I rise today to speak on the exciting impact of the Morrison Government’s recent Federal Budget on the growth and future prosperity of South Australia.
The reach of Federal Budget ranges across many sectors and will create jobs and provide for and improve the well-being of all Australians including the vulnerable and disadvantaged families.
The Marshall Liberal Government’s own economic recovery and jobs growth plan is well on track evidenced by the recently released ABS jobs statistics that indicate record high employment numbers in South Australia, the creation of 15,000 jobs in the last month, and an unemployment rate that continues to decline to a level now at 5.7%. In partnership with the Morrison Government and on the back of the Federal Budget, South Australia’s successful recovery from the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic continues to demonstrate very positive signals.
To commence, transport and infrastructure investment in South Australia by the Morrison Government includes:
- $148 million towards the Augusta Highway duplication
- $64 million of additional funding to finale sealing of the Strzelcki Track
- Reinforcement of the $2.6 billion contribution to the planning, design and construction of the North-South Corridor from Darlington to Anzac Highway
- The Truro bypass
- The Heysen Tunnel upgrade at a cost of $48 million
- An additional $60 million for the Gawler rail line electrification
These projects are designed to improve safety, access and efficiency on either critical roads, to popular tourist destinations, or to important regional and remote locations.
The Augusta Road duplication follows the $63 million commitment already made for a total of $211 million which will be boosted by 20% funding from the Marshall Liberal Government. It will incorporate the highway duplication from Port Wakefield to Lochiel and complement the Port Wakefield overpass linking to Yorke Peninsula and the dual carriageways through Port Wakefield. This will significantly improve the flow of traffic and safety of an important transport route. There are also advanced plans for duplication of the high traffic thoroughfare between Crystal Brook and Port Pirie.
The $64 million funding contribution to the sealing of the Strzelecki Track represents the unfunded component and now brings the total investment to $164 million. The sealing of this road is essential for the major oil and gas producers in the Cooper Basin and opens wonderful possibilities in that region for tourism.
The announced Truro Bypass project will improve freight productivity and improve road safety for all road users including trucking, tourism and local commuters. Costing $202 million, the federal government’s contribution will be $162 million with the Marshall Liberal Government again contributing 20% or $40 million. Construction will commence in 2022 and it will be completed by 2026. This complements projects to improve the Sturt Highway from the Riverland to Gawler that includes overtaking lanes, partial duplication in high traffic areas in the Riverland, new and upgraded rest areas, and junction improvements.
The North-South Corridor between Darlington and Anzac Highway is now well documented and is the next stage of the North-South Expressway. Consisting of 4km of tunnels in the 6km motorway, this project is expected to create 4,000 jobs.
There is also a significant national investment of $275 million to establish Australia’s hydrogen industry. This has benefits for South Australia with Port Bonython near Whyalla identified as a potential export hub considering its deep-water port, loading facilities, an available land resource and skilled workforce. The hydrogen industry is expected to provide significant jobs growth and economic benefits for decades into the future.
Whilst the preceding announcements represent investment in specific infrastructure projects in South Australia, the Morrison Government is totally committed to health services, and to the well-being of all Australian residents and businesses.
Initiatives announced in the Budget on a national level include but not limited to:
- Support for women in the form of a $3.4 billion package specifically focussed on safety, health and economic security ensuring women’s rights to respect, equality and inclusion
- Further concessions on childcare expenditure for families valued at $1.7 billion
- Extension of the Low and Middle Income Tax Offset
- A $17.7 billion to the aged care sector including 80,000 home care packages, increased nursing staff, and increased oversight of aged care facilities
- Further injection of funds into the National Disability Insurance Scheme
- A $6.3 billion commitment to mental health services including the establishment of a National Suicide Prevention Office
- Investment in apprenticeships and skills packages
- First home buyers and single parents will benefit from reduced deposit requirements to build or purchase homes
- Over $20 billion in tax revenue will be conceded by the extension of initiatives provided to every business in Australia allowing the instant write-off of asset purchases and the carry back of losses against previous years income
The bottom line…an $87 billion spend to create 250,000 jobs and reduce our national unemployment rate to below 5% with an ultimate target of 4.5%.
Despite commentary by detractors, the Federal Budget has been widely applauded by the corporate sector, economists and business organisations as providing the necessary and ongoing stimulus for Australia and indeed South Australia.