Federal Member for Durack Melissa Price has welcomed the Government’s Budget and says it will lay the foundations for a strong and prosperous economy with less debt.
“To do this, every Australian must contribute to savings in the Budget. It is a fair Budget because we have systematically looked at every portfolio and every funding measure, and no spending cuts were made lightly by this Government,” Ms Price said.
“I understand that there are people who won’t be happy with some of the steps we have taken, but they are necessary steps if we want to reduce the debt that was created by Labor and build a strong economy for future generations.
“The former Government has a legacy that can be summed up in one word – debt. If we took no action, debt would have hit $667 billion, despite this Government already paying $1 billion every month in interest costs on Labor’s debt – simply, this is not sustainable and it is not good government.”
Ms Price said governments, like households, must live within their means. Because of this Budget, Labor’s deficits have been reduced by $43 billion and debt is forecast to be about $275 billion lower in a decade.
“Although this has been a tough Budget, there have been key investment measures that will drive Australia’s future prosperity and in turn Durack’s prosperity,” Ms Price said.
“This includes nearly $850 million for local infrastructure projects, which will be funded as part of the Government’s Economic Action Strategy to invest a record $4.7 billion in productivity-enhancing infrastructure in Western Australia.
“A number of projects will receive funding including: • Great Northern Highway Upgrade, Muchea to Wubin: $307.8 million • Great Northern Highway Upgrade – Muchea to Wubin, Bindi Bindi to Lyons East Road Section: $24.8 million • North West Coastal Highway – Minilya to Barrahdale: $174 million • Portlink Inland Freight Corridor Concept Plan: $900,000 • Oakajee Port: $339 million
“In addition, the $1 billion National Stronger Regions Fund will help construct and improve infrastructure in regional communities, and a further $550 million is being committed to the Roads to Recovery and Black Spot programs largely benefiting road safety in rural and regional areas.
“In Geraldton, I am pleased to have delivered on my Election commitment of CCTV funding, with a $440,000 investment under the Government’s Safer Streets Programme, where proceeds of crime will be directed to fund local crime prevention projects including:
• $160,000 for closed circuit television cameras for Eastern Breakwater (The Esplanade) • $160,000 for closed circuit television cameras for the HMAS Sydney Memorial • $120,000 for closed circuit television cameras for Geraldton City's Car Park No. 5 - near Stirling Centre and Sanford Street
“I have also been fighting for funding to reduce the threat and spread of cane toads into the Kimberley, so I am pleased that my colleagues have heard my calls and announced $500,000 for the Kimberley Cane Toad Clean Up Programme in last night’s Budget.”
Ms Price said prior to the Budget, Durack residents had raised concerns about the future of the diesel fuel rebate, so I am pleased to confirm that it has been retained in last night’s Budget.
“Regional areas have also fared well from a health perspective, including an additional $6 million for the Royal Flying Doctor Service, and an additional $35.4 million over two years for the General Practice Rural Incentives Program, which provides incentives for doctors medical practitioners to work in underserviced rural, regional and remote areas.
“Another $13.4 million over three years will fund an additional 500 nursing and allied health scholarships; scholarships with a value of up to $30,000 each. These will target workforce shortages in rural and remote areas.
“In regards to education, Durack residents will benefit from record recurrent funding investment of $64.5 billion in schools over the next four years, and for the first time ever, the Government will provide direct financial assistance for all students studying diplomas, advanced diplomas and associate degree courses, as well as bachelor degrees.
“We are also supporting those learning a trade by providing concessional Trade Support Loans of up to $20,000 over a four-year apprenticeship.
“These are all key investment measures that will help drive growth and prosperity in Durack while ensuring that we rein in wasteful spending and deliver on our commitment to the Australian people to create a sustainable Australia.”