It’s my great pleasure to rise and speak about our wonderful budget, handed down on Tuesday night, which is very much focused on delivering lower taxes, more local jobs, a stronger economy and more infrastructure investment.
We are very proud of our plan to deliver lower, fairer and simpler taxes to encourage and reward working Australians. For instance, a high school teacher in my electorate who is on $75,000 will have an extra $530 in his or her pocket from the budget year onwards, with an extra $3,740 in his or her pocket over the first seven years of the tax plan.
We’re backing business to invest and create jobs. We’re guaranteeing the essential services that Australians rely on. We’re keeping Australians safe, and we’re ensuring that government lives within its means.
I particularly want to reference some fabulous local projects that we have committed to. There is an additional $50 million for the Waurn Ponds to South Geelong rail duplication. The total commitment for that is now $150 million, and we call desperately and urgently on the Labor government to match that funding, which is also a very important part of our city deal. We’ve provided $20 million for the construction of a new international terminal at Avalon Airport, Victoria’s second international airport—such an exciting investment for our region and for the entire state. There’s a new $45 million Tourism Infrastructure Fund, which presents some really significant opportunities for Corangamite and our Great Ocean Road region as part of the $200 million Building Better Regions Fund—again, great opportunities.
Another round of the Stronger Communities Program will be provided—$3.5 billion over 10 years to deliver our roads of strategic importance, and that’s a big focus on upgrading key freight corridors.
There will be $1 billion for our urban congestion initiative over 10 years and, very importantly, a $250 million commitment to major project business cases, because we know that so often when it comes to developing new projects the feasibility work, the business planning work, needs to be done, and there is a funding gap, which has now been addressed in our budget.
We’re also of course guaranteeing essential services on which Corangamite families rely by increasing total health and hospitals funding by 30 per cent, delivering a 50 per cent average increase per student in fair, real needs-based school funding over a decade and of course more childcare support to those families who really need it. I’m incredibly proud of the Turnbull government’s 2018 budget, and I’m here to help my constituents in any way I can.