Federal Budget – What Does It Mean For Ballina Shire

Ballina Shire Council’s Mayor Sharon Cadwallader shared her reflections on the Federal Budget 2024/25, highlighting the implications for Ballina Shire.

The commitment of $27.7 billion is a significant allocation towards various projects aimed at improving the quality of life for Australians, Mayor Cadwallader acknowledges the budget’s emphasis on cost-of-living relief, education, and healthcare as crucial pillars for community well-being.

However, she expressed the hope for more infrastructure spending directed to the regions.

“We welcome initiatives aimed at easing the burden on low and middle-income Australians, Ballina Shire Council would welcome more spending on infrastructure in regional Australia” Mayor Cadwallader stated. Highlights of the Federal Budget 2024-25 that are hoped to filter to Ballina Shire and the Northern Rivers include:

  • Infrastructure Investment of $40 million for regional airports in competitive grant funding over three years and $40 million for community Wi-Fi initiatives.
  • Roads to Recovery Program progressively rising from $500 million to $1 billion per year, with Black Spot Program to increase from $110 million to $150 million per year.
  • Cost-of-Living Relief Measures such as $300 energy rebates for households, tax cuts for taxpayers, and debt relief for tertiary students.
  • Support for Small Businesses Funding totaling $290 million, including the extension of the instant asset write-off scheme and support for small business owners’ wellbeing.
  • Healthcare Investment of $227 million for Medicare Urgent Care Clinics and support for regional clinics.
  • Housing Initiatives with $6.2 billion allocated to housing programs, including new home construction and aid for renters.

“While these allocations present opportunities for our region’s development, we eagerly await further details on how funding will be distributed to the Ballina Shire,” Mayor Cadwallader remarked. “With our region experiencing population growth, it’s imperative that our infrastructure keeps pace to support our community’s evolving needs and funding comes from the Federal Government rather than the expectation that council funds all key infrastructure programs.”

“We hope that a portion of infrastructure investment will be directed towards the Ballina Byron Gateway Airport. With over 635,000 passengers annually and an anticipated growth to over 900,000 by 2040, the airport plays a vital role in our local economy.”

“The commitment to alleviating housing challenges with an extra $6.2 billion allocated to housing programs across the nation is noteworthy, however, we are interested to see how this plays out considering the ongoing pressures faced by the construction industry and home builders.”

For more details of the Federal Budget 2024-25 visit budget.gov.au

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