What the Budget means for Gold Coasters

NO PAIN, no gain. That seemed to be the general underlying message throughout Treasurer Joe Hockey’s Budget release on Tuesday night.

We are all going to pay in some way. But some people will be hit more than others. Commitments to world-beating health research and giant urban road networks will be funded by cash taken from families, and big cuts in public spending under the Federal Budget .

Seeing the doctor for a treatment or check-up — even a blood test — will be more expensive, as will driving the family car to work, the shops or sports.


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But huge urban transport projects and other public works calculated to add one per cent to national output, and massive research into killer diseases, will be paid for by the proceeds.

But it believes it can reduce its spending from 26.5 per cent of national output recorded under the Labor administration to 24.4 per cent by 2023-24.

There was some good news for the Gold Coast though, with $156 million allocated for the 2018 Commonwealth Games.

LNP Member for Mocrieff, Steven Ciobo says he’s delighted the Government delivered on Games funding.

“We gave a commitment ahead of the last election that the Gold Coast wouldn’t miss out in terms of Commonwelath Games funding. We’ve got a significant lick of money from the Federal Government. In addition to that there’ll also be the services we provide around security and policy,” Mr Ciobo said.

“More importantly it’s about investing in sport infastructure that our city will have for decades that we also be a tourism drawcard for decades.”

Students seemed to be hit hard by the budget, especially with news a cap on univeristy fees will be dumped and institutions will soon be able to decide how much they charge students for degrees.

Mr Ciobo says they’re committed to making sure universities excell when it comes to our international and national reputation.

“What we’ve done is make sure universities are allowed to have freedom in terms of the prices they charged, some will go up some will go down.”

“Ultimately students are not going to be worse because the still won’t have to pay up front and they’ll still have all the loan facilities available that exist today, but importantly we’re also extending that service,” he said.

The Budget also included $9 million for the National Climate Change Adaptation Research Facility (NCCARF) at Griffith University.

The funding will be spread over three years to help fund projects to help vulnerable communities and will also look into likely climate change impacts.

NCCARF has developed a national capability on climate change adaptation in Australian research institutions that previously did not exist.

Member for McPherson, Karen Andrews says the tough but responsible decisions are necessary to repair the budget and ensure future economic growth and prosperity.

“There are many positives for Gold Coast residents, including opportunities for infrastructure funding, Higher Education equity measures, assistance for jobseekers over 50, and the social impact of ensuring our young people are either earning or learning,” Ms Andrews said.

What do you think of the Federal Budget and how do you think it will affect you? Leave your comments below.

 

 

 


MAIN POINTS

Economy

  •     Budget deficit: $29.8 billion in 2014-15 (to $2.8 billion in 2017-18)
  •     Unemployment forecast: 6.25% in 2014-15
  •     Economic growth: 2.5% in 2014-15

Education

  •     Complete deregulation of university fees
  •     Commonwealth funding extended to students at TAFEs, private colleges and sub-bachelor degrees at a cost of $820 million over three years
  •     Labor’s ‘Gonski’ school funding commitments scrapped from 2017-18 with school funding indexed to inflation from 2018
  •     School chaplaincy program continued at a cost of $243.5 million over five years

Health

  •     All Australians to pay at least $7 for GP visits, blood tests and X-rays.
  •     General patients to pay $5 more and concessional patients 80¢ more for prescription drugs.
  •     Billions slashed from hospitals, which will be free to charge for emergency department

Retirees

  •     Age pension age to reach 70 by July 1, 2035
  •     Pension means test thresholds to be frozen for 3 years
  •     Tougher income test for self funded retirees to receive Commonwealth Seniors Health Card

Welfare

  •     Enforced six month waiting period for under-30s signing on for the dole. After first six months on dole they will again be cut off for a six month period
  •     Tightened eligibility criteria for disability support pensioners under 35
  •     Newstart recipients aged between 22 and 25 will be pushed back onto the lower-value Youth Allowance (other) payment

Public service

  •     16,500 full-time jobs gone in three years
  •     Tax Office suffers biggest hit; Department of Human Services one of few winners
  •     Razor gang to target the bureaucracy’s spin doctors

Environment

  •     $2.55 billion over 10 years for the Emissions Reduction Fund
  •     At least $2 billion in cuts to programs and scrapping of environmental agencies
  •     $525 million for a “green army”, $40 million over four years for the Great Barrier Reef, and $2.1 million for solar projects in local communities

Defence

  •     Total defence spending to rise, with fast-tracking of $1.5 billion for new hardware
  •     1200 Defence bureaucrat jobs to go
  •     MH370 search to cost Defence nearly $28 million

Communications

  •     ABC-operated Australia Network to close, saving $198 million over four years
  •     Combined cuts to ABC and SBS of $43.5 million over four years
  •     $10 million for children’s safety online including a “Children’s e-Safety Commissioner”
  •     $100 million for mobile blackspot and wireless coverage in regional areas

Immigration

  •     Merging of Customs and Immigration will cost $480 million with 480 jobs lost
  •     Asylum seekers who have arrived by boat will lose the right to have their case independently reviewed or to have family reunions
  •     Stopping the boats will save $2.5 billion over five years

Foreign Affairs

  •     Foreign aid frozen at current levels for two years, helping save $7.6 billion over five years
  •     International commitment to spend 0.5 per cent of gross national income on foreign aid abandoned
  •     $400 million saved over four years by folding the former AusAID into the Foreign Affairs Department

Privatisation

  •     Four more government-owned businesses to be sold: Australian Hearing, Defence Housing Australia, the Royal Australian Mint, and the registry arm of the Australian Securities and Investments Commission
  •     Proceeds will be reinvested into the government’s Asset Recycling Fund to help build new productive infrastructure

Indigenous affairs

  •     More than half a billion dollars saved over five years by rationalising indigenous services and transferring more than 150 programs into just five, run out of the PM’s department
  •     More than $54 million for police infrastructure in remote communities
  •     More than $13 million for the Clontarf Foundation Academy’s Sporting Chance program and more than $18 million to continue boosting school attendance in remote communities

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