By Wide Bay Mp Llew O’brien
The Federal Budget for 2021-22, handed down on May 11, is one of the most important in the history of our nation, with significant investments to continue the Morrison Government’s work to rebuild our economy, create jobs, and build infrastructure as we emerge from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Budget contains a record $17.7 billion commitment to improve aged care, which includes an extra 80,000 new home care packages, and I will be working to ensure this funding is used to address the availability and quality of care in Noosa communities and throughout Wide Bay.
Along with Assistant Minister for Defence Andrew Hastie, I recently met with veterans at the Tewantin-Noosa and the Cooroy Pomona RSLs, where we discussed the urgent need for fair pay for Occupational Therapists and allied health professionals who care for veterans. I’m pleased to report that in this Budget the Government has acted with a $61.9 million boost for these services, which will increase the availability and quality of care provided to veterans.
I also welcome $2.3 billion in the Budget for mental health and suicide prevention; $1.1 billion for women’s safety; and an increase of the Child Care Subsidy to for families with more than one child aged five and under.
Around 49,100 taxpayers in Wide Bay will benefit from tax relief of up to $2,745 this year, from the extension of the low and middle income tax offset to 2021-22 and the decision to bring forward Stage 2 of the Government’s tax relief plan – leaving more money in the pockets of local families to spend and further stimulate the economy.
Locally, the Tablelands Road Bridge at Cooran and Wahpunga Lane Bridge at Kin Kin will be completed in 2021-22 with $1,240,949 allocated through the Bridges Renewal; and Noosa Council will receive $1,580,692 through the Local Roads and Community Infrastructure program to spend on priority projects.
Cooroy Badminton Hall receives a final payment of $10,000 out of a total $20,000 Australian Government contribution for its newly completed amenities block upgrade, while the final stage of the Rufous Street Masterplan, the fantastic new Peregian Beach Community House, is scheduled to be finished by November with $1,517,500 allocated in the Budget as part of a $2,550,179 investment in the Peregian Beach community from the Australian Government.
If you would like to learn more about the 2021-22 Budget, my Budget newsletter will be arriving in letterboxes at the end of June, or you can contact my office on (07) 4121 2936.