$30 million to save shipbuilding jobs

THE Federal Government will spend up to $30 million over the next four years on saving jobs at Adelaide shipbuilder ASC.

The Mid-Year Economic and Fiscal Outlook includes funding to reduce the loss of workers from the Government-owned ASC between major shipbuilding projects and to improve their skills.

The funds will come from within the Defence Department's existing budget.

"This measure will support enhanced productivity for the commencement of future shipbuilding programs, which is essential to maintaining a sustainable Australian shipbuilding industry,'' Treasury documents state.

The Government announced last week that the jobs of up to 200 ASC workers would be saved after their current roles on the Air Warfare Destroyer program finish.

MYEFO also reveals the Adelaide-based national Naval Shipbuilding College will be funded by Defence but costs are being kept secret due to "commercial-in-confidence considerations.''

SA will receive an estimated $10.5 billion in GST funding and other Federal Government revenue assistance over the next four years.

Families in SA struggling with cost-of-living pressures have receive the bad news that wage growth forecasts have been downgraded.

The state's universities are facing grant scheme freezes and graduates will have to pay back their students loans sooner. The income threshold for repaying student HELP debts will be dropped by $10,000 to $45,000. University graduates who earned more than $130,000 per year will face a 10 per cent HELP debt repayment rate.

The Government wants to cap the amount of money the most students can borrow under the HELP scheme to $104,000 and to $150,000 for medicine, dentistry and veterinary science students.

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