The Coalition Government is making the right choices to ensure our nation’s remarkable economic growth story continues, so we can secure better days ahead for hard-working Australians in Barker.

“Our economic growth has been hard won and we have consistently outperformed the largest advanced economies in the world but we shouldn’t take our success for granted. We are helping hardworking Australians in Barker with a plan for more and better jobs, by securing the essentials they rely on and by easing cost of living pressures” said Member for Barker Tony Pasin.


The right choices for growth that secures more and better paid jobs

The 2017 Budget delivers greater opportunities for small business. We are providing funding to incentivise States and Territories to cut red tape for small businesses and will extend the instant asset write off to small businesses for a further twelve months which is great news for the almost 16,000 small business in Barker,” Said Mr Pasin.

“We are choosing to invest in building Australia with over $70 billion to transport infrastructure across Australia to reduce congestion, revitalise our cities and grow our regions, using a combination of grant funding, loans and equity investments.”

“A $10 billion transformational National Rail Program will deliver rail projects across the nation that better connect our cities, regions and create new opportunities for housing, and grow the economy.”

“And we are taking action to safeguard Australian jobs and make sure that Australians have the necessary training and skills to be job-ready with a new Skilling Australians Fund,” said the Member for Barker.


The right choices for guaranteeing essential services

“In Budget 2017, the Coalition Government is guaranteeing Medicare with a Medicare Guarantee Fund that will only pay for Medicare and medicines.  We are fully funding the NDIS to provide a secure future for Australians with a disability.   We are 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 Budget 2017,” Mr Pasin said.


The right choices to placing downward pressure on rising costs of living

“The Coalition Government understands that the cost of living is a priority for many Australians, whether it is being able to afford a roof over your head, or pay for rising power prices.  And that’s why the 2017 Budget tackles these costs,” Mr Pasin said.

“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.”


Securing reliable and affordable energy

“The Coalition Government’s energy security plan will provide reliable and affordable energy for Australians coping with rising energy prices including by: securing access to our local gas resources for domestic use and ensuring consumers and businesses get a fairer deal,” Mr Pasin said.

The Coalition Government is also committed to progress major energy storage projects including pumped hydro in Snowy 2.0 and implementing changes agreed by COAG’s Energy Council to improve gas market efficiency and transparency.


The right choices to make sure the government lives within its means

“Because we know that living within our means allows the government to secure essential services and reduce pressure on living costs, the Coalition Government continues to take responsible action to balance the budget,” Mr Pasin said.

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.

“We will also continue to focus on stopping people trying to take an easy ride on our welfare system by strengthening mutual obligation requirements for payments and cracking down on those seeking to get out of those obligations,” Mr Pasin said.

“The Coalition Government is 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,” Mr Pasin concluded.

The Coalition Government has made the right choices to secure better days ahead.


Key Measures

Skilling Australians Fund

The Coalition Government has abolished 457 visas to protect Australian jobs and is replacing the scheme with a new program more suited to our economic needs. The Coalition Government will introduce a new foreign worker levy for certain temporary and permanent work visas.

The funds raised from this levy will go to a new Skilling Australians Fund to give permanent funding for skills training, rather than rely on short-term funding.  When matched with State and Territory funding, it will support up to 300,000 apprentices, trainees, pre-apprentices and higher level skilled Australians.

The Coalition Government’s Skilling Australians Fund will deliver opportunities for young people and ensure our continued economic growth. Our $60 million Industry Specialist Mentoring Program will also provide extra support for over 46,000 apprentices – this will be targeted at, but not limited to, apprentices from regional areas, retrenched workers, long-term unemployed and mature-age people to assist them to complete their training.


Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Sector

This Budget continues to deliver for the sector through investments including:

  • Establishing the $4 billion Regional Investment Corporation
  • More than $1 billion for a National Landcare Program over five years. The program continues to focus on practical, on the ground ways to improve issues like soil health, erosion management and water quality, making the program relevant to all land managers – but especially farmers.
  • Ongoing funding for water initiatives and programs to continue to build on our unprecedented investment in water infrastructure across Australia
  • $8.3 million to support the livestock export industry
  • We’re increasing transparency for Australia’s 6,100 dairy farmers providing up to $2 million to develop a Commodity Milk Price Index to help with planning and decision making.
  • We will extend eligibility for farm business concessional loans to farmers who have exhausted their full three year entitlement to the Farm Household Allowance. These loans will be available only for refinancing existing debt, and consistent with the Government’s drought assistance and dairy recovery concessional loans, these will be capped at $1 million or 50 per cent of final debt, whichever is the lesser.


Regional Development

The Roads to Recovery Program has been secured with $4.4 billion from 2013-14 to 2020-21 committed to the construction, repair and upgrade of local roads. The Coalition Government will also continue to fund the Black Spot Program with $685 million committed from 2013-14 to 2020-21 to deliver improvements such as safety barriers and street lighting to sections of dangerous road that have a crash history.

