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Mini-budget a sign of the times: Oakeshott.

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Robert Oakeshott: Independent for Lyne

Media Release


3 February 2009


PRIME Minister Kevin Rudd’s mini -budget sends a clear message to Mid-North Coast residents to bunker down for a testing year ahead, Independent for Lyne Robert Oakeshott said today.

Mr Oakeshott said the Government’s $42 billion spending program said a lot about the economic ‘state of play’ in global and national terms, with clear implications for our region.

“Government spending has not stopped for the past three months, and quite clearly looks like continuing,” he said.

“This should send very loud messages to those involved in driving the Mid-North Coast economies, as well as every single person involved in deciding on family budgets, that 2009 is going to be a year to absolutely bunker down.

“It’s a time to do what you can to make sure household income as compared to household debt is as serviceable as possible, and to do all we can as a community to keep as many people employ ed as possible.

"Where you spend your money, with whom, and how, has great consequence on the local economy and on local jobs, and when it is considered our unemployment rate for far too long has sat about 2% above the national averages, we have some great challenges ahead to make sure our local economies minimise the hit.” .

Mr Oakeshott said that on face value, the $8 billion of immediate benefits to low and middle-inc ome earners would be of help to our region.

“Considering the pre-Christmas $10.4 billion saw 44,000 cheques into the electorate - the third highest of all 150 electorates throughout Australia - I expect a similarly large slice of the $8 billion to come into the Mid-North Coast,” he said.

"On the surface, I als o welcome the spend in our local primary and secondary schools.

“This is important work and is an opportunity for all schools to assess their immediate needs and for the local trades community to consider possible work options at their loc al schools .”

"On the surface, I als o welcome the $3 billion insulation plan for local homes, and for the same reasons as we saw a large number of cheques into our electorate prior to Christmas, I also expect a large portion of this insulation work to happen within our region.

“This also deals with a secondary, but no less important matter of the long-term issue of peak load electricity supply within our region, and will lesson the peaks and trough demands associated with our use of air-conditioners and heaters, and in the longer term, help save on household electricity bills .

Mr Oakeshott said he would be digging through the specifics of the package over the coming days and providing more details to the community when they become available.

ENDS. Media Contact: Garth Norris - 65842911, 0418537709.