Tough state budget a blow to elderly as concessions go

THE State LNP promised a tough budget, and on Tuesday it was a promise it upheld.

Local investments include the Kin Kora roundabout, benefiting from another $12.7 million in funds from the Royalties for Regions program, while the Bruce Hwy, running the length of the state, has been allocated $768 million.

As Year 7 students prepare to move to high school next year, Gladstone State High School will receive at least $3 million to upgrade facilities.

But Gladstone Base Hospital has missed out on direct upgrades or funding, with Rockhampton getting the majority of healthcare funding in the Fitzroy electorate.

Central Queensland Hospital and Health Board chairman Charles Ware said while Gladstone Hospital had not been singled out for additional funding, the operating budget increase of the Central Queensland Hospital and Health Service would directly benefit Gladstone patients.

"Rockhampton Hospital has received $13.6 million to finish the $173.1 million Queensland and Australian Government-funded expansion housing the Central Queensland Regional Cancer Centre," he said.

"Completion of this work will be a tremendous boost to health in our region, including people from Gladstone, who will be able to access new and improved cancer services closer to home."

Cuts to concessions for seniors come as a blow for pensioners already struggling to make ends meet.

The changes, expected to take place in October, are likely to affect the Electricity Rebate Scheme, vehicle registration concessions, the Rail Concession Scheme and the Electricity Rebate Scheme.

Local pensioner Daisy Rottanban said the added costs would further isolate aged people.

"We have an ageing population and a lot of the time we feel like we are being shut away," she said.

"Now the elderly are even more likely to feel disengaged from participating in society."



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