In response to the 2022 – 2023 Queensland State Budget released 21 June 2022, COTA Queensland takes an initial look at what this means for Older Queenslanders:
- Health – $6.784 billion over 4 years. This includes e.g.,:
- Additional overnight beds, ongoing commitment to extra staff
- Continue development of Palliative and End-of-Life Strategies
- Continue implementation of Voluntary Assisted Dying Scheme
- Delivery of satellite hospitals
- Making Tracks Together: Queensland’s Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Equity Framework
- Dedicated funding for Queensland Ambulance Service
- Additional funding for Queensland Health’s new 5-year plan, Better Care Together
- Capacity Expansion Program which will deliver three new hospitals, new Queensland Cancer Centre, and hospital expansion
- Progressing Building Rural and Remote Health Program
- Housing, Homelessness and Community Services – $21.9 million as part of $125.6 million over 4 years to strengthen community and social service sector including elevating role of Neighbourhood and Community Centres and implementing recommendations from Social Isolation and Loneliness Inquiry
- Seniors’ programs including development of next Seniors’ Strategy, continue Seniors Expo program, and Elder Abuse prevention including Seniors’ Legal advice – $12.2 million over 4 years
COTA Queensland also notes the joint social housing development project with Brisbane Housing Company which will provide more assurance with housing.
Although there were no changes to range of concessions, some concessions have been increased based on cost-of-living adjustments, and the Cost-of-Living rebate of $175 will be paid to households through their electricity bill from September 2022. The concessions with increases include e.g., utilities and energy and vehicle registration.
There was no new funding or initiatives for Mature Age Employment which impacts the existing financial stress felt by many older Queenslanders.
We will continue to monitor the budget developments and we look forward to consulting communities in the second half of 2022 to find out your views on which areas require more funding in 2023 and beyond.