Territorians are major winners in the Coalition Government’s budget delivered last night – with roads infrastructure set for a massive injection of funding and schools to receive increased support over the coming decade.
The Commonwealth is expected to provide the Northern Territory Government with $4.2 billion in total payments in 2017-18. This includes $2.9 billion in general revenue assistance.
Country Liberals Senator for the Northern Territory, Nigel Scullion, said that through the budget, the Coalition was making the right choices to ensure Australia’s remarkable economic growth story continued, securing better days ahead for hard-working Territorians.
“Despite the crocodile tears from the out-of-depth Gunner Government, the Coalition Government continues to invest billions of dollars in the future of Territorians – and it is not up to the Commonwealth to meet the costs of Territory Labor’s unfunded election promises,” Senator Scullion said.
“Our investment in energy will support projects that provide gas to domestic users and activities that accelerate gas supply from significant resources. However, the funding will be subject to the removal of regulatory restrictions like the moratorium on onshore gas developments imposed by the Gunner Government.
“The Northern Territory’s moratorium is preventing any onshore gas development, despite preliminary assessments that the Territory has substantial gas reserves. I call on Chief Minister Gunner to work with us to open up these opportunities rather than just calling for a hand out from the Commonwealth.
“The Coalition Government recognises Australia’s economic growth has been hard won and we have consistently outperformed the largest advanced economies in the world. However, we shouldn’t take our success for granted.
“We are helping hardworking Territorians with a plan for more and better jobs, by securing the essentials they rely on and by easing cost of living pressures.”
The Coalition Government’s investments in the Northern Territory include:
- The Northern Territory’s schools will receive a total of $4.8 billion over 10 years, with total funding growing from approximately $347.7 million in 2017 to $610.3 million in 2027.
- Northern Territory Roads Package: $77 million with $15.7 million to be provided in 2017‑18.
- National Highway Upgrade Programme: up to $20 million with $11.4 million to be provided in 2017-18.
- Regional Roads Productivity Package: $90 million with $15.1 million to be provided in 2017‑18.
- Northern Australia Roads Programme: up to $192.2 million for projects to be delivered in the Northern Territory, with $94.9 million to be provided in 2017-18.
- Northern Australia Beef Roads Programme: up to $30 million for projects to be delivered in the Northern Territory, with $13 million to be provided in 2017-18.
- In the 2016 federal election, the Coalition Government committed $29.5 million towards the Barneson Boulevard and Tiger Brennan Drive Stage 3 project, with $3.7 million to be provided in 2017-18. The Northern Territory will also receive a share of the $100 million election commitment to the Outback Way.
Senator Scullion said the Coalition Government was supporting small businesses in the Territory by extending the instant asset write off to small businesses for a further 12 months.
“And we are taking action to safeguard the jobs of Northern Territory residents and making sure they have the necessary training and skills to be job-ready with a new Skilling Australians Fund,” Senator Scullion said.
“The Coalition is also guaranteeing Medicare with a Medicare Guarantee Fund that will only pay for Medicare and medicines. We are fully funding the National Disability Insurance Scheme to provide a secure future for Australians with a disability.
“The Government is also launching a fairer schools funding model that is needs-based, simple and transparent. And we are delivering affordable, accessible childcare for families with a simplified Child Care Package. These essential services have been secured in the Coalition Government’s 2017 budget.
“The Government understands that the cost of living is a priority for Australians, whether it is being able to afford a roof over your head, or paying for rising power prices. And that’s why the 2017 budget tackles these costs.
“We are working to keep the great Australian dream alive. There are no silver bullet solutions to making housing more affordable but we are working to help first homebuyers, downsizers and those in need of social housing.”
Senator Scullion said the Coalition Government’s energy security plan would provide reliable and affordable energy for Australians coping with rising energy prices including by securing access to local gas resources for domestic use and ensuring a fairer deal for Australian consumers and businesses.
“The Government will continue to ensure multinationals pay their fair share of tax. Our actions have already raised $2.9 billion in tax liabilities this financial year against a group of just seven large multinational companies, and are expected to raise more than $4 billion in total this financial year from large public groups and multinationals,” Senator Scullion said.
“We are also making our financial system better for customers and taxpayers through greater competition, accountability and fairness. This will include a Banking Executive Accountability Regime, an investigation into financial system competition and a levy on large banks, securing $6.2 billion to support budget repair.
“The Coalition Government has made the right choices to secure better days ahead.”