Pollies share their Budget hopes
BUNDABERG Mayor Jack Dempsey has asked for a fair go for the region in tonight's Federal Budget and the upcoming State Budget.
"All council is seeking is a fair share of the tax pie,” Cr Dempsey said.
"Currently the Federal Government collects 80%, the state 16% and local government - your council - just 4%.”
Cr Dempsey said Bundaberg Regional Council was hoping for announcements that would improve job prospects and continue the momentum established by the council across the region in the past 12 months.
Additional funding for communication blackspots would also be welcome for rural based residents along with changes to the Federal Assistance Grant.
"Council would like to see a return to full indexation to council on the allocation of Federal Assistance Grants which have been frozen for the past three years,” Cr Dempsey said.
"These are untied funds necessary to drive general purpose projects and our roads programs in a manner discretionary to council.”
Cr Dempsey said the council had partnered with both State and Federal governments over the last 12 months to deliver projects to create growth in the region.
Projects have included securing the ex-HMAS Tobruk, $400,000 in Christsen Park upgades, $1.4 million for Kay McDuff Drive extensions, $5 million for Stage 2 of the Bundaberg Multiplex and $3 million (State and Federal) for the Monduran Bridge replacement.
State Member for Bundaberg Leanne Donaldson also wanted improved employment and a fix for blackspots, but added other hopes from the Federal Budget.
She wanted money to fix the NBN in Bundaberg, to regulate 417 Visa 88-day rural service pay and conditions, bring Fairwork and Customs offices to Bundaberg, improved staff ratios in aged care facilities and no cuts to penalty rates.
"The Palaszczuk Government's prime focus is on job creation, especially in regional communities,” Ms Donaldson said
"Back to Work and Back to Work Youth Boost are examples of our focus.
"The Federal Government needs to follow suit with similar direct employment programs.
"The slash-and burn approach taken by Tim Nicholls as Cambell Newman's Treasurer and right hand man didn't work.
"We want a Federal Budget that builds our region and generates jobs like the two State Budgets delivered so far by Treasurer Curtis Pitt have done.”