Federal Member for Gippsland Darren Chester said this year’s federal Budget continued to build a safer, stronger and fairer Gippsland.
Mr Chester welcomed the Budget’s focus on additional funding to keep delivering infrastructure and securing the jobs Gippslanders want, and the critical services we need.
“This Budget is about getting stuff done as we continue to build back from the challenges of recent years and keep delivering projects that make a difference to Gippslanders,” Mr Chester said.
“It focuses on connecting our communities and keeping Gippslanders safe, and includes $10 million to upgrade the Mallacoota-Genoa Road and funding for major safety and intersection upgrades along the Princes Highway – both huge wins for local communities.
“There’s more money for telecommunications upgrades, and the Building Better Regions Fund will improve sporting and community facilities.
“The Budget is securing the workforce in areas like health, education, aged care, veterans, disability and childcare, and ensuring the delivery of these services across our region. Providing people with the support and opportunities they need will in turn create jobs and build a stronger local economy.
“There is also support for practical environmental projects as we recover from the bushfires and care for Gippsland’s natural assets.
“Our tax cuts for lower and middle income earners are putting more money in the pockets of Gippslanders, to spend on what matters to them, which helps local businesses and creates more jobs in our region.”
Mr Chester said Gippslanders should be proud of what they had achieved so far together, and the Budget would build on the great work already being done to recover from the pandemic.
“There is was nowhere else in the world you’d want to be right now than in Australia,” Mr Chester said.
“We need to remain confident and optimistic about our future and the Budget is designed to secure the economy and keep Australians safe in an uncertain world.
“It recognises that Gippslanders are resilient, determined, hardworking and working together for a better future for our region.”
Highlights of the 2021-22 Federal Budget include:
- $1.7 million package aimed to ease out-of-pocket costs for working families utilising childcare
- More than $350 million will be invested in women’s health over the next four years, with a focus on cervical and breast cancer, endometriosis and reproductive health
- Approximately 125,000 single parents, who are eligible, with an income of less than $125,000 will be able to enter the property market with a new program allowing them to buy a home with just a two per cent deposit. This scheme will be limited to 10,000 participants.
- A First Home Super Saver Scheme program aimed at helping Australians breaking into the property market, with access to superannuation funds expanded for first home buyers from $30,000 to $50,000.
- Income tax for more Australians, with an extra $1080 for singles earning up to $126,000 and $2160 for dual income couples on low and middle incomes.
- $65 million to boost bulk billing rates from January 1, 2022 to provide more affordable healthcare for patients in regional, rural and remote areas.
- $114 million to extend Telehealth services until the end of the year.
- $1.1 billion for supporting victims of violence including financial support for women and their children and provide emergency accommodation
- Addressing violence against women and children and improving the accessibility and quality of women’s health services.
- Removing the current $450 per month minimum income threshold for the superannuation guarantee. This will improve the economic security in retirement for women.
- Brewers and distillers will benefit from tax cuts of up to $250,000.
- $16 billion in tax cuts for small and medium businesses by 2023-24
- $1.2 billion boost to fund apprenticeships, which is expected to support another 70,000 apprenticeships across the country.
- $539.2 million investment in new clean hydrogen, carbon capture, use and storage projects that will support Australian industry, create jobs and help cut emissions and drive investment.
- $120 million in Deregulation measures to reduce the regulatory burden for businesses interacting with government, making it easier for businesses to get people into jobs; and build foundations for future reforms.
- $600 million towards creating a new national agency tasked with helping local communities respond to natural disasters.
- $1.2 billion to transform Australia into a world leading digital economy by 2030.
- $250 million for round six of Building Better Region Fund
- More than $5.7 million for a new Rebuilding Regional Communities Program in partnership with the Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal (FRRR).
- Eight new water infrastructure businesses cases
- Extending the Homebuilder construction commencement period and the new Home Guarantee
- Supporting people with a disability by fully funding the NDIS with an additional $13.2 billion
- $17.7 billion to fund aged care reforms and ensure older Australians are treated with respect, care and dignity
- $2.3 billion for improved and expanded mental health care and suicide prevention
- $2 billion over four years for early childhood education
- 80,000 new home care packages
- $170 million to strengthen internet and mobile coverage in regional Australia particularly bushfire prone areas.