By Fiona Phillips, Federal Member for Gilmore
There is so much to love on the South Coast. Growing up here I saw first hand how strong the people and community are, and living here is a blessing. But as magical as our beautiful region is, we are not immune to the cost of living pressures households are facing around the country.
Since being elected last year, the Albanese Government has been doing its best to help Australians dealing with these challenges by putting downward pressure on everyday costs.
After almost a decade without a coherent energy policy, one of the fastest growing costs is energy. We’ve taken urgent action to shield Australian families and businesses from the worse of these impacts. Our Energy Price Relief Plan will ensure local people can keep paying their bills by limiting the price of coal and gas and providing energy bill price reductions for those who need it most, while investing in cleaner, cheaper, more reliable energy.
Another of the big pressures for local people is rising health costs and increasing difficulty accessing a GP. I am delighted that Australians will now pay up to thirty percent less for prescription medicines on the Pharmaceutical Benefit Scheme, with the maximum co-payment dropping from $42.50 to $30 dollars. This is a win for our community.
Local people know that there simply aren’t enough local doctors, and I have been working hard to improve this for years. The government is not sitting idly by - we’ve made it easier for doctors and nurse practitioners to move to the Shoalhaven by removing or reducing their study loans.
We need to attract and retain doctors to our regions – so these incentives are only available if they live and work in the regions for designated periods of time.
I’m passionate about education because I know that a good quality vocational education can change lives. Before being elected I worked as a TAFE teacher, which is why I am so happy that we’re providing fee-free TAFE spots right here on the South Coast.
These spots are in areas that we need the most, like construction and childcare. Fee-free TAFE will encourage people to upskill and work in critical areas that we all benefit from.
We’ve been working on this and more over the last six months in parliament, like making childcare cheaper, tackling the housing crisis and increasing the pension. There is more to be done, but I’ll keep working every day to deliver the change you voted for.