100 days of delivering a fair share for regional Australia
Leader of The Nationals and Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce and Deputy Leader of The Nationals Fiona Nash said The Nationals in Government were building vital job-creating infrastructure to strengthen regional economies and communities.
“Over the past 100 days in Government, The Nationals have been fearless champions on behalf of their regions, their stakeholders and common-sense,” Leader of the Nationals and Deputy Prime Minister Barnaby Joyce said.
“We’re growing our industries with record commodity prices, we’re rolling out $2.5 billion water infrastructure to support farmers and the resource sector and delivering $700 million in major road upgrades in northern Australia.
“We’ve fought for regional Australians – that’s why we refused a proposed sugar tax that would make grocery bills higher, why we delivered a fair backpacker tax which means Australian farms will remain one of the most competitive places for working holiday makers, and why we’ve introduced plans to Parliament to slash the company tax rate for small business to its lowest level since the late 1960s.
“From decentralising government agencies into the regions, progressing delivery of the Regional Investment Corporation to be tasked with delivering $4.5 billion of concessional loans for farmers and water infrastructure, to setting up the $5 billion Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility and the establishment of a commodity milk price index, The Nationals are working to deliver our fair share to the regions.”
Minister Nash said The Nationals were delivering for communities outside major cities, with the appointment of Australia's first National Rural Health Commissioner, a rural health champion who will advocate for regional, rural and remote health issues and help deliver more doctors to the bush.
“We’re listening to what regional Australia needs and delivering. That’s why we’ve accelerated the broadband build to connect rural Australia. More than 30,000 rural homes and businesses are now connected to the Sky Muster satellite and we've continued to connect 2000 people a week to the Sky Muster satellite – Australians who would never receive broadband any other way given Australia’s terrain.
"We continue to deliver new mobile phone towers to regional areas - some 499 being built from Round 1 of our Mobile Black Spots Programme alone. The announcement of the locations of hundreds more towers is expected in the next month.
“We’ve approved 67 projects worth $126.5 million across Australia under Round 3 of the National Stronger Regions Fund and launched 65 new mobile phone towers with a further 434 to be delivered over the next 2 years.
“Our 100 day checklist shows our progress including new guidelines under the Building Better Regions Fund to ensure funding is directed to the rural and regional parts of Australia, which is expected to open in December, as well as our progress on developing the Integrated Rural Training Pipeline for Medicine integrated medical training pathway in rural and regional areas.
“We are also delivering $11 billion of budget repair, personal tax cuts to 500,000 middle income Australians and fairer and more flexible superannuation.
“In the first 100 days, we’ve made moves to lift immunisation rates, address long-term welfare dependence and increase digital literacy and improve school resourcing.
“We’ve secured an agreement with the states on energy security and reforms for affordable, reliable power, and fixed problems in vocational education and training by cracking down on dodgy providers.”