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1998/99 budget highlights: Commonwealth Expenditure in Regional Australia



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M e d i a

R e l e a s e THE HON ALEX SOMLYAY MP Minister for Regional Development, Territories and Local Government

1998/99 BUDGET HIGHLIGHTS

COMMONWEALTH EXPENDITURE IN REGIONAL AUSTRALIA

The Minister for Regional Development, Territories and Local Government, Alex Somlyay, said today that the 1998-99 Budget demonstrates the Government’s commitment to regional Australia.

Mr Somlyay said that the Government is spending well over $3.5 billion each year on specific programmes designed to benefit regional Australia. # <

“A detailed breakdown of a number of the Government’s major programme initiatives confirms that the interests of regional Australia are at the forefront of the Government’s thinking,” he said.

“As the attached tables reveal, around three-quarters of total expenditure in programmes such as financial assistance to local government, roads funding, and the Natural Heritage Trust is going to our regions,” Mr Somlyay said.

“This is, of course, over and above the funding directed to regional Australia through mainstream programmes such as industry assistance, investment and family assistance programmes."

“For example, over $805 million of the $1,200 million we are providing in financial assistance grants to local government is being provided to councils in regional Australia. Similarly, the Government is spending over $700 million per year on roads in rural and regional Australia. This represents over 88% of our total expenditure on roads,” he said.

Mr Somlyay also released a Ministerial statement Regional Australia: Our Commitment in conjunction with the Budget. This statement summarises Commonwealth policies and programmes for regional Australia across portfolios that have been implemented since the change of Government in March 1996.

“As well'as the specific programmes we have introduced, regional Australia is also benefiting from our economic policies. For example, falls in interest rates since we took office have provided a saving of $4000 each year for farmers and small businesses with an overdraft of $100,000.”

“The initiatives highlighted in this statement, and detailed in the attached tables, show that the Government has delivered on its commitment to regional Australia,” Mr Somlyay said.

Ends . 12 May 1998

Contact: Graeme Hallett 02 6277 7060

(B4) S44/98

COMMONWEALTH PROGRAMME EXPENDITURE IN REGIONAL AUSTRALIA - AN INDICATIVE SUMMARY OF EXPENDITURE IN 1997-98

PROGRAMMES: Financial Assistance Grants to Local Government; Networking the Nation - the Regional Telecommunications Infrastructure Fund; Blackspots; Natural Heritage Trust; National Highway; Roads of National Importance; and the Federation Fund

State Regional Total Percentage

expenditure/ expenditure/ expenditure/ commitments commitments commitment in ($m) ($m) regions

NSW 641.881 775.783 82.7

Victoria 271.998 453.847 59.9

Queensland 376.521 493.706 76.3

South Australia 106.875 203.527 52.5

Western Australia

279.304 321.741 86.8

Tasmania 86.284 89.965 95.9

ACT 0 175.128 0

NT 153.756 156.356 "98.3

Total Australia 1,916.619 2,670.053 71.8

Notes

Summaries of expenditure under particular programmes are shown in separate tables.

2 All expenditure under the Regional Telecommunications Infrastructure Fund has been counted as expenditure in regional areas. A separate table provides a more precise breakdown of RTIF expenditure, and the footnote to that table provides a detailed description of project

expenditure. Multi-State projects under the RTIF ($14.255m) have not . been included in this table.

3 Figures include expenditure and approvals in 1997-98.

PROGRAMME EXPENDITURE IN REGIONAL AUSTRALIA

PROGRAMME: Financial Assistance Grants to Local Government 1997-98

State Regional

expenditure ($m)

Total

expenditure ($m)

Percentage expenditure in regions

NSW 272.878 392.735 69

Victoria 158.153 285.769 55

Queensland 174.675 223.710 78

South Australia - V ,

42.869 87.826 49

Western Australia

104.710 138.290 76

Tasmania 38.380 41.379 93

ACT 0 26.022 0

NT 14.562 17.162 84

Total Australia 805.383 1212.895 66

Notes

1. The regional breakdown is provided on the basis of the Australian Classification of Local Governments.

2. These figures are based on entitlements and do not take into account - V " . ---ยท adjustments for previous year payments.

