Federal Member for Grey Rowan Ramsey has welcomed Treasurer Scott Morrison’s second Budget and said the Government remains on target to bring to deliver a surplus by 2021.
“There are a number of Budget announcements which will directly affect people living in Grey and I am pleased with further funding for programs that have done very well in recent times,” he said.
“There is solid investment in roads funding with $6.5m for upgrades of the Oodnadatta Track and a further $10m under Roads to Recovery funding for local councils. Councils will be very pleased our voice has been heard and the budget re-instates the SA-only Suplementary Local Roads Program with an allocation of $40m over the next two years. Even more importantly indexation of the Financial Assistance Grants to councils will be restored. As regional MPs, Member for Barker Tony Pasin and I have fought hard for these outcomes and they will greatly please our local councils,” he said.
“The announcement of the $472m Regional Growth Fund including a further $200m for the Building Better Regions program will provide a great many new opportunities for our communities
“Grey has done very well under this program with $25m funding in the last two rounds. This extra funding will bring real benefits for communities in Grey.
“There will be $272m allocated under the Regional Growth Fund to drive major projects of $10m or more, enabling rural communities to unlock opportunity and potential and there will be another three rounds of the Stronger Communities Program.”
Mr Ramsey said farmers will be able to apply for drought loans through a new national Regional Investment Corporation instead of the difficult process they have dealt with before in SA with PIRSA managing the process.
“We have all been perplexed as to why farmers interstate have been able to access these loans, but farmers in this state cannot. This will level the playing field,” he said.
“I was very pleased to see the $20,000 instant tax write-offs for small business with turnovers up to $10m extended for another twelve months. This has been an enormously popular measure and is driving local investment.”
Mr Ramsey said the inclusion of $110m to support the establishment of a solar thermal plant in Port Augusta is welcome news, backing up the Government’s commitment to this project made during the election.
“Doctors will be very pleased indexation of the Medicare rebate will be restored,” he said.
“I have received a string of letters recently from Meals on Wheels services, an essential service in rural and regional communities seeking a commitment to an extension of their funding and they will be pleased with the Government’s ongoing commitment.
“A billion dollars has been allocated to Landcare and the Government is investing in three pumped hydro projects around Australia including a feasibility study into one in Port Augusta.”
Mr Ramsey said in this Budget the Government has made tough decisions to fully fund the NDIS to provide a secure future for people with disabilities.
“Labor left the NDIS baby on our desk with no plan to finance it,” he said.
“We have been blocked from getting our savings measures to bridge the gap through the Senate for three years. Responsible governments make responsible decisions and that is what the rise in the Medicare level in two years time is.
“This Budget is a responsible, measured plan for all Australians and will pave the way forward to Budget surplus.
“I see real opportunities for Grey and am very pleased with the Treasurer’s making the right choices to ensure our nation’s remarkable economic growth.”
Media Contact; Leonie Lloyd-Smith 02 62774967 Canberra 08 8633 1744 Port Pirie Office.
May 10, 2017