Budget Breakdown

This year’s budget is a bit of a mixed bag but if it wasn’t for NXT securing funding for key projects, SA would have been much worse off. The Nick Xenophon Team negotiated over $500 million in funding for key projects in advanced manufacturing, apprenticeships, roads, solar thermal plant for Port Augusta, cancer treatment, Defence abuse victims, nuclear test veterans and community radio. Over $250 million will directly benefit South Australians.

Here’s what you need to know about this year’s budget and what it includes for our community:

HEALTHCARE

  • The Government has ended the Medicare freeze, which should make it easier for GPs to continue bulk-billing or maintain low out-of-pocket costs

  • The Medicare Levy will rise by 0.5% to help pay for the NDIS

  • Mayo will benefit from an extra $9 million over four years to improve access to psychological services through telehealth in rural, regional and remote Australia. Another $11 million over three years has been allocated to help prevent suicide at “high risk locations” with $2 million for Lifeline. More than $80 million has been allocated for psycho-social services.

REGIONAL INFRASTRUCTURE

  • NXT will be pushing for greater telecommunications security in light of an announcement of $600 million for mobile phone infrastructure. We are hoping this money can be used to prevent telecommunications blackouts during extended power outages. The current four-hour battery storage at mobile base stations is insufficient and needs to be addressed.

  • The Government has also allocated $60 million towards mobile black spot locations.

  • However, South Australia as a whole is being dudded with no new spending of the $70 billion infrastructure spend allocated in the Budget. SA will likely miss out on major inland rail and other infrastructure projects with no certainty that steel from Arrium will be used.

LOCAL ROADS

  • Around $4.6 million will be given to local councils in the Mayo electorate for maintenance of our local roads. This followed a lengthy campaign by Rebekha Sharkie to improve road safety in the electorate by reinstating the Supplementary Road Funding scheme.

    More info here: http://www.rebekhasharkie.com.au/budget_win_for_mayo_roads

  • Mayo will be able to continue to apply for Black Spot Road Funding with the Government extending the program for another three years. The Budget shows an allocation of $624.5 million from 2013/14 to 2019/20. Click here to find out Mayo’s worst intersections for casualty crashes: http://www.rebekhasharkie.com.au/blackspot

EDUCATION

  • The Government has announced changes to the way schools will be funded, with all schools in Mayo to receive increased funding. You can see what individual schools in your area will receive under the new arrangements here: https://www.education.gov.au/sites/education/files/sch/calc/index.html

  • The Nick Xenophon Team will be examining the changes to higher education, which include higher fees for students and earlier HELP loan repayments, and the likely impacts on students in our region

NBN

  • The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission has been given $7 million to help the ACCC monitor the roll-out of the NBN. Following repeated complaints from people in regional areas about internet providers lying about available speeds, the competition watchdog will have new powers to expose and crack down on these companies.

TRAINING AND EMPLOYMENT

  • The Nick Xenophon Team has secured $60 million worth of funding which will ensure 45,000 apprentices will now receive valuable mentoring to support them to complete their qualification.

SMALL BUSINESS

  • Nearly every business in Mayo will benefit from the continuation of the $20,000 instant asset write-off

  • Businesses with a turnover of less than $10 million will pay $3000 for employees on permanent work visas and $1200 for employees on temporary skill shortage visas.

HIGHER ENERGY COSTS

  • Thanks to the lobbying of NXT, this budget includes a one-off energy assistance payment of $75 for single recipients and $125 for couple recipients of the Aged Pension, the Disability Pension and the Parenting Payment to provide relief for those most vulnerable to power price rises.

SENIOR CITIZENS

  • Mayo pensioners affected by the changes to the Pension Assets Test will have their Pensioner Concession Cards restored. This means they will be eligible for a range of State Government concessions.

  • The budget has no additional funding for the increasing number of Australians requiring aged care

  • The Government also has slashed funding to palliative care, with only $8.3 million allocated over three years for home palliative care for the whole country

BANKING

  • The levy on the big banks that will raise over $6 billion is welcome, but NXT will still push for a last resort compensation scheme that is still lacking.

COMMUNITY RADIO

  • In a great boon to all the local radio stations across our electorate, community radio funding has been restored. $6.1 million will be provided across the country, with some of these funds going towards the roll out of digital radio.

HOMELESSNESS

  • Mayo has one of the highest rates of homelessness in South Australia, so we are very pleased that the budget contains $35 million in new funding to existing homelessness services.

  • The three-year agreement should ensure the future funding for services in Mayo including Youth Justice Housing, Homelessness Gateways, Eastern Adelaide Youth Homelessness Service, Outer Southern Homeless Service, Fleurieu and Kangaroo Island Homelessness Service, Southern Adelaide Homelessness Service, Southern Adelaide Domestic Violence Service, Southern Country Homelessness Service, Murray Mallee and Adelaide Hills Domestic Violence Service.