First budget lays foundations for a strong economy

Federal Member for Forrest Nola Marino said the Abbott Government’s first Budget is laying the foundations for a strong and prosperous economy with less debt.

Mrs Marino said she was very pleased that more money had been poured into roads funding opportunities via the Black Spot Programme and Roads to Recovery programme.

She welcomed $500,000 funding for the Busselton Airport terminal expansion, $10m for online safety in schools, the biggest ever investment in child care professional development for staff and new ways to encourage and assist people back into the work place.

“At the election, the Coalition promised to get the Budget back under control. This Budget keeps that pledge in order to build a strong, prosperous economy for a safe, secure Australia,” Mrs Marino said.

“The Government has made the difficult but necessary decisions to put the Budget on a more sustainable footing. Governments, like households, must live within their means.

“Because of this Budget, Labor’s deficits have been reduced by $43 billion and debt is forecast to be about $275 billion lower in a decade.”

 

Budget highlights

Black Spot Programme

The Black Spot Programme targets dangerous sections of local roads by funding safety improvements such as traffic signals and roundabouts.

The Budget announced a further $200 million over the period 2015-16 to 2016-17, bringing our total investment over six years to $565 million.

 

Roads to Recovery

Funding from the Roads to Recovery Programme is provided to all local government authorities to assist them maintain and upgrade their local roads.

The Australian Government will provide a further $350 million per annum to extend the Programme from 2014-15 to 2018-19 and an additional $350m in 2015/16 to bring the total investment to $2.5 billion over six years.

 

Community Development Grants Fund

The Community Development Grants Programme supports needed infrastructure that promotes stable, secure and viable local and regional economies. The Programme is providing $500,000 for the Busselton Regional Airport Terminal Expansion Project – Stage 1b.

 

Chaplaincy

The Abbott Government is honouring its election commitment to continue the National School Chaplaincy Programme. The 2014-15 Budget delivers $243.8 million over four years to fund the programme. The previous government did not set aside any funding for the continuation of the programme after 2014.

 

Dementia research

The Abbott Government is honouring its election commitment to deliver an unprecedented $200 million funding boost to Australian researchers working on ways to prevent or cure dementia.

Dementia affects more than 320,000 Australians – including one in four over the age of 85 – making it the third leading cause of death in Australia.

 

Work for the dole

New arrangements will help more young job seekers to improve their chances of getting a job while giving something back to the community that supports them.

Job seekers aged 18 to 30 years who have been unemployed for 12 months or more and receiving taxpayer-funded assistance from a Job Services Australia provider will be required to do Work for the Dole for around 15 hours per week for six months unless they are working part-time.

 

Child Care

The Abbott Government will deliver the largest-ever government investment in professional development for long day care educators through a $200 million, three-year Long Day Care Professional Development Programme.

Jobs Education and Training Child Care Fee Assistance will provide parents on income support, who require child care, a maximum payment of $8 per hour, and those who undertake study will be eligible to receive assistance for up to 36 hours per week per child. This measure will take effect from January 2015.

 

Assistance for mature age workers

Employers will receive up to $10,000 in Commonwealth Government assistance if they hire a job seeker aged 50 or older under an enhanced wage-subsidy programme.

The new Restart programme – which starts on 1 July 2014 and is worth $524.8 million over four years – more than triples the incentive payment previously announced by the Government.

 

Online safety

The Abbott Government is honouring its election commitment to provide $10 million to enhance online safety for children. Measures include:

  • $7.5 million to assist schools to access accredited online safety programmes;
  • $2.4 million to establish and operate the Office of the Children’s e‐Safety Commissioner (the Commissioner) to take a leadership role in online safety; and
  • $0.1 million to support Australian‐based research and information campaigns on online safety.

We have responded to widespread community concern that more should be done to protect Australian children from harmful cyber‐bullying material and to give them the safest possible online environment.