Local leaders aren’t impressed that the Gold Coast has pretty much missed out on much-needed funds from the federal budget.
Last night’s release saw one the government embark on a massive spending spree, throwing cash at aged care, childcare and women’s issues.
An extra $7.8 billion has been allocated in tax cuts for low and middle-income earners, so individuals can claim another $1080 at tax time to pump back into the economy.
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The full infrastructure spend comes in at over $15 billion, but not much of that is coming to Queensland and nothing new was announced for the Gold Coast except for the additional light rail spend which was announced last week.
Related article: Stage 3 of Gold Coast light rail back on track but at a huge cost
Local Labor Senator Murray Watt says they’ve completely missed the mark, and apparently forgotten about tourism.
“It’s actually ignored some of the biggest challenges that the Gold Coast is facing, there’s nothing new at all for the tourism industry which we know is still struggling to recover.
“What we learned last night is that international borders are likely to stay closed for some time to come, but despite that there wasn’t anything new announced to help the tourism industry,” Senator Watt told myGC.
He went on to say this budget is just a massive ‘sugar rush’ to fix the government’s own issues.
“They’re spraying a huge amount of money around to fix all sorts of problems that they’ve caused in aged care and child care and other areas.
“And at the same time, they’re not coming to the party on things like tourism, housing, and the infrastructure spending they’re offering is the lowest per person rate of any state,” Senator Watt said.
The Gold Coast Mayor Tom Tate has admitted that he would have liked to see more money come our way, and has pledged to keep advocating for the tourism industry going forward.
“The city of the Gold Coast, announcements for light rail additional funding stage 3 has already been announced and the 800,000 half-price tickets were already announced.
“I don’t want to be one of those kids that go ‘gimme some more’ when we just got some announcements.
“But all in all, could we have got more? Yeah, we could have got more for tourism. Bt that will be our job to advocate for the next budget,” the Mayor said this morning.
Aside from tourism, Labor Senator Murray Watt is also disappointed that nothing was done to ensure affordable housing, with prices continuing to skyrocket.
“House prices are going up, rents are going up, rental vacancies are at record lows, but this budget didn’t have anything to say how we can help people keep a roof over their head, and if that’s what it’s saying that wages aren’t going to keep up with inflation over the next few years.
“So that’s going to make life pretty tough for people on the Gold Coast,” Senator Watt said.
Related article: A summary of the 2021/22 federal budget
Gold Coast federal members say there are still some announcements that will benefit Gold Coast families and businesses.
Member for McPherson Karen Andrews MP said the $1.7 billion child care package and changes to the Child Care Subsidy were aimed at reducing cost of living pressures and encouraging parents to return to the workforce.
Under the plan, a Gold Coast family with a combined income of $110,000 with two children in child care four days a week, will save around $95 per week.
“This will put more money back into the pockets of hard-working Gold Coast families and assist parents as they re-enter the workforce or look to increase their hours,” Minister
“As always, our support goes to those who need it most.”
The Gold Coast Mayor agreed there are aspects here that will help some Gold Coasters.
“Asset write-offs, so for small businesses it’s a good one. For people trying to buy a home, first home buyers extension happened which is good, single parents – it’s good for that.
“Overall I’d say it’s a compassionate budget,” the Mayor said.