The Turnbull Government’s 2016-17 budget has signified their commitment to connect regional cities to each other and other metropolitan cities through both rail and roads funding.
Treasurer The Hon. Scott Morrison MP emphasised that the focus of the 2016-17 economic plan is on jobs and growth.
A key part of this investment was a $594 million investment to secure land for the 1,700-kilometre Melbourne to Brisbane Inland Rail that will deliver freight in less time and with high reliability.
The government’s ongoing investment to fix mobile phone black spots and connect regional capital cities to NBN, as well as ensure the safety of road users through its recovery program also continues to roll out.
While the National Stronger Regions Fund highlighted in the budget is not new funding, many regional capital cities have received grants and many more have applied for funding in the previous round of grants.
Larger changes to tax cuts for small businesses, in addition to the ongoing funding for health, education and Australia’s youth, will in part assist in stimulating job growth and boosting productivity in regional capital cities.
Regional capital cities are growing, many faster than the national average. Our cities can play larger roles in growing access to jobs and supporting rapid growth, but it is imperative that we get the funding needed to generate economic activity and encourage population attraction.
Now that regional capital cities are part of the cities framework, we want to make sure we receive the right level of government investment to continue being fantastic places to live.
We need long-term, forward-thinking planning and investment to support smart, powerful and innovative regional capital cities. We expect to see a clear role for regional capital cities and associated investment when the Commonwealth launches its new regional development plan in 2017.
Mayor Shane Van Styn – Chair, Regional Capitals Australia
Mayor, City of Greater Geraldton
[ut_icon icon=”fa-file-pdf-o” size=”fa-2x” target=”blank” align=”alignnone” color=”#f5ab35″] View the full 2016-17 Federal Budget Overview Report