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Thursday, 4 April 2019
Page: 15003


Mr WALLACE (Fisher) (11:45): This week we saw a great budget for Australia but an even better budget for the Sunshine Coast. Nationally, it delivers the first surplus in—how long?—12 years. Did you hear that? Twelve years! There is $100 billion in infrastructure investment. There is $300 billion for schools and help with energy bills for older Australians, and it does it all while delivering $158 billion in lower income taxes.

Locally, it's a budget that helps lower our cost of living. It allows Sunshine Coast residents to keep more of their own money, funds even more infrastructure for our community, helps local businesses to create more jobs of the future, and provides the vital services that we need.

Honourable members interjecting

Mr WALLACE: I want to help people in Fisher meet the rising cost of living by letting them keep more of their own money. Sixty thousand residents in my electorate will receive a tax cut of up to $1,080 from the end of this tax year under this budget. Ninety-four per cent of taxpayers will pay a tax rate of no more than 30c in the dollar.

Honourable members interjecting

The DEPUTY SPEAKER ( Ms Vamvakinou ): Order! Can the member for Fisher please be heard in silence.

Mr WALLACE: Thank you. I was having a little trouble hearing myself over my—

The DEPUTY SPEAKER: So was I. My apologies.

Mr WALLACE: Ninety-four per cent of taxpayers will pay a tax rate of no more than 30c in the dollar, putting more money in their back pockets to pay for life's essentials and to save for the future. More than 20,000 businesses in my electorate will be eligible for the budget's extended and expanded instant asset write-off, with companies with a turnover of up to $50 million able to apply it to assets costing up to $30,000.

This Liberal-National government can let Fisher residents and businesses keep more of their own money because we know how to build a strong economy. Labor want to slug the people of Fisher with $200 billion of new taxes, because their answer to everything is to spend other people's money. A strong economy means we can help people in Fisher to get home sooner and more safely by building the infrastructure our community deserves. In the last two budgets this Liberal-National government invested $3.13 billion in upgrades to the Bruce Highway between Brisbane and the Sunshine Coast, and $390 million to duplicate the North Coast railway line.

This budget commits another $91.4 million to improving the Maroochydore Road interchange on the Bruce Highway. There's $3.65 million for making Sunshine Coast roads safer and $12 million to rebuild the bridge over Mayes Canal on Brisbane Road in Mooloolaba. Locals know that this is one of the major routes into Mooloolaba, and it is a terrible congestion hotspot. I've been advocating action to improve it, along with my friend John Connolly, the local councillor, and he has done a great job in advocating that, so well done to John. The new bridge will allow for two lanes each way and make a very big difference to Mooloolaba, for locals and tourists alike.

A strong economy helps to create the jobs that local people want, but it also pays for the vital services that we need. This is the why—why we have a strong economy; why we need to have budget surpluses. This budget continues the Liberal-National government's record investment in schools and hospitals. In the period to 2025, we'll see $266 million in extra funding for schools in Fisher and an estimated $261.7 million extra for our local hospitals. This budget invests a further $20 million in Fisher healthcare projects that are close to my heart and I've been fighting for on behalf of the local residents. Twelve million dollars will go to Wishlist, to build low- and no-cost accommodation for families visiting sick people at the Sunshine Coast University Hospital; $4½ million will be committed to the endED Butterfly House in Mooloolah Valley; and a further $2½ million will be committed to the Thompson institute. That's on top of the $5 million that we provided for them in the 2017 budget. That will go to dementia programs, youth mental health and suicide prevention. Only the Liberal-National government can afford to support these fantastic initiatives, and I wholly commend the budget.