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Budget: Health, Education Benefit - Windfall for local services

THE Federal Budget, handed down last week, included almost $50 million for local universities and $50 million for cancer research at Camperdown writes Lisa Capozzi in the Central of 21 May 2008.

Federal Sydney MP Tanya Plibersek welcomed the funding and said the Budget set a new benchmark by delivering pre-election promises.

Ms Plibersek said it also put working families in Sydney at the centre of the Rudd Government's commitments to tackle inflation and set the building blocks for a stronger, more modern Australia.

"At the centre of the Budget is a $55-billion Working Families Support Package that delivers on the tax cuts we committed to in the election and helps Australian families with childcare and education costs,' Ms Plibersek said.

"The Budget also contains a $40-billion investment in Australia's future to fund new and improved roads, hospitals and schools.

"By making Australia's finances more sustainable, we can now start

investing in the schools, hospitals, road, rail and communications projects people in Sydney rely on every day but were neglected by our predecessors."

She welcomed the announcement of a special one-off payment to both the University of Sydney and University of Technology, Sydney.

The funding was announced as part of an extra $500 million to Australian universities to help them rebuild their infrastructure.

The University of Sydney will receive $35.2 million and UTS will receive $13.7 million for information and communications technology, laboratories, libraries and student study spaces, teaching spaces and student amenities.

The funding will provide support for high-quality education, student amenities such as childcare facilities and boost research capacity.

"After 11 years of neglect under the Howard Government, this payment will help both universities to improve their campus infrastructure,"

Ms Plibersek said. "I am delighted that the University of Sydney and the University of Technology will receive this funding. It is fantastic for the Sydney area."

Funding has also been allocated to cancer research and treatment centres around the country, including $50 million over three years for the Comprehensive Cancer Centre, located within The Royal Prince Alfred Hospital at Camperdown.

Photo: Craig Wilson: Universities stand to benefit from this year's Federal Budget.

Source: Central of 21 May2008.