PM Malcolm Turnbull and Wide Bay MP Llew O'Brien discuss reasons why Section D of the Bruce Highway needs to be fast tracked.
PM Malcolm Turnbull and Wide Bay MP Llew O'Brien discuss reasons why Section D of the Bruce Highway needs to be fast tracked. contributed

Gympie region's billion dollar Budget windfall

THE Turnbull-McCormack Government's 2018 Budget includes more than $906 million for Gympie-region-specific projects, including the $800 million needed for Section D of the Bruce Hwy and $11.2 million to upgrade the Wide Bay Hwy intersection.

It will build new roads for the Gympie region, deliver more aged care places and packages, and fund hospitals, schools, councils, community services and local projects, providing more services, creating jobs and helping to unlock the potential of our region.

Wide Bay MP Llew O'Brien said the Budget would also provide tax relief with a focus on low and middle income earners, invest in new infrastructure projects to make the Bruce Highway safer and faster, strengthen the economy, and boost services.

 

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"Our tax relief plan will encourage and reward hard workers in Wide Bay, with 52,239 local taxpayers set to benefit from an additional tax offset of up to $530 per year.

"There is great news for small businesses, with the $20,000 instant asset write-off continuing for another year, helping small business invest, grow and hire. This is on top of legislated tax cuts for small and medium businesses that help the 17,574 local businesses to create more jobs and pay higher wages.

"Building a better and safer Bruce Highway through Wide Bay is a top priority for me and the Coalition Government.

The Budget confirms funding for a number of projects along the Bruce including:

$800 million for the Cooroy to Curra Section D realignment.

 

Keith Pitt, Deputy PM Michael McCormack, Shelley Strachan and Llew O'Brien celebrate $800 million funding for Section D.
Keith Pitt, Deputy PM Michael McCormack, Shelley Strachan and Llew O'Brien celebrate $800 million funding for Section D. Scott Kovacevic

$11.2 million to upgrade the intersection of the Wide Bay and Bruce Highways.

 

Accident corner of Bruce highway and Wide Bay highway.
A WOMAN, 89, has been transported to Sunshine Coast University Hospital in an induced coma, after being cut from a crashed vehicle at Bells Bridge this morning.
Accident corner of Bruce highway and Wide Bay highway. A WOMAN, 89, has been transported to Sunshine Coast University Hospital in an induced coma, after being cut from a crashed vehicle at Bells Bridge this morning. Renee Albrecht

$82.4 million to upgrade the highway at Aldershot around Saltwater Creek.

$85.6 million to improve flood immunity along the highway at Tiaro.

The Roads to Recovery investments include:

$1,380,961 for East Deep Creek Rd, East Deep Creek - widening and sealing 1.7km eastwards from the intersection of Tyrell Rd and East Deep Creek Rd

$100,000 for Tyrell Road, Monkland - pavement reconstruction and widening from the intersection of Noosa Road and Tyrell Road to the intersection of East Deep Creek Road and Tyrell Rd

$67,783 for Gympie Regional Council in 2018-19

$2 million for Counter Road - Cooloola to Noosa.

The Coalition Government is also investing in a range of projects in Wide Bay that will create over 200 jobs, including:

$270,000 for Suncoast Gold Macadamias

$5 million for Nolan Meats processing plant expansion

 

Michael, Terry and Tony Nolan  Owners of Nolan Meats in Gympie.
Michael, Terry and Tony Nolan Owners of Nolan Meats in Gympie. Renee Albrecht

$10,000 for Gympie Council's Industry Ready Rainbow Beach tourism growth

$1.5 million for the Upper Mary Street Precinct Revitalisation

$20,000 for Gympie's Kickstart Regional Business and Innovation Summit.

$75,000 for Rush Festival.

Mr O'Brien said the Liberal Nationals Government is committed to delivering record levels of funding to Queensland's hospitals.

"The Coalition Government is increasing funding to Queensland hospitals by over $29.5 billion over the five years to 2024-25, delivering an additional $7.49 billion in funding compared to the previous 5 years. This is a funding increase of 34 per cent," he said.

Mr O'Brien has a strong interest in aged care, and said the Coalition's 2018 Budget substantially increases the number of home care packages.

"I know that as people age, they want to stay in the comfort, security and familiar surrounds of their home.

"This Budget enables more people to stay in their own home for longer, with more than 14,000 additional places, adding to the 6000 extra places already released in MYEFO - bringing the total of additional in home places funded since last Budget to 20,000," Mr O'Brien said.

The Liberal Nationals 2018 Budget also funds 13,500 new residential aged care places and 775 short-term restorative places to be made available where they are most needed, plus $60 million for capital investment.  The Coalition Government will also invest $40.0 million to support aged care providers in regional, rural and remote Australia for urgent building and maintenance works.

An Aged Care Quality and Safety Commission will ensure older Australians receive the best possible care, with an additional $50 million to assist providers implement the new standards.  MyAged Care will be improved with an investment of $61.7 million to make it easier to use, along with simplifying the forms required to apply for aged care services, and $7.4 million to trial navigators to assist people to choose the aged care services that suit their needs.

This Budget guarantees the funding of the National Disability and Insurance Scheme.   Australians with a permanent and significant disability deserve the best care we can provide.

"Once fully rolled out, the NDIS will directly help an estimated 3,969 people and their families in Wide Bay," Mr O'Brien said.

The Budget delivers on the Coalition Government's needs based funding model recommended by David Gonski.  

"We are making sure that our record and growing school funding delivers a quality school education so that every student in every school in Wide Bay is given every opportunity to succeed and thrive," Mr O'Brien said.

Government and Independent Schools funding in Wide Bay increases substantially, with funding rising by $35.7 million to 2027.  

Children of pre-school age will also benefit from a multi-million dollar preschool funding boost, enabling 1706 children in Wide Bay access to 15 hours of quality early learning in the year before school.

"The Coalition Government is also making child care more accessible and affordable. From 2 July, our new child care system will come into place, with 4145 families in Wide Bay standing to benefit from the reforms"