The Federal Government has ticked boxes for rural and regional Australia in its 2018-19 Budget, which has received the approval of RDA Orana chairman John Walkom.
“The Government is continuing to support rural and regional Australia by delivering in areas such as infrastructure, employment, education and health,”
Investing an additional $1.9 billion over 12 years in national research infrastructure is expected to help Australians deliver high impact research
that can be used across the economy, from health to manufacturing to agriculture.
“This brings total Government investment in national research infrastructure through the National Collaborative Research Infrastructure Strategy to
$4.1 billion over 12 years.”
The Government will also invest $225M towards improving satellite positioning to increase productivity in agriculture, construction and logistics.
“This Budget includes $24.5 billion for new nationally significant transport projects and initiatives that will benefit people and businesses in every
State and Territory, building on existing projects such as the Melbourne to Brisbane Inland Rail project which will connect regional communities
in Victoria, New South Wales and Queensland to vital export markets.”
The Federal Government has also committed $400 million to the duplication of the Port Botany freight rail line — taking up to 900 trucks off
the congested roads each day.
“Upgrading the existing rail line between Enfield and Port Botany to a dual line and increasing
speed limits to boost efficiency was an issue outlined by RDA Orana in the NSW Freight and Ports Plan submission,” Mr Walkom said.
Building on the Independent Review into Regional, Rural and Remote Education, $28.2M will expand access to sub-bachelor programs in regional areas,
and $14M will fund additional places for bachelor students studying at Regional Study Hubs.
“Supporting more regional students to access tertiary education and improving the delivery of healthcare through the Stronger Rural Health Strategy
will help align the distribution of health workforce to areas of greatest need and build the capacity of medical practitioner workforce.”
Mr Walkom said there will also be tax cuts for 3.3 million small and medium businesses as part of the Ten Year Enterprise Tax Plan.
“Reducing the tax burden on businesses will help them invest, grow, employ more Australians and pay higher wages.
“The Government’s investment in essential infrastructure will help build the industries and jobs Australia needs to compete globally.”/ENDS