Eden-Monaro MP, Kristy McBain joined Simon Lauder on ABC South East radio (Oct 26th 2022) to discuss the 2022 federal Budget, regional education, housing, funding commitments for Eden-Monaro
The Federal member said:
"We’re facing an uncertain and difficult time across the world, but I think we’ve struck a balance and this Budget is right for the times and makes us more ready for the future. And there are some difficult times ahead, but we’ve been really upfront about the challenges, and we’re not seeking to hide those from the Australian public. We’re being very upfront about the world we’re living in and what we can see happening.
When asked "what are some of the measures in the Budget that will help families dealing with those pressures at the moment?
Ms McBain responded "Well, I think it delivers on the commitments that we made to the Australian people. It delivers responsible cost of living relief that doesn’t put further pressure on inflation. It makes some targeted investments to build a stronger and more resilient economy. And it starts the hard yards of budget repair, because we need to be able to pay for what’s important for people, and we know that there are some rising pressures in that Budget. So, you know, we need to start that budget repair.
Simon Lauder asked "There was a bit of extra detail yesterday on the Government’s aspirational target for a million new homes in Australia over the next 10 years, I think it is. But the Federal Government itself only locked in to deliver an extra 10,000 homes starting from mid-2024 and hoping the states will match that bringing it up to 20,000. Realistically is it going to make much difference to the housing affordability problem we’re facing?
The Federal member replied, "Well, that builds on top of our commitments already with the $10 billion Future Housing Fund and our commitment to build 30,000 homes over the first five years. So this adds an additional $350 million in federal funding to deliver 10,000 affordable homes from 2024.
"And the reason that date was chosen is because we’ve had a serious discussion with industry and understood what the current pipeline is. We don’t want to put more pressure on our supply chains. We don’t want to put more pressure on the construction industry already, which is why we’ve set that time frame. But what it does is show a clear aspiration that the Federal Government needs to work with the state and territory governments to deliver more social and affordable housing across this country. And we know some areas are under significant pressure after bushfires.
"Our own community is under pressure after the Black Summer bushfires. We know many flood-ravaged communities like Lismore are under pressure because of the homes that they’ve been – that they’ve lost from that flooding event. So, we know that there is more to do in this space. So instead of letting the markets or state and territory governments go it alone, we’ve committed to being part of the solution".
"The aim is that these affordable homes will be built across the country in areas where we know that there are jobs but there are no houses for workers to take up their jobs. We want to make sure that those affordable homes are going in to areas where our frontline workers are working but can no longer afford to live. So it’s a targeted investment to make sure that workers can live in the areas where their jobs are.
"We obviously funded a range of election commitments, which is a really important part of our job as a government is delivering on those commitments that we took to the election. So I’m really pleased that all of those commitments are in the Budget. And it’s fantastic that we’ll now get to work with communities, with local councils, to deliver those commitments across Eden-Monaro.
The Federal member also added as a response to further questions around the budget saying "most importantly, though, this Budget not only delivers on those election commitments, it delivers on a range of priorities that people have been talking about with me for a couple of years – that Mitigation and Resilience Fund is so important to so many people across Eden-Monaro. We can’t change the disasters we’ve been in, but we can help better prepare our communities for what’s coming in the future. And I think that’s one of the lessons that we should heed from the Black Summer bushfires – is making sure we’ve got more resilient towns going forward.
"I’m really excited that we are moving towards fee-free TAFE places and those additional university places, because there has been some really big discussions on being able to access training and education and still living in the areas that we know and love. And making sure that we are prioritising a future made in Australia. And we're incredibly lucky to have a company like Bega Cheese already in our region. A couple of our sawmills, we’ve got some defence industry companies, but what else could we do in our region where we keep those jobs in Australia and make more of what we have here I think is something that we’re all really excited about.
Mr Lauder asked "Any new money in the Budget last night for phone black spots or for the Kings Highway?
Ms McBain responded "We took some election commitments, which are now funded in the Budget. There’s $1 million for black spot connection on the Princes Highway, on the Snowy Mountain Highway and on the Monaro Highway, and $2.5 million along the Princes Highway. We’re taking seriously the recommendations of both the Royal Commission into the Black Summer bushfires and the New South Wales bushfire inquiry about the need for telecommunication on our major transport corridors. And that’s the beginning of investments in mobile black spots. And I’m really looking forward to those starting.