What does this mean for regional Australia?
With record investments in infrastructure, education, health, jobs, small business, housing affordability, energy and telecommunications, regional communities in the Barwon Electorate will be even better places to live, work and invest.
In summary, this year’s Federal Budget the Nationals in government will:
Fund the Inland Rail project with an additional $8.4 billion, with construction to begin later this year.
Establish a $4 billion Regional Investment Corporation, a national body to streamline and speed up the approval of farm concessional loans and administer the National Water Infrastructure Loan Facility.
Fully fund the National Disability Insurance Scheme (NDIS).
Deliver a fair, nationally consistent, needs-based schools funding model which will invest a record $242.3 billion over the next decade in our children’s education – particularly disadvantaged regional schools.
Deliver an additional $2.5 billion in early childhood education.
Invest a record $75 billion in infrastructure funding and financing to 2026-27 for critical airport, road, and rail infrastructure projects.
Establish a $472 million Regional Growth Fund that will deliver critical infrastructure ensuring regional areas do not miss out on Australia's growth.
Connect regional centres to our capital cities, with faster, more reliable rail services, with regional Australia getting its fair share of the new $10 billion National Rail Program.
Continue the Roads to Recovery Program with $4.4 billion from 2013-14 to 2020-21 committed to the construction, repair and upgrade of local roads.
Continue the Black Spot Program with $685 million committed from 2013-14 to 2020-21 to deliver improvements such as safety barriers and street lighting to sections of dangerous road that have a crash history.
Create a new Regional Growth Fund to deliver an additional $200 million to the Building Better Regions Fund taking total funding to almost $500 million, and establish a $272 million fund to drive major transformational projects of more than $10 million to unlock opportunity and potential in the regions.
Invest $22.5 million for a third round of the Stronger Communities Program which helps fund small projects in local communities, across Australia.
Invest $9 million so rural and remote Australians can for the first time access psychology services covered by Medicare through teleconferencing and Skype.
Secure the future of Landcare with a $1 billion investment over 5 years.
Resume indexation of Financial Assistance Grants to councils, which results in an extra $836.5 million provided over the forward estimates.
The 2017–18 Budget builds on the record investment the Coalition Government has already made since coming to office to create stronger and more prosperous regions, including:
Our $50 billion infrastructure investment program.
The $6 billion White Paper on Developing Northern Australia.
The $4 billion Agricultural Competitiveness White Paper.
The $630 million National Stronger Regions Fund.
Investing $5.2 billion to connect regional households and businesses to the National Broadband Network.
More than $1 billion in drought assistance and support to farmers and rural communities experiencing hardship.
$220 million to continue fixing thousands of mobile black spots under the Mobile Black Spot Program – all of which goes to rural and regional areas.
Regional Australia is a key driver of the Australian economy so it is vital that we invest in our regions to help secure their futures.