The NSW Nationals in the federal government have again delivered for regional, rural, remote, country and coastal Australia, delivering a Federal Budget to secure Australia’s economic recovery.
Deputy Prime Minister and Federal Leader of The Nationals Michael McCormack said the Federal Budget would continue supporting job-creating, economy-boosting infrastructure, as part of our National Economic Recovery Plan for Australia, ensuring regional and rural Australia will continue to be the nation’s powerhouse.
“This is a Budget for regional Australia – The Nationals in Government are delivering a record $110 billion infrastructure program and $3.5 billion rolling water infrastructure fund to support local jobs and businesses at a time it is needed most,” Mr McCormack said.
“Our economic plan for a stronger and more resilient Australia will boost the economy, provide water security for regional and rural Australia, meet our national freight challenge and get Australians home sooner and safer.
“The Budget includes more than $15.2 billion of new infrastructure investment to back jobs and businesses as we recover from the pandemic.”
Minister for Agriculture, Drought and Emergency Management and Deputy Leader of The Nationals David Littleproud said a total of around $850 million was committed to agriculture in this Budget, at a time when the industry is forecast to reach a new high of $66 billion in 2020-21.
“We are boosting farm exports, investment in the agricultural workforce and ensuring regional Australia can build resilience to drought, floods and bushfires,” Mr Littleproud said.
“We have put the frameworks in place but it has been the men and women of country Australia who have achieved great results.
“Tougher biosecurity laws and an additional $400 million biosecurity investment are protecting our rural and regional areas as well as our supply chains against pests and diseases.”
Federal Nationals Minister for Resources, Water and Northern Australia Keith Pitt said the Government was investing a further $190 million to further stimulate new job creation and economic opportunities throughout Northern Australia.
“Our Regions of Growth and Regional Connectivity Programs will help to better connect Northern Australia to the rest of the world,” Mr Pitt said.
“It shouldn’t matter whether you live in Cairns or Canberra, you should have the same opportunities to make the most of modern technology and communications in business and in everyday life.
“In water, we’ve set aside $3.5 million to take the next step in Murray-Darling Basin water market reform, establishing a panel to oversee implementation of the ACCC Inquiry recommendations.
“In Resources, the Nationals in Government are providing $100 million through the Junior Miners Exploration Incentive to encourage the mineral exploration that will ensure the long term future of this critically important sector – this is a Budget that delivers for regional Australia.”
Federal Nationals Minister for Veterans’ Affairs and Minister for Defence Personnel Darren Chester said the Nationals in Government continued to put veterans and their families first, investing in a world-class support system and delivering more support for well-being, suicide prevention and more funding for critical departmental services as part of the 2021-22 Budget.
“The Government invests around $11.8 billion each year to support 325,000 veterans and their families, many of who live in regional areas, and The Nationals are proud to deliver an additional $702.6 million in the Budget to support them,” Mr Chester said.
“The 2021-22 Budget is also investing $98.5 million and more than 440 additional public service staff to address claims processing times at the Department, $138.3 million further funding to support the lifetime wellbeing of veterans and their families, $62.1 million to improve long-term data capability and $32.1 million for international and domestic commemorations, and the Office of the Australian War Graves.”