The winners and losers
Budget plan brings us regional infrastructure funding
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.