The Coalition Government is delivering a record $100 billion infrastructure build while handing down the first Budget surplus since 2007 without increasing taxes, Member for Wannon, Dan Tehan said today.
“After more than a decade of deficits, this budget forecasts a surplus of $7.1 billion in 2019-20 – a $55.5 billion turnaround from the deficit we inherited seven years ago,” Mr Tehan said.
“While the Budget forecasts a surplus, it also delivers an additional $158 billion in income tax relief for hard-working Australians, on top of the $144 billion in tax cuts locked into legislation last year.
Wannon’s infrastructure is a big winner from this year’s Budget.
“Wannon commuters will benefit from a $3 billion investment in Victorian road and rail infrastructure.”
“This record investment will see much needed work on the Princes Highway, the Western Highway, the Ararat rail line and the Warrnambool rail line. This will deliver a safer and quicker way to travel.”
“Tonight’s Budget delivers the first surplus in more than a decade, creates more jobs, lowers taxes and guarantees essential services, like schools, hospitals, roads, rail and mobile coverage. This is a budget for everyone. Because the Coalition has an economic plan, we can be trusted to deliver for our communities.”
Delivering Better Roads and Rail
“This year’s Budget delivers on my plan for Wannon by delivering better roads and rail. It does this by providing $2.7 billion for fast rail to Geelong and duplication from South Geelong to Waurn Ponds, which will cut travel times along the Warrnambool line by 30 minutes and improve reliability of services. This is in addition to the $502 million already provided for the Ararat line and $104 million to upgrade the Warrnambool line.”
“For roads, there is $360 million to complete the duplication of the Western Highway from Ballarat to Stawell, $80 million for improvements to the Princes Highway West from Colac to SA border, Henty Highway, Portland – Nelson Road & Portland – Casterton Road, and $60 million for the Western Highway between Stawell and the South Australian border, funded through the Coalition’s $4.5 billion Roads of Strategic Importance Initiative.”
“I’m delighted to see a further $1 billion down-payment towards projects identified through the Princes Highway Corridor Strategy. This shows the Coalition is prepared to back this work with real money. This is in addition to the work the Coalition Government has already done upgrading the Princes Highway.”
“The Coalition Government is also making local roads safer through our $2.2 billion Road Safety Package, targeting black spots and council road improvements, including a 25% increase in funding for the ‘Roads to Recovery’ program, and a further $571.1 million to improve the safety and efficiency of heavy vehicle operations through the Bridges Renewal Program, Heavy Vehicle Safety and Productivity Program and Heavy Vehicle Safety Initiatives.”
Cutting the Cost of Living
“Tonight’s Budget includes immediate tax relief of up to $1,080 for low and middle income earners and up to $2,160 for a dual income couple to ease cost of living pressures,” Mr Tehan said.
Over 10 million Australians are estimated to benefit from the offset with around 4.5 million individuals estimated to receive the maximum benefit for the 2018-19 income year.
To assist with their next power bill and the cost of living, the Coalition Government will provide a one off, income tax exempt payment of $75 for singles and $125 for couples to more than 3.9 million eligible social security payment recipients.
Supporting Small Business and Farmers
“We are backing small business by increasing the Instant Asset Write Off to $30,000 and expanding its access to small businesses with a turnover of $50 million, benefitting 3.4 million businesses.”
Through the $525 million Delivering Skills for Today and Tomorrow package, the Government is also ensuring Australia’s vocational education and training (VET) sector delivers the skills critical to the economy now and into the future, benefitting students and the businesses who employ them. This includes creating up to 80,000 additional apprenticeships over five years in priority skill shortage areas through a new apprenticeship incentive.
Guaranteeing Essential Services
“The Coalition Government will continue to guarantee our essential services. We will have better connected communities through an additional $160 million investment in the Mobile Black Spot Program, and $60 million to provide grants for improving mobile and broadband services in regional areas.“
The Budget provides record health spending of $81 billion in 2019-20, and regional Australian communities will have easier access to doctors and shorter waiting times with $62.2 million to fast track the National Rural Generalist Pathway program.
The Coalition Government’s plan for a stronger economy is guaranteeing essential education services through the delivery of yet another year of record funding for child care, preschools, schools and universities. This includes funding of $93.7 million to create up to 4,720 scholarships for students to study at a regional university or vocational education provider. It also includes the establishment of a Local School Community Fund, providing $200,000 to each federal electorate to support priority projects in local schools that benefit students and their communities.
Delivering Community Projects
Communities in Wannon stand to benefit from a range of grant programs to further improve our communities and sporting infrastructure, with confirmation of $206.2 million for a further round of the Building Better Regions Fund, $150 million to support the development of female change room facilities at sporting grounds, as well as funding to continue the Safer Communities Programme and for a new round of the Stronger Communities Programme.
“I look forward to supporting more fantastic community initiatives in Wannon if I am given the privilege of being re-elected as the Member for Wannon.”
“This is all possible because of the Coalition Government’s strong economic and budget management.”