Federal Member for Page Kevin Hogan said the Federal Budget was great news for our community, local small businesses, job seekers and families.
“The tax cut for our over 10,000 local small businesses, which already employees tens of thousands of people, will help them grow and create even more jobs.
“I’m also happy that the Government is targeting tax avoidance by multi-national corporations to make sure everyone pays their fair share of tax here in Australia. This will raise nearly $4 billion over the next four years.
“This budget will help young people in our community into work and create a career path for them through Skills Training and a Voluntary Internship, while being supported with the Youth Bonus Subsidy.
“There is more money to fix our local roads, more money to replace our local aging wooden bridges.
“We are also increasing funding for schools to $4.1 billion, an increase of 25 per cent over the next four years.
“The Government is doing what it can to attract more GP’s to the Northern Rivers with a new grants program and will invest $1.7 billion to provide dental services in regional and rural areas.
“I’m glad to see an additional $298.2 million over four years will be used to continue the battle against Ice, something I have been lobbying for since I organised a community Ice forum in Lismore.
Additionally, as part of this year’s budget the Government is delivering key initiatives in Regional Development, Regional Communications and Rural Health:
- We are getting on with the job of building the Melbourne to Brisbane Inland Rail and have committed $594 million to acquire the land for the rail corridor and to continue pre-construction activities.
- Providing $560 million per year from 2019–20 to further support the Roads to Recovery Programme, the Bridges Renewal Programme, the Heavy Vehicle Safety and Productivity Programme, and the Black Spot Programme.
- Investing more than $21 million to rollout the new Heath Care Homes model to improve the delivery of coordinated primary health care for patients with chronic and complex conditions. A number of Heath Care Homes will provide services in rural and regional areas where access to integrated primary health care can be challenging.
- The listing of Photography with non-Mydriatic Retinal Cameras on the Medicare Benefits Schedule to cover the testing for diabetic retinopathy with a non-mydriatic retinal camera.
- Support for Rural and Remote Registrars will enable general practice registrars training on the Australian College of Rural and Remote Medicine Independent Pathway to claim a higher level of Medicare benefits for the services they provide in rural and regional areas whilst training.
- Rural General Practice Grants Programme will improve rural health services by redesigning Rural and Regional Teaching Infrastructure Grants Programme, in order to create a more streamlined Programme.
- Providing $73.6 million over four years for the network of 55 Regional Development Australia Committees (RDAs), to foster and strengthen local leadership across regional communities.
- Also beginning on July 1 is the roll out of an additional $298.2 million over four years to support the National Ice Action Strategy, which came after the Australian Crime Commission identified ice dealers were targeting rural and regional Australia.
The 2016-17 Budget builds on the record investment the Coalition Government has already made since coming to office to create stronger and more prosperous regions including:
- An unprecedented $50 billion investment upgrading and building safe and reliable land transport infrastructure across the country
- The $6 billion White Paper on Developing Northern Australia
- The $4 billion Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper
- The $2.4 billion for regional roads through the Roads to Recovery programme
- The $1 billion National Stronger Regions Fund
- Investing $5.2 billion to connect regional households and businesses to the National Broadband Network
- More than $710 million in drought assistance and support to farmers and rural communities experiencing hardship
- The $93.8 million Integrated Rural Training Pipeline to develop and retain medical graduates in rural and regional areas
- $160 million to fix thousands of mobile black spots under the Mobile Black Spots Programme all of which goes to rural and regional areas.