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Solid Federal Budget for Bundaberg region.

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Solid Federal Budget for Bundaberg Region Tuesday, 10 May 2005

The Federal Budget has delivered solid outcomes for the Bundaberg region, with confirmation of funding pledged during the election campaign, $600,000 to realign a section of Tableland Road between Bundaberg and Agnes Water, an extension of popular road funding schemes and personal tax cuts. Member for Hinkler Paul Neville said the funding for Tableland Road would boost road safety for the increasingly popular transport corridor and improve safety at the intersection of Tableland Road and Wartburg Road. “The Government had also delivered on its promised $4 million funding for the Hinkler Hall of Aviation, which will help draw an expected 34,000 visitors a year,” he said. “This was pledged during the election campaign, along with $4 million for the Reginald Murray Williams Australian Bush Centre in Eidsvold, which will receive its funding over three years.” “That means more tourists travelling to our region, and spending their time and money in local communities.” “Along with funding for our iconic tourist attractions, the continuation of the Coalition’s Roads to Recovery scheme and Black Spots scheme means the entire Bundaberg and Burnett region will have to tools to fix dangerous local roads.” A number of portfolio-specific announcements will also have an impact on the Bundaberg region. · $15 million over three years for a new Recreational Fishing Grants Programme - This will provide grants up to $100,000 to community groups for a range of purposes, including improvements to artificial reefs to attract fish and infrastructure like tracks and paths to fishing spots. · $1.35 billion for the extended Auslink Roads to Recovery Programme from 2004-2005 to 2008-09 - $1.2 billion will be distributed to local government authorities and $150 million will be allocated to unincorporated areas and Auslink Strategic Regional projects · A $90 million extension of the Black Spots road programme between 2006-2008 - this money will fund works on a further 750 accident sites · Personal tax cuts, with the 17% tax rate reduced to 15% from July 1 this year · The tax threshold for the 42% and 47% rates will be raised on July 1 this year and again on July 1 2006 - this means that taxpayers will not reach the highest marginal tax rate until they earn around 3 times average weekly earnings. · A bonus payment for carers will be paid next month - $1000 for recipients of Carer Payment and $600 for recipients of Carer Allowance. “The really good news overall is the eighth straight surplus, the personal tax cuts which will deliver dollars into the pockets of

local families, and a forecast economic growth of 3% for 2005-2006. Essentially, this Budget is a road map of how Australia can stay strong through a difficult international economic environment, and this Government has delivered the goods,” Mr Neville said.