PROGRAMME EXPENDITURE IN REGIONAL AUSTRALIA

PROGRAMME: Networking the Nation - The Regional Telecommunications Infrastructure Fund

State Regional

commitment ($m)

Total

commitment ($m)

Percentage commitment in regions

NSW 2.294 2.639 86.9

Victoria 1.463 1.561 93.7

Queensland 5.472 6.808 80.4

-South Australia 1.808 2.932 61.6

Western Australia

2.166 4.066 53.3

Tasmania 0.430 13.128 3.2

ACT 0 0.450 0

NT 3.592 3.592 100

Multi-State projects

0.555 14.255 3.9

Total Australia 13.641 49.029 27.82

Notes

t. The figures are the total cost of projects approved in 1997-98. They are based on the address of the recipient organisation, which distorts the figures away from regional centres. For example, where an organisation based in a capital city has received funding for a State-wide project, it is

not recorded as a “regional” project. By way of illustration, a Telehealth project in Tasmania has received funding of $5.595m; although it will be providing benefits across the State, because the project is administered in Hobart it is not attributed to regional Tasmania.

2. All RTIF projects involve expenditure in regional areas, with most projects focussed exclusively on providing benefits to regional Australia.

PROGRAMME EXPENDITURE IN REGIONAL AUSTRALIA

PROGRAMME: Blackspots -1997-98

State Regional

commitments ($m)

Total

commitments ($m)

Percentage commitment in regions

NSW 8.550 11.578 73.8

Victoria 3.837 7.876 48.7

Queensland 6.349 7.106 89.3

South Australia 1.791 2.966 60.4

Western Australia

2.295 4.222 54.4

Tasmania 0.499 0.748 66.7

ACT 0 0.800 0

NT 0.364 0.364 100

Total Australia 23.685 35.660 66.4

Note

1. These figures reflect the total value of projects approved under the Blackspots program in .1997-98.

PROGRAMME EXPENDITURE IN REGIONAL AUSTRALIA

PROGRAMME: Natural Heritage Trust, 1997-98

State Regional

commitment ($m)

Total

commitment ($m)

Percentage commitment in regions

NSW 38.904 39.421 98.7

Victoria 33.347 33.381 99.9

Queensland 21.749 22.142 98.2

South Australia 19.540 19.733 99.0

Western Australia

26.063 26.903 96.9

Tasmania 7.297 7.530 96.9

ACT 0 0.637 0

NT 5.028 5.028 100

Total Australia 151.928 154.775 98.2

Note

1. Figures in this table are for commitments entered into in 1997-98 for projects under the NHT.

PROGRAMME EXPENDITURE IN REGIONAL AUSTRALIA

PROGRAMME: Roads expenditure, 1997-98

State Regional

expenditure ($m)

Total

expenditure ($m)

Percentage expenditure in regions

NSW 312.91 318.41 98.3

Victoria 69.10 94.26 73.3

Queensland 166.94 168.94 98.8

South Australia 39.47 90.07 43.8

Western Australia

62.17 68.26 91.1

Tasmania 26.98 27.18 99.3

ACT 0 2.19 0

NT 30.21 30.21 100

Total Australia 707.78 799.52 88 5

PROGRAMME EXPENDITURE IN REGIONAL AUSTRALIA

PROGRAMME: Federation Fund

State Regional Total Percentage

commitment commitment commitment in ($m) ($m) regions

NSW 6 11 54.5

Victoria 6 31 19.3

Queensland 0 65 0

South Australia 0 0 0

Western Australia

80 80 100

Tasmania 0 0 0

ACT 0 147 0

NT 100 100 100

Total Australia 192 434 44.2

Notes

1 The Federation Fund will provide $1 billion towards major projects across Australia in.the lead-up to the Centenary of Federation. The above table includes only those projects announced to date.

2 A further $100 million has been announced from the Federation Fund for Federation Community Projects and Federation Cultural/Heritage Projects. These are not included in the above table as individual projects are yet to be finalised; however, it is expected that the majority

of these funds will support projects in regional Australia.

3 Funding of $12 million has been announced for the Federation Bridge over the Murray River at Corowa; in the above table, this funding has been divided equally between New South Wales and Victoria.