Regional Capitals Australia (RCA) has tonight welcomed the release of the 2021-2022 Federal Budget, which includes new funding to reboot the regions.
RCA Chair, Cr Kevin Mack said the budget included much-needed stimulus towards investments in roads, community infrastructure and important services that will make regional capitals good places to live.
“This budget will continue the work of getting our regional economies moving, it will also assist in getting back to basics, to make sure that our health and aged care services can continue to support our regional communities,” Cr Mack said.
Key initiatives announced tonight that impact Regional Capital Cities include:
Regional Recovery Initiatives
- $1 billion – Local Roads and Community Infrastructure Program (over 2 years);
- $250 million – Building Better Regions Fund (round 6);
- $28.2 million – Stronger Communities Program (over two years round 7)
- $6 million – Rebuilding Regional Communities.
- $2.0 billion Melbourne Intermodal Terminal.
- $32.6 million – Emerging Aviation Technology Partnerships: a program to support the use of emerging aviation technologies, benefitting regional economies and communities.
- $1.0 billion – Road Safety Program.
New South Wales
- $2.03 billion for the Great Western Highway upgrade;
- $400 million for Princes Highway; and
- $240 million for Mount Ousley Interchange.
- $20 million for the Green Triangle; and
- $17.5 million for the Dairy Supply Chain Road Upgrades.
- $400 million for Inland Freight Route upgrades;
- $400 million for Bruce Highway upgrades; and
- $240 million for Cairns West Arterial Road duplication.
- $200 million for the Great Eastern Highway Upgrades; and
- $160 million for WA Agricultural Supply Chain Improvements.
- $150 million for the Northern Territory National Network upgrade.
- $11.5 million – Regional Arts Fund, Festivals Australia: program to support tourism in regional areas; and
- Temporary Visas: support for the tourism and hospitality sectors through changes to temporary visa holder requirements.
Regional Digital Connectivity
Digital Connectivity Plan:
- $1.2 billion – Digital Economy Strategy: including tax breaks for businesses, digital cadetships trial and $500 million on government digital services;
- $84.8 million – Regional Connectivity Program; and
- $12.0 million – AI Capabilities: to deliver co-funded grants to support community and business-driven projects in regional areas.
Regional Health and Aged Care
- $2.3 billion – mental health services nationwide;
- $17.7 billion – Royal Commission into Aged Care response;
- $630.2 million – regional quality aged care services in response to Royal Commission into Aged Care Response including:
– $13.4 million for regionally based offices to oversee the commissions response; and
– $65 million to boost bulk billing rebates in rural, regional and remote areas.
- $354 million to support women’s health and wellbeing, including:
- $6.6 million for Breast Cancer Network Australia to operate its helpline, rural and regional information forums and extending its consumer representative training program.
- $0.6 million – Australian Public Service Hubs in regional Australia study; and
- Business relocation: identify the regulatory barriers to business relocation into regional Australia study.
- JobTrainer Fund: to support a further 163,000 new training places to upskill job seekers and meet skills shortages; and
- Work placed learning: 170,000 new apprenticeships and traineeships, 5,000 higher education short courses and 2,700 places in indigenous girls academies to help them finish school and get a job.
- $600 million for a National Recovery and Resilience Agency to support local communities hit by major disasters.
- Extension of the instant asset write-off allowances.
“We congratulate the Federal Government on the release of this important Budget in a time where our cities continue to recover from the impacts of COVID-19,” said Cr Kevin Mack said.
“With the once-in-a-generation population shift that is occurring across regional Australia, we must also ensure we can make the most of this historic change,” Cr Mack said.
“As we move towards a Federal election we will be making the call to support our members with housing, ongoing decentralisation and liveability programs that will ensure the growth of our regions for generations to come,” Cr Mack concluded.
About Regional Capitals Australia: Regional Capitals Australia (RCA) is a national alliance of local governments across the nation, representing Australia’s regional cities. RCA’s mission is to provide a recognised platform to champion the strategic importance and sustainable development of regional capital cities.