Australia is leading the world in fighting COVID-19 and our economy is one of the strongest globally. Speaking to many of our local businesses, they are starting to bounce back.
A recent Deloitte Access Economics report says, “you’d rather be here (Australia) than almost anywhere else” in the world. It continues by saying our economy is “bouncing back rapidly and outperforming expectations”.
As a Government, our focus is on fighting the virus and continued economic recovery.
We have managed the virus better than almost any other country and have rolled out over $250 billion in economic support. This has included:
• JobKeeper – this payment has provided cash flow support to more than 900,000 businesses and income support to around 3.5 million workers to date.
• Instant Asset Write-Off – over 99 per cent of businesses can write off the full value of any eligible asset they purchase for their business.
• JobMaker Hiring Credit – this program provides $200 per week for an eligible employee aged 16 to 29 years and $100 per week for an eligible employee aged 30 to 35 years.
• First Home Loan Deposit Scheme – eligible first home buyers can purchase or build a new home with a deposit of as little as 5 per cent.
• Tax cuts – the 2020-21 Federal Budget provides $17.8 billion in personal income tax relief for more than 11 million Australians, including an additional $12.5 billion over the next 12 months.
• HomeBuilder – over 75,000 households have applied for this grant, with 80 per cent of applications to construct a new home. This is supporting up to $18 billion in residential construction projects.
• JobSeeker – during its peak, this payment supported 1.6 million people with fortnightly payments.
We have also continued to implement our $110 billion 10-year infrastructure pipeline. This is creating jobs and improving communities across the country.
These programs have allowed our region to receive unprecedented funding. There are many exciting projects I look forward to seeing progress in 2021 – road improvements, sporting upgrades, supporting important industries, and improving community infrastructure.
There has also been extensive stimulus spending for local councils and community organisations. I will be working to see this funding spent and projects fast-tracked to ensure maximum benefit for our region.
Confronted with the greatest challenge Australians have faced since the Second World War, we are proving once again how resilient we are.