10/05/2017

Back to basics budget based on fairness, security and opportunity

Federal Member for Wide Bay Llew O’Brien, said the 2017 Coalition Government Budget is based on principles of fairness, security and opportunity.

“The Budget papers confirm my election commitments and funding for local projects,” Mr O’Brien said.

These include the $20 million Wide Bay Burnett Jobs Package to encourage business to create new jobs; $2 million to upgrade the Cooloola–Noosa coastal link road; Men’s Sheds at Tin Can Bay and Murgon; Maryborough’s Portside Cultural Precinct; as well as National Stronger Regions funding for the Fraser Coast Military History Trail; and Gympie’s Pavilion.

“Building a better Bruce Highway is a top priority for me and the Budget includes an $11.2 million allocation to upgrade the intersection of the Bruce Highway and Wide Bay Highway at Bells Bridge.  This funding will fix this notorious intersection and will be welcomed by people in Gympie and the South Burnett,” Mr O’Brien said.

“Funding of $36.28 million has been allocated for the Cooroy to Curra Section C project, and $7.8 million to complete the Cooroy to Curra Section D planning and design study.

“I am continuing to highlight the need for the Section D Cooroy to Curra project with the Minister for Infrastructure and Transport, Darren Chester.  I will again press the importance of this project, together with the need for upgrades of the Highway between Gympie and Maryborough, when I speak in the Parliament on Thursday.

“The Government simply cannot ignore the need for the Section D project when we already have 25,000 vehicles on the Bruce through Gympie every day, increasing by 3 per cent per year, and 3.5 per cent per year for heavy vehicles,” Mr O’Brien said.

“The Budget also includes funding to complete the Tinana interchange at Maryborough, which is expected to be open to traffic in August this year.”

“Federal Government Black Spot funding of $750,000 has been allocated to install a single lane roundabout at the intersection of Station Road and Cogan Street, Gympie.  In Maryborough, $191,000 has been allocated to install a single lane roundabout with a concrete apron at the intersection of Churchill Street and Tooley Street.  These safety improvements will reduce the risk of crashes and injury at these intersections.”

Mr O’Brien said local councils in Wide Bay will receive funding to upgrade local roads through the Coalition Government’s Roads to Recovery programme.

“Cherbourg Aboriginal Shire Council will receive $55,510 to improve local roads; $3,320,308 has been allocated to build better local roads in the Fraser Coast Regional Council area; $1,880,961 has been allocated to upgrade roads in the Gympie Regional Council area; Noosa Council will receive $1,107,221 for roads; and the South Burnett Regional Council will receive $2,285,323 to upgrade local roads.”

Mr O’Brien said Wide Bay Roads to Recovery projects already underway include:

Council

Project

Federal Contribution

Gympie Regional Council

Hall Road, Glanmire

$1,760,000

Gympie Regional Council

Harvey Siding Road, Curra

$330,000

Gympie Regional Council

Louisa Street, Gympie

$820,000

Gympie Regional Council

Old Maryborough Road, Chatsworth

$465,000

Gympie Regional Council

Spicer Street, Gympie

$75,000

Noosa Council

Eenie Creek Road, Noosaville

$1,028,139

Noosa Council

Reef Street, Noosaville

$250,000

South Burnett Regional Council

Kitoba Road, Kitoba

$120,000

 

Mr O’Brien welcomed the resumption of indexation of Federal Government Financial Assistance Grants. 

“Financial Assistance Grants provides vital Federal Government funding to local councils enabling them to deliver better services to local communities in Wide Bay.

“I also welcome the extension of the Building Better Regions Fund and Stronger Communities Programmes, and I will advocate strongly to ensure organisations in Wide Bay are able to secure a fair share of these funds.”

Mr O’Brien said the Coalition Government is strengthening Medicare and fully funding the NDIS to provide a secure future for Australians with a disability.  

The Coalition is also launching a fairer schools funding model that is needs-based, simple and transparent, delivering an extra $22 million to schools in Wide Bay over the next four years.  A new Child Care Package will also deliver affordable, accessible childcare for families.

Small businesses in Wide Bay will be supported through recently legislated tax cuts and those with a turnover of up to $10 million will be able to write off expenditure up to $20,000 for a further year.

The Coalition has abolished 457 visas and established a new Skilling Australians Fund to give permanent funding for skills training.  When matched with State and Territory funding, it will support up to 300,000 apprentices, trainees, pre-apprentices and higher level skilled Australians.

People with a mental illness including severe depression, eating disorders, schizophrenia and post-natal depression resulting in a psycho-social disability will be assisted through an $80 million commitment.

The Coalition Government is also restoring the pensioner concession card to people who were affected by changes to the Age Pension aster test, to help them regain access to state concessions.

A simple, more accessible Australian Financial Complaints Authority will act as a one stop shop to help people resolve their disputes with banks.

A modest drug testing trial for 5,000 new welfare recipients will be undertaken to help ensure their responsibilities are met.

The Coalition Government is also toughening Multinational Tax Avoidance Law to ensure multinational corporations pay their fair share of tax.

“The Coalition Government is making the right choices to ensure fairness, security and opportunity for all Australians.”