Photo Caption: Member for Parkes Mark Coulton attended the Namoi Unlimited board meeting and workshops at the Roxy Theatre in Bingara last week – Namoi Unlimited is a joint organisation of several councils in New South Wales, which includes two member councils in the Parkes electorate.
Supporting regional communities
It was great to be at the Roxy Theatre in Bingara last week for the Namoi Unlimited board meeting and workshops.
Namoi Unlimited is a joint organisation of several councils in New South Wales which includes two member councils in my electorate – Gunnedah Shire Council and Gwydir Shire Council. Thank you to Namoi Unlimited Chairperson and Gunnedah Mayor Jamie Chaffey for inviting me.
We discussed the ag sector, future opportunities for the region and how all levels of government can best work together to support regional communities.
There are a range of key Federal Government investments delivering for councils right now, including the Local Roads and Community Infrastructure Program, Drought Communities Programme, Fixing Local Roads program and many more. These extra funds are delivering important economic outcomes as we progress through challenging times, but at the same time, as we realise the extensive opportunities that exist for regional areas.
Helping small business lower power bills
Small businesses in my electorate can now apply for a share in $9 million of grants for energy efficient projects under the Government’s Energy Efficient Communities Program.
The grants will help small businesses reduce their power bills, which will ease financial pressure during these challenging economic times.
Up to $20,000 will be available to small businesses with an annual turnover of less than $10 million to upgrade equipment to reduce energy consumption (for example – replacing motors, air conditioners, or air compressors), invest in monitoring systems to better manage energy use and conduct energy audits.
We know our small businesses are key to getting the economy back on track, which is why I’m so pleased these grants are available.
I’d encourage small business owners who would like to apply for a grant to view the guidelines and application forms at www.business.gov.au/Grants-and-Programs, or by telephone on 13 28 46. Applications close 26 August 2020.
Small business tax cuts
From this month, small and family businesses in the Parkes electorate will be paying less tax as a result of legislated tax cuts passed by the Coalition Government.
As the 2020-2021 financial year begins, incorporated small and family businesses with a turnover of less than $50 million will see their company tax rate reduced.
Unincorporated businesses will also benefit as the rate of the small business income tax offset increases.
The changes mark the next stage of the Government’s accelerated small business tax cuts, legislated in October 2018, which brought forward tax relief for small and medium businesses by five years.
Another great win for the small business sector, which are the backbone of our economy.
At a time they need it most, these tax cuts will lead to more investment, increased employment opportunities and will help small business owners keep more of their money.
Drought initiatives rolling out
Eight programs totalling $89.5 million are currently being rolled out under the Government’s Future Drought Fund. Under the Fund, $100 million will be available annually for drought resilience projects.
Many of these projects will offer direct benefits to those in the Parkes electorate. Some key initiatives include:
• The $20m Farm Business Resilience program to provide farm businesses with training to strengthen business management skills and develop a farm business plan.
• The $10m Climate Services for Agriculture program to fund interactive digital ‘climate information services’ to assist farmers to make real-time decisions.
• The $3.75m Networks for Building Drought Resilience program to support community-driven projects that enhance drought resilience, including small-scale infrastructure projects for community facilities.
• The $20.3m Drought Resilience Research and Adoption program to establish two regionally located hubs. Grants will become available to research organisations, private sector, industry, not-for-profit organisations and community groups.
I’ll be keeping tabs on these programs and will provide updates as they become available. Full details are available at https://minister.awe.gov.au/littleproud/media-releases