Local reaction to Federal Budget
As Federal budgets go, last week’s was fairly uneventful for the Pilbara region.
Like everyone in the country, if you work, you’re a bank or a university student, you’re about to find your hip pocket hit.
If you are looking to buy your first home, are a pensioner wanting to downsize, or run a small business, life just got a tad easier.
When it comes to measures specifically targeting the Pilbara, they were thinner on the ground, although the announcement of two new trial areas for the cashless welfare card has sparked interest in Hedland, in particular.
Other announcements likely to affect the Pilbara include the monitoring of insurance premiums, establishment of the Regional Investment Corporation and measures to develop northern Australia with investment into cattle supply and roads.
Highlights of the Budget, handed down by Treasurer Scott Morrison last Tuesday, included an extra 0.5 per cent to hit every income-earner from 2019, with the Medicare levy set to rise to 2.5 per cent to help plug the funding hole in the National Disability Insurance Scheme.
While acknowledging in his speech that it had “been a fair while since most hardworking Australians have had a decent pay rise”, the Treasurer also said they “could not pass a burden and foresake our obligations to the next generation”.
Member for Durack Melissa Price said the Budget was aimed at delivering and guaranteeing the services Australians expected their Federal Government to provide them with. “I am very pleased to see an increase in schools funding for every school in the Pilbara, as they were not receiving their fair share of funding under the old model,” she said.
“We have expanded the hugely successful Geraldton University Centre Model to six new locations around the country, and the Pilbara may very well have one of these in the future.”