May 12, 2015
A roads package of $40 million, including a doubling of Federal Government funding to local councils, will improve safety and boost the local economy, according to The Nationals Member for Gippsland Darren Chester.
Combined with tax cuts and incentives for small businesses to invest in new equipment, Mr Chester said tonight’s Federal Budget would encourage jobs growth in the region.
Mr Chester said the childcare and jobs packages included in the Budget would build confidence among Gippsland families, businesses and farmers regarding future opportunities.
“The Treasurer has outlined a long-term economic plan to build a strong, safe and prosperous future for all Australians and from a Gippsland perspective, I’m pleased with the overall direction of the Federal Budget,” Mr Chester said.
“The reduction in the tax rate for small business owners, coupled with incentives to purchase new equipment, should help to stimulate spending which will lead to jobs growth and greater confidence in our community.
“Coming on top of the historic Free Trade Agreements with China, Korea and Japan, there is encouragement for the private sector to ‘have a go’ and invest in future growth.
“The decision to double the Roads to Recovery funding for the next 12 months will allow Wellington Shire, East Gippsland Shire and Latrobe City to share in $11 million and get on with the job of improving the local road network.
“The Federal Government will also continue to invest heavily in major transport routes in the region including the Princes Highway and Strzelecki Highway.
“Over the next 12 months, there will be more than $20 million spent on the Princes Highway duplication between Traralgon and Sale which will complement the multi-million dollar boost to local roads.
“Both initiatives will improve productivity and make our roads safer to reduce accidents and save lives in the future.”
Mr Chester said he expected the fairer system for childcare and pensioners would be well-received by Gippslanders.
“The government is proposing an additional $3.5 billion for childcare to make the system simpler, more affordable and more flexible for families,” he explained.
“This package will provide Gippsland families with greater choice when it comes to balancing work and family life. Our jobs package is all about encouraging workforce participation, particularly for families who may not have a wage earner at the moment.
“There are additional incentives for private employers to give unemployed people a chance to start their working life and funding will continue for ‘work for the dole’ and the Green Army which has delivered valuable training and environmental outcomes in our region.
“Overall, the budget strikes the right balance between fixing the financial mess left by the previous government and encouraging confidence and future economic growth in our cities and regional communities.”
CAPTION: Federal Member for Gippsland Darren Chester with an armful of Budget papers, moments after the Treasurer Joe Hockey handed down his 2015/16 Budget on Tuesday night.