Advocacy Alert: What the 2019 Federal Budget means for Townsville North Queensland

Tonight the Morrison Government has delivered a Federal Budget that has listened to North Queenslanders.

It was positive to see Treasurer Josh Frydenberg announce the first surplus budget in 12 years, which is predominately due to a resurgent resource sector. The focus of this Budget is upon tax concessions to both individuals and small business, which suggests this is an election budget targeting cost of living pressures. There is also a strong focus upon those regions that have been impacted by natural disasters, particularly through flood and drought, with rehabilitation funds directly targeted to recovering industries and communities.

Over the past 12 months, the North Queensland community has been sending consistent and clear messages to our Federal leaders defining our region's key priorities. As a result we have secured unprecedented funding commitments towards critical infrastructure including the Haughton Pipeline Stage 2, Port Channel Widening, Hells Gates Dam Business Case/Big Rocks Weir, Townsville Ring Road Stage 5, Cowboys Community & Sports Excellence Centre, and Building Better Regions Funding allocations towards the Museum of Underwater Art and Castle Hill Concept Plan.

North Queensland's expectation is that these commitments will commence without delay, and any additional commitments reflective of our 2019 Election Priorities. It is important that the Government delivers upon these pre-budget announcements and we look forward to working through the detail of tonight's Budget and how it will consolidate the region's priorities.

Summary of key Budget 2019 announcements:

NATIONAL

  • Australian economy is back in the black
  • $45 billion in surpluses over the forward estimate (next four years)
  • Nett debt to be fully paid by 2031 (current debt $370 billion)
  • $158 billion in additional tax relief for individual Australians who earn up to $125,000 per annum

LONG TERM FLOOD RECOVERY

$300M will be made available for grants to help flood affected farmers rebuild damaged farm infrastructure, replace livestock and replant crops. These grants and certain disaster relief payments will be exempt from income tax.

  • $134.5M infrastructure repair and restoration
  • $24M North West Queensland Beef Sector Recovery
  • $13M Community Development and Wellbeing
  • $5M towards tourism campaign
  • $28M towards four new weather radars in Queensland to help prepare for and mitigate future flood impact

SUPPORTING FARMERS

  • $6.3 billion in drought assistance and concessional loans for farmers and farming communities
  • $3.9 billion in the Future Drought Fund

REGIONAL CONNECTIVITY

  • $60M towards million Regional Connectivity Program to improve internet and mobile access in regional Australia

INFRASTRUCTURE

$100 billion spent on infrastructure over a decade:

  • $730M towards North Queensland road upgrades ($200M Townsville-Tennant Creek & $100M Townsville-Roma)
  • $250M towards Haughton Duplication Pipeline Stage 2
  • $144M towards Townsville's Ring Road Stage 5
  • $54M towards Hells Gates Dam Business Case/Big Rocks Weir
  • $15M towards Cowboys Community & Sports Excellence Centre

TOURISM

  • $50M NAIF loan towards Townsville Airport upgrade
  • $1.96M Building Better Regions Funding towards Castle Hill Concept Plan
  • $1.5M Building Better Regions Funding towards Museum of Underwater Art Phase 2

ENERGY

  • $285m towards one-off Energy Assistance Payment ($75 for singles and $125 for couples) delivered to age pensioners, Disability Support Pension, veterans, carers and single parents

SMALL BUSINESSES

  • Increasing the instant asset write-off threshold to $30,000 until 30 June 2020. Immediately deduct purchases of eligible assets each costing less than $30,000
  • Tax rate cut to 25 per cent for small and medium sized companies with an annual turnover of less than $50M and increases to the unincorporated small business tax discount rate
  • Expanding access to the instant asset write-off to include medium sized businesses by increasing the annual turnover threshold from $10M to $50M. Around 22,000 additional businesses employing around 1.7 million workers will now be eligible to access the instant asset write-off

JOBS
$520M towards Additional Identified Skills Shortage Payment

  • Deliver up to 80,000 new apprentices in industries with skill shortages
  • In addition to existing incentives, employers will be eligible for a $4,000 incentive payment Apprentices will be eligible for $2,000, paid at key milestones in the apprenticeship
  • $50.6M to pilot ten Training Hubs in regional areas of high youth unemployment

TAX

  • $158 billion tax offset (up from $144 billion)
  • Tax relief for for earners of $37,000 - $126,000 in addition to the $530 tax offset to be received from July 1 for workers earning between $48,000 - $90,000
  • Lowering tax rate to 30% for workers earning between $45,000 - $200,000
  • Low and mid income tax offset doubled
  • 90% of tax payers will benefit form lower taxes

HEALTH

  • $13M towards 33 bed ward at Townsville Hospital
  • $9M towards new maternity and neo-natal ward at Townsville Mater Hospital
  • $461M towards youth suicide and mental illness
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"Welcomed announcement today in #Townsville by @billshortenmp making a $100M commitment towards the Mount Isa to Tow… https://t.co/bfEBqBkt5B"

06:36 PM Apr 24th @TSVEnterprise