The Federal Government has unveiled the 2022-23 budget measures that is set to strengthen the nation’s economy, providing cost of living relief now, and a long term economic plan that creates more jobs.
The Liberal National Government is investing record amounts in infrastructure and regional development projects through the 2022-23 Budget as part of our plan for a stronger future, to make our nation wealthier and stronger, create tens of thousands of jobs and drive economic growth.
Federal Member for Mallee, Anne Webster said the budget builds on the Coalition’s plan for a stronger future by encouraging small businesses, increasing apprenticeships, and investing strongly in manufacturing, infrastructure, and regional development.
“Households are facing cost of living pressures as a result of the invasion in Ukraine and ongoing global supply chain issues from COVID. The Nationals in Government will ensure more money goes into the pockets of hardworking regional Australians through a suite of targeted measures,” Dr Webster said.
“Motorists will now be able to save 22 cents a litre every time they fill up their car for the next six months with the government implementing temporary cuts to the fuel excise. A new one-off $420 cost of living tax offset for more than 10 million low and middle income earners. In addition, individuals already receiving the low and middle income tax offset will now receive up to $1,500 and couples up to $3,000 from 1 July this year. Around 62,500 taxpayers in Mallee will benefit from this tax relief. Our Government’s plan has already benefitted 63,300 people in Mallee.
The Liberal National Government is expanding its support to allow more Australians to be able to own their own home.
“Already, HomeBuilder, the First Home Super Saver Scheme and the Home Guarantee Scheme have helped make the dream of home ownership a reality. But we’re doubling the Home Guarantee Scheme to 50,000 places per year. Already the scheme is supporting jobs in the construction sector and assisting home buyers into their first home by allowing them to buy a property with as little as five per cent deposit, and single parents to buy a home with a deposit as low as 2 per cent”. Dr Webster said.
Dr Webster said the Nationals in Government have advocated for further funding in child care support for regional families and this Budget delivers an additional $19.4 million in for a further competitive round of the Community Child Care Fund.
“This means that 20 new child care centres in regional and remote Australia will benefit from this additional funding. These places will be open to competitive grants round, targeting small regional communities where there is limited or no child care. There are several towns in Mallee that have approached me for assistance and I am pleased this fund will be open shortly and provide up to $900,000 over three years,” Dr Webster said.
Young families are being further supported through the Liberal National Government’s changes to the paid Parental Leave Scheme, allowing more flexible leave arrangements for mums and dads, as well as single parent households. The budget provides $356 million over five years for both parents to share 20 weeks of leave paid at the minimum wage. Single parents can also access the full 20 weeks.
“When it comes to family, one size does not fit all. That’s why our government has made this structural change allowing parents to tailor their leave and work arrangements to their own needs,” Dr Webster said.
The Liberal National Government has highlighted skills and workforce as an area of national priority.
“Small businesses will have access to a new 20 per cent deduction for training and upskilling employees, while reducing their tax bill,” Dr Webster said.
“Additionally, a $120 tax deduction will be afforded to small businesses for every $100 spent on upskilling and training employees. $120 tax deduction for every $100 spent on digital technologies. Around 4,600 businesses in Mallee will be able to access these bonus deductions.
“We currently have 2,650 apprentices in Mallee and new measures in the Budget will lead to more opportunities for apprentices and trainees with expanded wage subsidies,” Dr Webster said. A new $2.8 billion investment will increase take up and completion rates of apprentices, providing $5,000 payments to new apprentices, and up to $15,000 in wage subsidies for employers who take them on.”
Dr Webster said regional health has been targeted in Tuesday’s budget. “Since stepping into office, I have relentlessly advocated for better outcomes for regional healthcare delivery. This budget is delivering record funding for rural health and continues to strengthen health care in the bush.
“$14.8 million is committed to expand the Charles Sturt University (CSU) Rural clinical School, which is established in Orange. This is set to benefit Swan Hill as it is proposed to be one of the main training sites where students can undertake their clinical training,” Dr Webster said.
“$99.3 million has been committed to rural medical education and training, including 80 additional Commonwealth supported places, to give more students, especially those in regional and rural Australia, the opportunity for medical school education and training. I will be working with LaTrobe and Monash Universities to ensure Mildura is first in line for this funding.
“$66 million will allow Medicare funded magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) services in regional Australia to be deregulated This reform will help to reduce the pressure on out-of-pocket costs and improve access and disease detection and management for regional, rural and remote patients.
“$33.3m has been committed to the Royal Flying Doctor Service, building on The Liberal Nationals Government record 10-year Strategic Agreement with the Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS), worth nearly $1 billion.
“This Budget guarantees record funding for the NDIS, which is supporting over 500,000 participants across Australia and 3,851 in Mallee.
“The Budget continues a further record investment in aged care to help the 34,346 senior Australians living in Mallee. This investment will deliver more home care places, more funding for aged care centres and increases in the amount of time that nurses and carers spend with residents. In addition, we’re providing more than $340 million to embed pharmacy services within residential aged care facilities to improve medication management for the elderly.”
The Liberal National Government is prioritising road and infrastructure spending for regional Australia
“Here in Mallee, the Sunraysia Highway will be upgraded from Ouyen to Ballarat will the Federal Government funding $45 million towards the project, this builds on the $472 million already spent in Mallee in the last three years.” Dr Webster said.
“Telecommunications is an ongoing frustration for regional Australians. This is why the Federal Government is supporting further expansions with $811.8 million over 5 years from 2022-23 to enhance mobile coverage, connectivity, resilience and affordability in regional Australia, building on existing programs including the Mobile Black Spot Program and the Regional Connectivity Program.
In addition, a new $1.3 billion telecommunications package will expand mobile coverage across
8,000km of regional transport routes.
And $480.0 million will be provided to NBN Co to upgrade its fixed wireless and satellite networks to improve services throughout regional and remote Australia.
“In this time of uncertainty, due to the pandemic, the invasion of Ukraine and extreme weather events it is critical that government provides stability and strong leadership and the Coalition is providing that in this budget. Evidenced in significantly increased defence spending at a time when it is of vital importance. We are building the Australian Defence Force by up to 18,500 by 2040. Our record investments in defence also provides $9.9 billion over 10 years to significantly enhance Australia’s offensive and defensive cyber and intelligence capabilities,” Dr Webster said.
The full budget can be found at https://budget.gov.au/.