This week's Federal Budget is an important steppingstone to begin rebuilding our local economy which has been so impacted by the recent drought disaster and the current COVID-19 pandemic.

Our goal is always to work with the incumbent government to optimise the opportunities for our shire and the region. We are fortunate to have the Deputy Prime Minister the Hon Michael McCormack as our local federal member and we will accordingly use the  Morrison Government's Budget as best we can to  benefit the local Parkes community to create more jobs, help rebuild our economy and secure the regions and Australia's future.

Parkes Shire Mayor Cr Ken Keith OAM said this Budget update was an important milestone for our local region and will help to support our local small business owners and rebuild our economy.

"It is highly encouraging the Government identifies the importance of investing in infrastructure to ensure the efficient and productive operation of the Australian economy, this is a good outcome for local business owners in our region." Cr Keith said.

Key amongst the announcements were a range of road and local infrastructure packages that will directly benefit our local region including:

  • $100.0 million over two years from 2020-21 to facilitate Regional Recovery Partnerships with states, territories and local governments to support recovery.
  • $591.7 million for the Newell Highway Upgrade, including $149.7 million towards the Parkes Bypass.
  • This investment increases the total funding provided for the Local Roads and Community Infrastructure Program to $1.5 billion.
  • An additional $2 billion for the National Water Infrastructure Development Fund to provide grant funding for the planning and construction of water infrastructure in partnership with the states and territories, including an additional $162.5 million for the Wyangala Dam ($325.0 million in total) and $121.0 million for the Dungowan Dam ($242.0 million in total)
  • Building Better Regions Fund – an additional $200 million funding, including $100 million dedicated for tourism infrastructure. (Parkes has previously picked up funding for Water Security and Main Street upgrades)
  • National Road Safety Program – a $2 billion commitment over two years to improve safety conditions on roads.
  • An additional $1.2 billion to create 100,000 new apprenticeships and traineeships, with a 50 per cent wage subsidy for businesses who employ them·
Tax relief was a major focus of the Budget announcement and pleasingly the budget delivers substantial tax relief. This includes $17.8 billion in additional personal tax relief over the forward estimates, including $12.5 billion over the next 12 months.
For businesses, the tax relief is even larger. The budget introduces both temporary full expensing and temporary loss carry-back measures for businesses with turnover of up to $5 billion. Combined, these two measures are estimated to deliver $31.6 billion in tax relief to businesses over the forward estimates, by bringing forward tax deductions or the utilisation of losses from future years.

Parkes Shire Mayor Cr Ken Keith OAM was pleased with the announcement as residents who have lost their jobs or lost income will continue to be assisted. “The new $4 billion JobMaker Hiring Credit will assist regional businesses in jobs for around 450,000 younger Australians." Cr Keith said.

He went on to comment, "Our local business community will benefit from the range of measure to support investment and the creation of jobs. These will include investment incentives, direct support for employers, business tax cuts and strategies to boost out manufacturing sector and new skills incentive."

Major highlights for local business owners include; investment boost for business, JobMaker hiring credit, apprentice and trainee subsidy, temporary loss carry-back, business tax concessions, manufacturing lead recovery and regional tourism recovery.

"The road to recovery may be difficult, but there is certainly hope. The Australian Government have a plan to rebuild our economy, create jobs and build the infrastructure we need for the future. We are all in this together and it is important our community remain united as we rebuild to recover" concluded the Mayor.