with the Commonwealth Government to strengthen partnerships with the primary care, aged care and disability services sectors.
Housing (including capital for specialist disability housing)
- Housing Investment Fund supporting social and affordable housing: The $1 billion Housing Investment Fund is continuing to support the delivery of social and affordable housing for Queenslanders. Annual returns from the fund are being used to provide opportunities to developers, institutional investors and local governments to team up with the community housing sector to bring forward innovative models that deliver long-term housing outcomes for vulnerable Queenslanders. A partnership with Brisbane Housing Company has already been secured to build 118 new social and affordable homes under the fund across 2 projects in Chermside on the northside of Brisbane, and Redcliffe in the Moreton Bay region. It builds on the success of leveraging co-investment with the private sector to deliver more affordable housing for Queenslanders through the Buildto-Rent Pilot Project. The Housing Investment Fund is a key part of the Housing and Homelessness Action Plan 2021–2025, with $1.9 billion available over 4 years to boost housing supply and increase housing and homelessness support across Queensland. Under the plan, the government will deliver 7,400 new dwelling commencements across Queensland.
- $5 million over 2 years for measures to build capability and capacity in the Community Housing Provider (CHP) sector and to incentivise CHP participation in the Housing Investment Fund.
- continue delivery of the Housing and Homelessness Action Plan 2021–25, providing $1.908 billion over 4 years to boost housing supply and increase housing and homelessness support across Queensland, comprising: - $1.813 billion over 4 years, $441.3 million for capital purchases and capital grants in 2022–23, through the Queensland Housing Investment Growth Initiative to deliver new social homes and upgrade existing dwellings for vulnerable Queenslanders - $94.9 million over 4 years, $23.7 million in 2022–23, to deliver essential frontline services and provide enhanced housing and support options for vulnerable people.
- $282 million to deliver social housing dwellings, commence and continue construction, and upgrade existing dwellings.
- $57.9 million to deliver social housing dwellings, commence and continue construction, and upgrade existing dwellings.
- $4.2 million to advance the provision of infrastructure in relation to robust and secure accommodation for complex clients with challenging behaviours. The funding in 2022-23 is predominately for the construction of a new purpose-built duplex in Wacol.
- $500,000 to continue upgrading, improving and modifying accommodation facilities for people with an intellectual or cognitive disability who exhibit extremely challenging behaviours.
Olympic and Paralympic Games
- additional funding of $59.3 million over 4 years and $4.7 million per annum ongoing from 2026–27 to support the Brisbane 2032 Taskforce to lead Brisbane 2032 Olympic and Paralympic Games related activities across the Queensland Government. This will support preparation of the 2032 Games Legacy Program and planning and design of Brisbane 2032 Olympics infrastructure including venues and athlete villages
- The government is providing increased funding of $27.2 million over 4 years and $7.2 million per annum ongoing for the Taxi Subsidy Scheme arising from an increase in taxi fares, an increase in the subsidy cap from $25 to $30 and to meet increased costs associated with lift payments.
- provide convenient, accessible transport by delivering safe and connected cycling and walking infrastructure; finalising the revised Disability Standard for Accessible Public Transport 2002 in partnership with the Australian Government; further rolling out the Digital Licence App across Queensland; and continuing the progressive expansion of the Smart Ticketing system across the South East Queensland Citytrain and bus network, CityCats and Southern Moreton Bay Islands Ferry
- Bring accessibility in line with the Disability Discrimination Act 1992 requirements for ferry passengers travelling from the airport to Thursday Island
- $61.3 million ongoing over the next 5 years as part of the Queensland Government response to the Queensland Women’s Safety and Justice Taskforce, Hear her voice – Report one – Addressing coercive control and domestic and family violence in Queensland, for system-wide reform and criminalising coercive control.
- A further $19.2 million over 4 years for specialist domestic, family and sexual violence support services and programs for women in custody
- Economic security $163.4 million Continued investment to provide housing, support and specialist homelessness services to vulnerable people, including older women and those experiencing domestic and family violence.
- $100 million Skilling Queenslanders for Work aims to increase workforce participation and improve work opportunities for disadvantaged Queenslanders. As at 31 May 2022, over 35,900 women, more than half of all participants, have benefited from the initiative.
- Safety, health and wellbeing $363 million investment in the multi-year response to the first report of the Women’s Safety and Justice Taskforce. This investment into our systems, our communities and our first responders will increase the ability to understand, identify and respond to coercive control and to enable the criminalisation of this form of abuse.
- Elevating First Nations women $2.8 million Investment in programs offering coaching, mentoring and access to extra-curricular activities to encourage young First Nations women and girls to remain actively engaged in education until completion of Year 12,
- additional funding of $3.5 million allocated over the 2021–22 and 2022–23 financial years, to establish a Commission of Inquiry to examine Queensland Police Service responses relating to domestic and family violence.
- the government is providing increased funding of $578,000 over 2 years to further develop responses for the needs of women with a disability and their children experiencing domestic and family violence.
- The government is providing increased funding of $1.6 million over 2 years for the NDIS Workers Screening program ensuring workers providing services to people with a disability in Queensland meet strict eligibility criteria to be able to maintain high standards of care
- The government will provide increased funding of $840,000 over 2 years to continue the Queensland Government's engagement with the Disability Royal Commission and support the significant program of work to be undertaken following the delivery of the final report in preparing a Queensland Government response.
- The government is providing increased funding of $24.6 million over 4 years to continue operationalisation of the National Redress Scheme for survivors of institutional child sexual abuse in Queensland.