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Lara Giddings

Deputy Premier
Attorney General
Minister for Justice
Minister for Economic Development
Minister for Infrastructure

Justice/Attorney-General

To ensure that all Tasmanians have access to a fair justice system, the Government is providing an additional $200,000 per annum to the Legal Aid Commission of Tasmania (LACT) to help meet the increasing demand for services. 

This will help deliver legal services to those who need it the most.

A key plank of the Government's plan to restore trust in democracy was the establishment of the Tasmanian Integrity Commission.

This budget has provided just over $12 million to cover the costs of the Integrity Commission's operations over the next four years.

Additional funding has also been provided to the Monetary Penalties Enforcement Service to assist with increased costs associated with enforcement and collection of fines that are anticipated as a result of a number of road safety and police connectivity initiatives. 

Economic Development

Our future depends on keeping the economy growing, and ensuring business investment stays strong.

In 2010-11, the Department of Economic Development will help establish an overarching strategic system and evidence-based framework for government decision-making in supporting economic development.

Our Economic Development Plan will provide the umbrella framework under which a number of specific strategies will be brought together - including the Skills Strategy, Infrastructure Strategy and Innovation Strategy

The Government will also spend an extra $3.3 million over two years to extend existing programs and pilot a number of new Strengthening the Economy initiatives in accordance with the Government's 2010 Election Commitments to boost small business. 

These include programs to help new businesses, existing businesses, as well as funding for Business Enterprise Centres, and a pilot project giving businesses online diagnostic tools to benchmark their productivity performance.

Infrastructure

Developing the right infrastructure is essential to keep our economy strong.

Infrastructure funding in the 2010 State Budget is directed in line with the Tasmanian Infrastructure Strategy to ensure the Government's infrastructure investments deliver positive outcomes for the economy and for all Tasmanians.

The State Government has invested more than $200 million over the next four years in rebuilding the rail network, which brings total investment with the Commonwealth to around $400 million since 2008/09.

Tasmania's road and bridge network has been allocated nearly $225 million for 2010-11. In addition, a new approach in funding has been established with up to $12.5 million being available over the next four years to allow for early planning and scoping work to be carried out on road projects separate from the construction phase.

Once the planning phase is scoped, the project will be submitted to a Structured Infrastructure Investment Review process to be considered for funding to complete detailed planning if required and move into the construction phase.

In this Budget, a capital provision of $275 million is provided over the Forward Estimates for allocation to future infrastructure investment endorsed by Government through the whole of government Review process.

The Government's priority for roads is to begin planning work on a number of important regional and rural roads projects as identified in the Community Roads package and the West Coast Roads package.

We remain committed to continuing to implement the Tasmanian Road Safety Strategy 2007-2016, and developing the second Action Plan under the Strategy. Funding of $430,000 will be provided to establish a mandatory alcohol interlocks program for high-level drink driving and repeat drink driving offenders.

Other Infrastructure projects to secure funding include $1.5 million over two years for critical upgrades at the Lady Barron Port and $500,000 for the reconstruction of the Wielangta Bridge.