The 2018-19 Federal Budget provides lots of good news for the Bendigo region, for taxpayers, small businesses and senior Australians.
I am proud of the strong but responsible budget measures for this region, including a variety of tax reforms, including the Low and Middle Income Tax Offset of up to $530 per annum.
More than 59,500 taxpayers in the Bendigo region stand to benefit from the low and middle income tax relief; this means more money to help you and your family with the costs of living.
I am particularly pleased that the coalition government will also extend the $20,000 instant asset write off initiative to help small local businesses afford much needed equipment without breaking the bank.
Already more than 1000 businesses across Bendigo have benefitted from the Asset Write Off Initiative, this number is now going to grow which is fantastic for regions such as Bendigo.
In rural health, the $550 million Stronger Rural Health Strategy will provide contemporary health care and put 3000 more highly qualified doctors and another 3000 nurses and hundreds additional allied health professionals into the regions over the next 10 years.
Through the $95m investment in the Murray Darling Medical Schools Network, medical students will be able to undertake most of their education in rural areas.
End to end training will mean that young doctors, after graduation, can stay working in the regions and enter new streamlined and expanded general practice specialist training programs including rural generalist training.
Youth Allowance has been made easier with the Parental Income Test being raised to $160,000 for regional and rural families making it more affordable for kids form the country to move away from home to undertake tertiary studies.
Our new child care system will come into place on July 2 and will benefit more than 5000 local families.
On top of this we have continued the funding for the 15 hours of quality early learning ensuring more than 2500 preschool kids across Bendigo get the best start to their education despite their circumstances.
Local sports clubs can also get access to much needed funds to upgrade change rooms and other infrastructure projects through the $29.7m sports infrastructure grants program.
Many local sporting organisations have told me of the urgent need for upgraded facilities to meet the increasing needs of their players and supporters.
I cannot understand why the member for Bendigo claims it’s an unfair budget; it’s anything but and has already been applauded by groups across the community.
I look forward to helping implement this budget which provides so much for country communities and I am sure that residents in Bendigo, Heathcote, Kyneton and throughout the electorate will share my delight that this government is standing up for regional Australians.