Budget a big win for regional Australia
This year’s Federal Budget is a win for regional Australia, delivering key incentives for individuals and families, small businesses, local councils and community groups in the Parkes electorate to ensure we continue to lead the economic recovery from COVID-19.
Although we are not yet out of the pandemic, the Parkes electorate is managing it very well, with unemployment levels at record lows and plenty of positive activity in the agriculture, mining and construction sectors.
The Budget is designed to build on that, with tax incentives for individuals and businesses to ensure hardworking people are always better off. Around 54,900 low and middle-income earners in the Parkes electorate will benefit from tax relief of up to $1,080 for individuals or $2,160 for couples, while about 20,100 local businesses will be able to write off the full value of any eligible asset they purchase.
The Budget is also about understanding this big regional shift we are experiencing and making sure we can service the influx of people who are making a tree change to our communities, with record funding for hospitals, Medicare, mental health, aged care and the NDIS, as well as an increase in funding for preschools, an extension of the HomeBuilder program and a significant investment in apprenticeships and training to equip people with the skills they need to secure employment in industries to help grow our regions.
I’m particularly proud of a $65.8 million investment to increase the Rural Bulk Billing Incentive, providing higher incentives for rural and regional GPs to bulk bill, helping to keep more doctors in our growing regions, as well as a further $84.4 million allocated for the successful Regional Connectivity Program to ensure high capacity broadband is accessible to more people.
Huge funding boost for local councils
I’m pleased that councils in the Parkes electorate will share in more than $42 million, with a third round of the Federal Government’s successful Local Roads and Community Infrastructure (LRCI) program included in the 2021-2022 Budget.
This is a fantastic injection for our hard-working local councils. It means they will be able to continue planning and delivering priority local road and infrastructure projects such as upgrades to bike paths, community halls, playgrounds, parks and sports facilities, as well as improved accessibility to public facilities.
Phase 3 funding allocations:
- Bogan Shire Council – $1,823,048
- Bourke Shire Council – $2,399,806
- Brewarrina Shire Council – $1,641,116
- Broken Hill City Council – $621,160
- Central Darling Shire Council – $2,003,636
- Cobar Shire Council – $2,170,422
- Coonamble Shire Council – $1,859,636
- Dubbo Regional Council – $4,292,996
- Gilgandra Shire Council – $1,756,888
- Gunnedah Shire Council – $2,014,400
- Gwydir Shire Council – $2,364,448
- Lachlan Shire Council – $4,257,016
- Moree Plains Shire Council – $3,629,776
- Narrabri Shire Council – $2,950,352
- Narromine Shire Council – $1,819,380
- Walgett Shire Council – $2,471,230
- Warren Shire Council – $1,310,516
- Warrumbungle Shire Council – $3,106,732
Councils will be able to access funding through LRCI Phase 3 from 1 January 2022.
For more information, visit the Department of Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Communications website.
Investing in infrastructure
The Parkes electorate is benefitting from the Federal Government’s record infrastructure investment, with $91.4 million in funding for key freight routes in the region through the Roads of Strategic Importance program.
This includes $32 million for upgrades to Hargraves Lane and Federation Street, Gilgandra, $32 million for the Newell Highway and Oxley Highway Intersection Upgrade, $20 million for the Newell Highway and Mitchell Highway Intersection Upgrade, $5 million for upgrades to Pilliga Road, and $2.4 million for upgrades to Purlewaugh Road.
As part of the Government’s $3.5 billion National Water Grid investment to secure Australia’s water future, the 2021-22 Budget also includes $1 million for the development of a business case for the proposed upgrade of the Nyngan to Cobar Pipeline.
This is a significant first step to ensuring the future growth of Cobar; the upgrade would not only provide long-term regional water security and drought resilience for the region but will help create economic stability.