Ted O’Brien MP, the Federal Member for Fairfax, says Sunshine Coast families, businesses and our senior citizens are the winners from the 2021/22 Federal Budget.
“This is a Budget to secure the economic future of Australia, and all of us living here on the Sunshine Coast,” Mr O’Brien said.
“The Sunshine Coast economy is faring well compared to other regions, but we must keep firing on all cylinders,” Mr O’Brien said. “This Budget will help take us to the next stage of economic development with incentives for businesses and jobseekers, tax relief and additional assistance for families and vulnerable Australians.”
“The Sunshine Coast has one of the oldest demographics in Australia,” Mr O’Brien said.
“With over 20% of all residents, or 60,000 people in our region, aged over 65.”
The Federal Government has announced a $17.7 billion plan to overhaul the Aged Care sector and implement the recommendations of the Royal Commission.
There’s increased funding for 80,000 new home care packages, for those older Australians who wish to continue living in their own homes.
Nurses and carers will spend more time with residents; there will be an additional payment of $10 a day for every resident; 33,000 new training places for personal carers; and a strengthened regulatory regime to monitor and enforce standards of care.
Ted O’Brien was one of only a few Federal MPs, if not the only MP, who provided a submission to the Royal Commission into Aged Care on behalf of his electorate, after in depth consultation across the region.
“Full credit to all the workers, loved ones and aged care providers who came to the fore when I hosted my Aged Care forums,” Mr O’Brien added.
“Their voices were heard, and we are now seeing positive outcomes from the Royal Commission process.”
“Youth unemployment has been a perennial problem on the Sunshine Coast, and trainee and apprenticeship opportunities are a big part of the solution,” Mr O’Brien said.
The Federal Government has allocated a further $2.7 billion to create an additional 170,000 apprenticeships and traineeships, to get more young people into the workforce.
“Nearly 700 young people in my electorate of Fairfax have already taken advantage of Federal support to enter the workforce as a trainee or apprentice, and now we have the opportunity to help even more,” Mr O’Brien added.
“The instant asset write-off scheme is one of the most popular initiatives with local companies, and nearly 50,000 Sunshine Coast businesses are already benefiting from this government initiative,” Mr O’Brien said
The instant asset write-off scheme allows most businesses to write-off the full value of any eligible asset they purchase up to $150,000.
The scheme was to end on 30 June 2022 but has been extended a further year to 2023.
“Never before has the Sunshine Coast received so much Federal funding for infrastructure and this Budget delivers even more,” Mr O’Brien said.
The biggest ticket item is $160 million for the Mooloolah River Interchange, creating nearly 400 jobs.
“While this is a State asset, the Federal Government has stepped in to provide 50 percent of the funding, the onus is now on the State Government to come to the party.”
The Budget also commits $5 million for a new study on Stage 2 of the Beerburrum to Nambour rail project, to assess full duplication.
“As it stands, the current Stage 2, which includes only passing loops and station upgrades, is woefully inadequate,” Mr O’Brien commented.
“The residents of Nambour and the hinterland deserve more; this study into full duplication – that is two-tracks – should also accommodate the possibility of a fast rail solution in the future.”
Craft brewers and Distillers
“The Sunshine Coast is home to two dozen of Australia’s best loved small breweries and distilleries, and they’re big winners in the Budget,” Mr O’Brien said.
“I’ve been working closely with the sector and advocating on their behalf to the Treasurer, and this $225 million of additional support is fantastic news.”
“Small brewers and distillers will benefit from an increase of the excise refund cap from $100,000 to $350,000 per year, giving them parity with wine makers.”
Workforce participation is key as we emerge from COVID-19.
“The Budget’s $1.7 billion package to increase the childcare subsidy to a maximum of 95 per cent for the second and subsequent children in care will make it easier for parents to re-join the workforce while maintaining a life balance,” said Mr O’Brien.
“Here on the Sunshine Coast, these changes could benefit almost 3,000 families.
“Each of these families could save approximately $2,260 a year.
“We need parents, particularly women, to be able to re-join the workforce when they wish, and by providing this additional childcare support they are more easily able to make that choice.”
“Low and middle income earners on the Sunshine Coast have also received good news in this year’s Budget,” Mr O’Brien said.
“The Federal Government has extended its tax offset for Australians who earn less than $90,000 a year.
“As many as 130,000 people here on the Coast, will receive up to $1,080 each. Couples on low and middle incomes will receive more than $2,000.”
The tax offset is automatically calculated when you complete your tax return.