Before this year’s budget I pointed out that Eden-Monaro needs full time jobs and investments in key infrastructure – unfortunately this budget delivers neither.
There is no specific funding commitment in the budget for key projects in our region such as the so-called Snowy Hydro 2.0 proposal, work for which we were told would get underway next year. There is no commitment to duplicate the Barton Highway and nothing for the Bundian Way, despite the fact that these projects would be a catalyst for economic growth and jobs in our region.
There is one thing that’s crystal clear - the Turnbull Government has no genuine interest in regional Australia.
Our farmers have been told to be happy with the Inland Rail project which the former Labor Government first funded and the Coalition Government cut in its first three Budgets.
In regional Australia, the food processing sector is in crisis, abattoirs are laying off shifts, dairy companies are closing plants, and agri-food imports are outpacing growth in exports and yet there is no response from the Government.
This budget has also failed to address significant issues facing small businesses including rising energy costs, delays in payment times and the rollout of the NBN.
Last year, while talking about the start-up sector the Prime Minister told us it was exciting time to be alive (and agile). However, Budget 2017 holds very few - if any - new measures to advance the growth of job generating start-ups in this country.
What a phenomenal retreat from the overblown rhetoric we once heard from Malcolm Turnbull.
Today, we find ourselves in a national economy where GDP growth is down, employment is down, wage growth is at record lows, unemployment is up, casualisation of existing jobs is rapidly increasing and in this budget the Turnbull Government is forecasting almost 100,000 fewer jobs.
The only people who will see better days from this Budget are big business and the well-off. The Turnbull Government has chosen to continue its unfairness, including an assault on the vulnerable and low and middle income earners in Eden-Monaro by:
Handing a $16,400 tax cut to someone earning a million dollars;
Continuing with its $50 billion tax handout for big business while increasing taxes on every Australian earning over $21,655;
Delaying reversing their cuts to Medicare for three years, putting bulk billing at risk;
Doing nothing meaningful to tackle the housing affordability crisis; and
Cutting $22 billion from Australia’s schools and cuts to universities.
So much for jobs and growth.
The Liberals are better economic managers? Don’t think so. Media Release