Parkes Shire will benefit from a number of significant projects as a result of this week’s federal budget.
The 2016/17 Budget holds promising plans and investment for regional New South Wales, but the key components of interest to Parkes Shire are the significant investments made in rail and road infrastructure and support for communities.
Mayor Ken Keith was particularly delighted with the Federal Government’s commitment to the inland rail with almost $600 million allocated(see story on page 3).
Federal Treasurer, Scott Morrison MP said in his budget announcement:
“We know that an inland rail link will help to integrate domestic markets and bring global export markets closer to home.
“This is particularly important to leverage the benefits of our export trade agreements for Australian agriculture.”
The 2016/17 Budget committed $594 million in land acquisition funding for the inland rail between Brisbane and Melbourne.
The Australian Government will build the inland rail project through the Australian Rail Track Corporation (ARTC) and private sector partnerships.
The Government is providing the ARTC with the $594 million in additional equity funding to acquire the necessary land for the rail corridor and to continue pre-construction works and due diligence activities.
– – – – – –
Regional road freight corridor improvements have also been included in the Budget, with the Newell Highway allocated $78.8 million for significant upgrades to heavy duty pavements; town bypasses; road widening / realignment; and flood mitigation works.
“These significant investments are exciting milestones for Parkes and our surrounding areas,” Mayor Keith said.
“It’s still early days, but this commitment from the government, in particular to inland rail, paints a very healthy future for our shire’s productivity and economic development opportunities.”
In the 2016/17 year, the Coalition Government will also allocate $2.29 billion in Financial Assistance Grants for local government services to the community.
The Financial Assistance Grant programme will provide an estimated $9.7 billion to local government from 2016/17 to 2019/20.
These funds will be untied, allowing councils to prioritise funding based on community need.
“This is positive news for our shire, allowing our improvements and progress to continue on a local level and allowing council to continually drive improvements and opportunity to our shire,” Cr Keith said.
“Council will also look closely at the opportunities created by the new initiative, Youth Jobs Path program.
“This program will provide $752 million to get people under 25 and currently on employment benefits trained to enter the workforce.
“We hope this program will help deliver improved skills and services to our communities while creating training and job opportunities for our youth,” Cr Keith added.
– – – – – –
Small businesses have also been labelled a winner from the Federal Budget announcements.
A small business tax cut from July 1 this year will see the rate reduced to 27.5 per cent.
The threshold for businesses eligible for this will rise from $2 million in annual turnover to $10 million.
“We welcome any relief for our local businesses and support decisions to assist in allowing them to remain competitive,” Cr Keith said.
The lower rate will be introduced to more and more businesses progressively until it is applied to all businesses by 2023-24.
By 2026-27, the rate for all businesses will go down to 25 per cent, which the Government hopes will make Australians firms more competitive internationally.
“Parkes Shire is sitting in a prominent position to maximise the opportunities put forward by the Federal Budget,” the Mayor said.
“With our strong local businesses, continued investment and making use of all the funding opportunities, now is the time to capitalise on this positive news of the Federal Budget and show that it all adds up in Parkes,” Cr Keith concluded.
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on 老域名购买.