The win­ners and losers

Bud­get plan brings us re­gional in­fra­struc­ture fund­ing

Central and North Burnett Times - - NEWS - Jack Lawrie jack.lawrie@cnbtimes.com.au

NORTH Bur­nett Mayor Rachel Cham­bers was happy to see the end of the freeze on the in­dex­a­tion of Fi­nan­cial As­sis­tance Grants with the 2017 Fed­eral Bud­get.

“These have been frozen since 2014 and has meant a loss of $925 mil­lion to lo­cal gov­ern­ments over this time,” Cr Cham­bers said.

“We have also been in­formed that we have had an in­crease in our Roads 2 Re­cov­ery fund­ing.”

While lo­cal coun­cils will likely ben­e­fit from this move, things are look­ing op­ti­mistic for re­gional Queens­lan­ders on the whole.

Res­i­dents can look for­ward to the ad­di­tional fund­ing for In­fra­struc­ture, with an in­vest­ment of $472 mil­lion in projects aimed at as­sist­ing re­gional ar­eas.

The govern­ment has also pro­vided $1 bil­lion bud­geted for Land­care over the next five years.

And $5 mil­lion has also been bud­geted to help the Queens­land tourism in­dus­try re­cover from the im­pact of Trop­i­cal Cy­clone Deb­bie.

The big­gest in­vest­ment is $8.4 bil­lion for an in­land rail project for trans­porta­tion of goods be­tween Bris­bane and Mel­bourne.

Else­where, young first home buy­ers will have the op­tion to salary-sac­ri­fice su­per­an­nu­a­tion from pre-tax in­come to­ward a first home de­posit.

These with­drawals will have a lower tax rate and both mem­bers of a cou­ple can take ad­van­tage, how­ever the to­tal amount is capped at $15,000 a year and $30,000 to­tal.

While peo­ple with jobs ben­e­fit from this scheme, peo­ple on wel­fare will face ran­dom drug test­ing and in­creased hourly work re­quire­ments aimed at pe­nal­is­ing “dole bludgers”.

For­eign work­ers will also lose out, with a new levy on visa em­ploy­ers of up to $5000 per em­ployee.

This is planned to raise money for a Skilled Aus­tralians Fund aimed at train­ing up na­tional-born work­ers.

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