Budget 2022-23 building Wide Bay

Federal Member for Wide Bay and Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives Llew O’Brien said the Liberal and Nationals 2022-23 Budget supports households and sustains Australia’s economic recovery.

“This Budget is focussed on creating jobs, supporting regional communities and protecting our nation, our sovereignty and our freedom,” Mr O’Brien said. 

“We are boosting defence, strengthening borders and national security, supporting jobs growth, and easing cost of living pressures.

“As the Treasurer said last night, we live in uncertain times. 

“The repercussions of the war in Europe are being felt around the world and we are not immune from it here in Australia, with the effects flowing through to higher petrol prices which contribute to higher costs of living,” Mr O’Brien said.

“In response, the Liberal and Nationals Government is cutting fuel excise in half, which will deliver a 22 cents per litre saving for motorists every time they fill up their car.

“A household with two cars, that are filled up once a week, could save around $30 per week or $700 over the next six months,” Mr O’Brien said.

“A new $420 tax offset will provide cost of living relief for low and middle-income earners, and a new $250 cost of living payment will be delivered to pensioners, carers, veterans, job seekers, eligible self-funded retirees and concession card holders,” Mr O’Brien said.

“People in receipt of the low and middle-income tax offset will receive up to $1,500 and couples up to $3,000 from 1 July this year.

“Wide Bay households have been hit hard by the floods, first in January and again in February. The effects of the widespread loss of crops and stock, combined with rising petrol prices, is flowing throughout the economy. These Coalition Budget initiatives are designed to provide some relief to ease pressures on households.”

Increasing employment opportunities is a major focus of the Coalition’s 2022-23 Budget.

“For every $100 a small business invests on training their employees, they will receive a $120 tax deduction. To help grow jobs, a new $5,000 payment will be available to new apprentices and up to $15,000 in wage subsidies will be available to employers who take them on.”

With growing international uncertainty, the Liberal and Nationals Government is continuing to keep Australians safe and secure through record investments in national security and defence capability. The Budget also includes a 10-year, $9.9 billion investment to prevent and respond to cyber threats.

“The Coalition Government has already demonstrated its commitment to building our sovereign defence capability right here in Wide Bay at Rheinmetall Nioa Munitions and Global Manufacturing Group in Maryborough, creating local jobs to keep Australians safe,” Mr O’Brien said.

There are also allocations in the 2022-23 Budget for special projects to commemorate the service and sacrifice of Wide Bay veterans.

“A $700,000 commitment from the Liberal and Nationals Government will enable the Maryborough Military and Colonial Museum to expand,” Mr O’Brien said.

“Maryborough’s Military and Colonial Museum is home to Australia’s largest collection of wartime memorabilia outside the Australian War Memorial in Canberra, and this grant will enable more of the Museum’s unique collection to be placed on public display. 

“An upgraded Normanby Hill Veterans Memorial at Gympie will be funded through a $1.8 million commitment from the Coalition Government,” Mr O’Brien said. 

“This will provide a place of reflection and remembrance for local veterans and become a national landmark, adding to other special places of commemoration in Wide Bay, including the Gallipoli to Armistice Memorial in Maryborough.”

A range of other projects in Wide Bay have been funded in the 2022-23 Budget.

“There is $18 million reserved for the much-anticipated water storage project for the Lower Mary River,” Mr O’Brien said.

“This is a key commitment of mine that I have been working on together with Maryborough Canegrowers, and we all look forward to the realisation of this project as soon as possible.

“A Budget allocation of $140,000 will help sustain Maryborough Softball’s operations.

“Funding to expand Noosa’s beloved Katie Rose Cottage Hospice is also committed in the Budget, with a $1.5 million allocation that will increase end of life care services at its comfortable home-like setting.”

Construction projects along the Bruce Highway through Wide Bay will continue to be a major driver of the regional economy, creating jobs and which when complete will boost heavy industry and manufacturing along a safer, more efficient flood immune corridor.

“The Budget confirms a $144 million contribution towards the $1 billion Gympie bypass project in the 2022-23 financial year.

“The four-lane Tiaro bypass has an allocation of $3.2 million, but additional funding from the Australian Government is available to the Queensland Government with the Budget confirming an allocation of $268.8 million towards the much-needed project.

“Construction is well underway on a $103 million project to improve an 11km section of the Highway between Maryborough and Torbanlea, and the Budget includes a $25.38m payment to the Queensland Government in the 2022-23 financial year for the upgrade.”

The Budget also includes funding for a number of projects to upgrade bridges throughout Wide Bay.

“There is $227,500 allocated towards the Tandur Road Bridge replacement, $270,000 towards the Cooroy Belli Creek Road Bridge replacement, and $151,089 towards the Lawnville Road Bridge replacement at Black Mountain,” Mr O’Brien said.

“The Budget also confirms allocations of $2 million towards the Doonella Lake Bridge replacement on Memorial Avenue at Tewantin and $1.75 million for the Garth Prowd Bridge.”

Funding for Wide Bay community and sporting groups is also available in the Liberal and Nationals Government’s 2022-23 Budget with the extension of the Stronger Communities Program.

“Other local projects funded in the Budget include $93,500 for a new amenities block at the Goomeri Showgrounds, $466,450 for an upgrade to the jetty at Kingfisher Bay on Fraser Island, and $33,000 for the Murgon Men’s Shed for a shed to cover its rail display,” Mr O’Brien said.

“The Kia Ora Pony Club will receive $35,000 in the Budget towards its new amenities block, the Maryborough Athletics Ground has been allocated $51,586 for upgrades, Gympie Showgrounds will receive $51,622 towards new lighting, Noosa Council has been allocated $30,000 for a Noosa Industry and Employment Activation Plan, there is $19,992 for a South Burnett Agriculture Strategy, and $135,554 for improving access at the forever magical Sunshine Butterflies, Our Backyard.”

People who require diagnostic MRI imaging services in Maryborough will also benefit from the Liberal and Nationals 2022-23 Budget.

“Our Budget also includes funding for Medicare subsidised MRI services to be delivered into Maryborough, enabling cancer, stroke and heart conditions to be detected, without requiring people to travel to Hervey Bay or beyond,” Mr O’Brien said.

“The 2022-23 Liberal and Nationals Budget builds on my commitment to you and our nation, to build a better Wide Bay for all of us.”