SAFER local roads, tax cuts for workers, drought support, doctors for the bush and better mobile coverage headline the Budget for the bush, Riverina Nationals’ MP and Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack says.

“This Budget is about putting more money in your pocket – after all, it is your money,” Mr McCormack said.

“Local communities will be better off with significant tax cuts and a boost to fund local roads in every Council in our region to get you home sooner and safer.

“We have increased support for drought-affected farmers by putting money on the table for dams, establishing an emergency response fund and the future drought fund.

“The Liberals and Nationals are backing Riverina and Central West small businesses by creating an extra 80,000 apprenticeships, as well as increasing the popular Instant Asset Write-Off to $30,000 and making it available to even more small businesses.

“Our $62.2 million investment in the rural generalist pathway backs in last year’s the historic Murray Darling Medical Schools Network I secured– which will create medical schools in the Riverina and Central West – to help attract and retain more doctors in the bush.

“The one-off Energy Assistance Payment will help those struggling with power bills while we continue to put pressure on the Energy sector to give you a fair go.

“Our new Child Care Subsidy is providing accessible, affordable child care. On average, families who use child care will be more than $1,300 better off per child per year.

“There’s additional investment in mobile blackspots, because making a call in the country should not be a luxury. This builds on the 23 towers around the region since The Nationals came to Government.

“I have delivered another round of the Building Better Regions Fund (BBRF) to help make country communities such as ours even better places to live, work and raise a family.

“To date, this has delivered important projects throughout the Riverina and Central West, including the new Multi-Purpose Stadium in Wagga and main street upgrades for Cowra, Forbes, Gundagai and Parkes, as well as the soon-to-be-opened Grenfell Medical Centre.

“Funding for public, independent and Catholic schools is at an all-time high and will continue to grow substantially in the decade ahead, which is welcome news for our region. In total, we are committing around $300 billion to all schools, a total increase of 63 per cent.

“Even more drugs are being listed on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme and more aged care beds are locked in for places such as Junee, Wagga Wagga, Lockhart and Temora, thanks to a dedicated regional aged care round of funding.

“This is about guaranteeing essential services, putting more money in your pocket and backing the bush, without increasing taxes.

“The Nationals never stop fighting for those living in rural and regional Australia and we have delivered for the Riverina and Central West in this Budget.”

Shane Manning