The 2019-20 Federal Budget will create a stronger and more secure Parkes electorate by funding important local investments and boosting essential services.
Member for Parkes Mark Coulton said the Budget is testament to the Liberal National Government’s commitment to economic growth.
“After more than a decade of deficits, this Budget forecasts a surplus of $7.1 billion in 2019-20,” Mr Coulton said.
“Hard-working Australians will be rewarded with immediate tax relief of up to $1,080 for low and middle income earners to ease cost of living pressures. Taxpayers earning up to $126,000 a year will receive a tax cut.
“Small businesses in my electorate will benefit from an increase to the Instant Asset Write Off from $25,000 to $30,000, which is now also available to businesses with a higher turnover.
“The continuation of the highly successful Building Better Regions Fund with a $200 million fourth round will support regional and remote communities by funding investment-ready infrastructure projects, in turn creating jobs and boosting the economy.
“This Budget guarantees the essential services people in the Parkes electorate rely on, such as schools, hospitals, drugs on the PBS, aged care and disability support.”
Mr Coulton said people in his electorate will reap the rewards of two more rounds of the Mobile Black Spot Program, meaning better connected communities; a one-off $75 Energy Assistance Payment for singles eligible for certain qualifying payments; and support for older Australians, with increased funding for aged care by $7 billion including 20,000 new home care packages.
“A fifth round of the Stronger Communities Programme will be delivered with $22.7 million, which will continue offering grants of between $2,500 and $20,000 for small capital projects,” Mr Coulton said.
“A $2.2 billion Road Safety Package, including an additional $275 million for the Heavy Vehicle Safety and Productivity Program and $275 million for the Bridges Renewal Program, is a very important investment in our roads infrastructure.
“Regional airport works will enable greater access to safe and efficient air services, thanks to $100 million in funding.
“I am excited about the $34 million Agriculture Stewardship program, which recognises the role of farmers as stewards of the environment, with further initiatives helping farmers to expand market access. $6.3 billion in assistance and concessional loans supports those affected by drought, including the $5 billion Future Drought Fund.
“The impact of the drought is also being recognised through a $5 million grant to the Country Women’s Association (CWA) in 2018-19 so the organisation can continue to provide financial assistance to farmers who need it.
“A $28.3 million Communities Environment Program will allocate up to $150,000 to the electorate in 2019-20 for community-led projects that deliver environmental benefits.
“Likewise, I am pleased with a $156.3 million investment in the new Additional Identified Skills Shortage payment for 80,000 additional apprentices in areas of priority skill shortage. This will be extremely important to boost our skills base.”
Mr Coulton said $62 million over four years will fast track the National Rural Generalist Pathway so regional and rural communities have better access to doctors and shorter waiting times.
“Education wins for the Parkes electorate include the continuation of the Quality Schools Package – $310 billion in needs based funding – and a $200 million Youth Education Package to give more Indigenous students the support and mentoring they need through their studies,” Mr Coulton said.
“$93.7 million for the new Destination Australia Scholarships will provide students with opportunities to study in regional, rural and remote areas. The Government will also remove the HELP debt of teachers who spend at least four years in very remote areas.”
Mr Coulton said the Government will reduce the migration cap by 15% and incentivise more new migrants to settle outside the big cities where there are jobs and services.
“These new investments will help make our community an even better place to live and raise a family,” Mr Coulton said.
“Our plan balances the books to ensure we can pay for what we promise, create more local jobs by backing our businesses, lower taxes so more families keep more of what they earn and guarantee critical local services.”
Families in Mr Coulton’s electorate will also secure better health services, including a $5 billion increase in funding for the nation’s public hospitals, and a further $461.1 million focused on addressing youth mental health and suicide prevention.
Mr Coulton said as Assistant Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, he is pleased to see $60 million over the next three years for the Export Market Development Grants (EMDG) scheme.
“The EMDG scheme will help more small and medium businesses to export, grow their business and create local jobs, which is great news for the Parkes electorate,” Mr Coulton said.
“I am also pleased that there are two new regional visas for skilled workers, which will require them to live and work in regional Australia for three years. Another $29.4 million will be invested in enhancing Australia’s agricultural trade.”