9 May 2018 

Budget 2018 delivers for Wide Bay

The Turnbull-McCormack Government’s 2018 Budget delivers on the Liberal Nationals plan to build a stronger economy to benefit all Australians, Federal Member for Wide Bay, Llew O’Brien said.

 “In Wide Bay, the 2018 Budget will build new roads, deliver more aged care places and packages, and fund hospitals, schools, councils, community services and local projects, providing more services, creating jobs and helping to unlock the potential of our region,” Mr O’Brien said.

“The Coalition Government will also provide tax relief with a focus on low and middle income earners, invest in new infrastructure projects to make the Bruce Highway safer and faster, strengthen the economy, and boost services that our community needs and people rely on.”

Our plan will:

  • Deliver lower, fairer and simpler taxes to encourage and reward working Australians;
  • Back businesses to invest and create more jobs;
  • Deliver the infrastructure that industry and workers rely on;
  • Guarantee essential services including record funding for hospitals and schools, boosting aged care places, and fund disability services;
  • Keep Australians safe by safeguarding our borders and investing more in our intelligence and security services;
  • Protect our unique environment with smarter biosecurity systems;
  • Ensure the Government lives within its means with a forecast return to budget balance in 2019-20, increasing to a projected surplus of $11 billion in 2020-21.

“Our tax relief plan will encourage and reward hard workers in Wide Bay, with 52,239 local taxpayers set to benefit from an additional tax offset of up to $530 per year.

“There is great news for small businesses, with the $20,000 instant asset write-off continuing for another year, helping small business invest, grow and hire.  This is on top of legislated tax cuts for small and medium businesses that help the 17,574 local businesses to create more jobs and pay higher wages.

“Building a better and safer Bruce Highway through Wide Bay is a top priority for me and the Coalition Government.  The Budget confirms funding for a number of projects along the Bruce including:

  • $800 million for the Cooroy to Curra Section D realignment.
  • $11.2 million to upgrade the intersection of the Wide Bay and Bruce Highways.
  • $82.4 million to upgrade the highway at Aldershot around Saltwater Creek.
  • $85.6 million to improve flood immunity along the highway at Tiaro.
  • $13.3 million for new overtaking lanes at Tinana.

“The Coalition Government’s Roads to Recovery investments include:

  • $1,380,961 for East Deep Creek Road, East Deep Creek – widening and sealing 1.7km eastwards from the intersection of Tyrell Road and East Deep Creek Road.
  • $100,000 for Tyrell Road, Monkland – pavement reconstruction and widening from the intersection of Noosa Road and Tyrell Road  to the intersection of East Deep Creek Road and Tyrell Road.
  • $67,783 for Gympie Regional Council in 2018-19.
  • $1,410,744 for Weyba Road, Noosaville – pavement rehabilitation between the intersection of Mary Street and Weyba Road towards the intersection of Noosa Drive and Leslie Drive.
  • $1,645,002 for Fraser Coast Regional Council in 2018-19.
  • $254,143 for Cherbourg Aboriginal Shire Council in 2018-19.
  • 1,456,301 for South Burnett Regional Council in 2018-19.

“Other infrastructure investments include:

  • $2 million for Counter Road – Cooloola to Noosa.
  • $260,000 for Noosa Council – Mary River Road Bridge Replacement.
  • $550,000 for Noosa Council – Old Noosa Road Bridge Replacement.
  • $365,000 for Noosa Council – Orealla Bridge Upgrade.

“The Coalition Government is also investing in a range of projects in Wide Bay that will create over 200 jobs, including:

  • $270,000 for Gympie’s Suncoast Gold Macadamias .
  • $5 million for Gympie’s Nolan Meats processing plant expansion.
  • $10,000 for Gympie Council’s Industry Ready Rainbow Beach tourism growth project.
  • $1.75 million for Maryborough’s Dale & Meyer’s timber value-add innovative laminated product project.
  • $267,000 for Teys Murgon Beef cattle hide processing facility expansion.

Community projects, local events and community service organisations will also benefit from another $200 million round of the Building Better Regions Fund, and another round of the $150,000 Stronger Communities Programme.  In Wide Bay, the Coalition Government is already investing in local projects through BBRF including:

  • $1.5 million for Gympie’s the Upper Mary Street Precinct Revitalisation Project.
  • $15,000 for the Fraser Coast Regional Social Plan.
  • $20,000 for Gympie’s Kickstart Regional Business and Innovation Summit.
  • $75,000 for Gympie’s Rush Festival.
  • $19,500 for Noosa’s Capacity Building Framework, Digital Tool, and Pitch Event.

Mr O’Brien said the Liberal Nationals Government is committed to delivering record levels of funding to Queensland’s hospitals.

“The Coalition Government is increasing funding to Queensland hospitals by over $29.5 billion over the five years to 2024-25, delivering an additional $7.49 billion in funding compared to the previous 5 years. This is a funding increase of 34 per cent,” Mr O’Brien said.

Mr O’Brien has a strong interest in aged care, and said the Coalition’s 2018 Budget substantially increases the number of home care packages.

“I know that as people age, they want to stay in the comfort, security and familiar surrounds of their home.  This Budget enables more people to stay in their own home for longer, with more than 14,000 additional places, adding to the 6,000 extra places already released in MYEFO – bringing the total of additional in home places funded since last Budget to 20,000,” Mr O’Brien said.

The Liberal Nationals 2018 Budget also funds 13,500 new residential aged care places and 775 short-term restorative places to be made available where they are most needed, plus $60 million for capital investment.  The Coalition Government will also invest $40.0 million to support aged care providers in regional, rural and remote Australia for urgent building and maintenance works.

An Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission will ensure older Australians receive the best possible care, with an additional $50 million to assist providers implement the new standards.  MyAged Care will be improved with an investment of $61.7 million to make it easier to use, along with simplifying the forms required to apply for aged care services, and $7.4 million to trial navigators to assist people to choose the aged care services that suit their needs.

This Budget guarantees the funding of the National Disability and Insurance Scheme.   Australians with a permanent and significant disability deserve the best care we can provide. 

“Once fully rolled out, the NDIS will directly help an estimated 3,969 people and their families in Wide Bay,” Mr O’Brien said.

The Budget delivers on the Coalition Government’s needs based funding model recommended by David Gonski. 

“We are making sure that our record and growing school funding delivers a quality school education so that every student in every school in Wide Bay is given every opportunity to succeed and thrive,” Mr O’Brien said.

Government and Independent Schools funding in Wide Bay increases substantially, with funding rising by $35.7 million to 2027. 

Children of pre-school age will also benefit from a multi-million dollar preschool funding boost, enabling 1,706 children in Wide Bay access to 15 hours of quality early learning in the year before school.  The Coalition Government is also making child care more accessible and affordable. From 2 July, our new child care system will come into place, with 4,145 families in Wide Bay standing to benefit from the reforms. ENDS