Nationals Senator for New South Wales Perin Davey says the 2020-21 Federal Budget has once again reinforced the regions are key to the road back to economic recovery.
“This year’s budget puts regional Australia front and centre, it will create jobs and help regional businesses, in a year when we need it the most.”
“Rebuilding our economy involves building more roads, rail and bridges, which is why we are funding big projects like the Singleton Bypass and Bolivia Hill Upgrade.”
“We are also investing in local roads with $1 billion going to the Local Roads and Community Infrastructure Program and $140 million for NSW under the Safer Roads Program.
“Our infrastructure investment means jobs. The extension to the apprentice wage subsidy and the new JobMaker hiring credit announced in the Budget also means jobs.
“And we know there are unfilled jobs in the regions so we are also providing incentives for Australians to take up seasonal work with a temporary relocation allowance to offset the cost of moving to where the work is.
“This budget is all about jobs because we know jobs mean wages which means people have money to spend in their local community.”
Senator Davey said regional investment is also designed to attract new business to the regions and encourage decentralisation.
“Our $1.3 billion Modern Manufacturing plan targets six priority areas including food and beverage manufacturing, recycling and critical minerals, all of which would ideally be located in the regions.
“And to support this we continue to invest in connectivity through the NBN and mobile blackspots program so that new and existing businesses can connect to markets and customers.
“To have strong regions you need a secure water supply for our towns and industries,” she said.
“That is why we have committed $2 billion in new funding which will build vital water infrastructure across the country as part of our national water grid.
“We have already funded over 20 projects to supply billions of litres of water for productive use, and we have now doubled our commitment to Wyangala and Dungowan dams with investment totalling $567 million.”
“The Nationals in Government will continue to support and champion our regional communities who are the backbone of the nation, and one of our most important assets in the road out of this pandemic,” Senator Davey said
Key budget measures for regional Australia include;
- $2 billion in concessional loans to help farmers overcome the drought
- $350 million to support regional tourism and attract domestic visitors back to the regions
- $200 million for a further round of the Building Better Regions Fund which funds community and infrastructure investments
- $100 million for Regional Recovery Partnerships to support recovery and growth in key regions including the Snowy Mountains, the Hunter valley and the Parkes region
- $22.7 million for the Stronger Communities Program which provides up to $150,000 for every federal electorate for community led projects
- $317 million for Australian exporters to continue to access global supply chains, building on the 80,000 tonnes of exports we have already helped get to market.