Under the Regional Growth Fund, $200 million in additional funding will increase the Government’s commitment to the Building Better Regions Fund to almost $500 million, supporting more projects across rural, regional and remote Australia. In addition, a $272 million fund will be established to drive major transformational projects of more than $10 million to unlock opportunity and potential in the regions.

Regional communities will also receive investment through a third round of the Stronger Communities Program which helps fund small capital projects in local communities, across Australia.

The Government has also resumed the indexation of Financial Assistance Grants to councils, which results in an extra $836.5 million provided over the forward estimates.

The Government will provide $40.0 million over two years from 2017-18 in supplementary local road funding for South Australia to assist councils to upgrade and maintain the local road network.

South Australia is responsible for 11.7 per cent of national local roads and currently receives 5.5 per cent of total local road funding from the Commonwealth.

This funding is in addition to funding provided through the Financial Assistance Grants and Roads to Recovery Programme, and will ensure that Commonwealth funding provided to South Australia is more appropriate to the level of local road maintenance required.


Welfare Compliance

From 1 July 2018 the Government will introduce a new approach to compliance for people on income support that provides both more support to vulnerable job seekers and ensures that the small group of persistently non-compliant job seekers will face appropriate penalties.

Currently, 93 per cent of job seekers who decline work or persistently miss requirements face no real consequences because the legislation allows the penalty to be easily waived. The new framework will use a more streamlined approach for the majority of people on income support who are genuinely looking for work, while applying real penalties to the small group of persistently non-compliant people.



The Coalition Government will make available up to $110 million to build a solar thermal plant at Port Augusta in South Australia and separately provide up to $36.6 million over two years from 2017-18 to target investment in energy infrastructure in South Australia under a bilateral Asset Recycling agreement.

The Australian Energy Regulator will receive an additional $7.95 million to scrutinise energy providers to ensure they are serving consumers’ needs.

We will provide $6.6 million over three years from 2017-18 to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) to establish a monitoring regime for the gas market by using its inquiry powers to compel the gas industry to provide greater transparency of transactions in the gas market, including factors affecting supply and pricing.

Longer-term changes to our energy system are being considered in the context of the Independent Review into the Future Security of the National Electricity Market being conducted by Australia’s Chief Scientist, Dr Alan Finkel AO, and the 2017 review of climate policies.


Small Business

The Coalition is extending the immediate deductibility rules for a further 12 months – to 30 June 2018 – allowing small businesses with an annual turnover of up to $10 million to immediately deduct eligible assets each costing less than $20,000.

Government will also provide up to $300 million over two years to States and Territories through the National Partnership on Regulatory Reform to reduce regulatory burdens and remove unnecessary restrictions on competition.



The Budget provides over $100 million in new funding to boost innovation, skills and employment in advanced manufacturing to continue the transition to a new economy.

The funding includes:

  • $47.5 million for a new Advanced Manufacturing Growth Fund, building on the existing $155 million Growth Fund that helps industry adjust to the wind-down of car manufacturing, to provide matched funds of up to a third of the project cost to South Australian and Victorian manufacturers for capital upgrades to make their businesses more competitive through innovative processes and equipment
  • $4 million for the Advanced Manufacturing Growth Centre to support small scale and pilot research projects in advanced manufacturing, benefiting small firms and early stage researchers, allowing them to quickly move to larger scale research or commercialisation
  • $20 million under the Cooperative Research Centre – Projects initiative for larger scale advanced manufacturing research projects of up to $3 million in funding over three years
  • $10 million to establish Innovation Labs in South Australia and Victoria to serve industry in a variety of roles including test centre facilities and business capability development, delivered through existing government services like Entrepreneurs’ Programme, Industry Growth Centres and Austrade
  • $5 million to maintain engineering excellence by investing in student research at universities, technology institutions and in industry to maintain the flow of highly trained engineers to the automotive design and engineering sector

Removing tariffs on imported vehicle prototypes and components used by Australian motor vehicle design and engineering services that operate in a global network.


Family Law

As well as a comprehensive review into the family law system which will pave the way for long term fundamental reform the Government has announced an $80 million funding boost to frontline family law and family violence services.

This additional investment includes:

  • $12.7 million to establish Parenting Management Hearings;
  • $10.7 million for additional family consultants to deal with family law cases;
  • $3.4 million for additional domestic violence units; and
  • $55.7 million boost to Community Legal Centres and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Legal Services (announced on 24 April 2017).



Medicare funding will increase by $2.4 billion over the next four years, including a $1 billion commitment to our doctors and patients by restoring indexation of the Medicare rebate commencing with GP bulk billing arrangements from 1 July 2017.

The Government, in partnership with Medicines Australia will reduce the costs of medicines by $1.8 billion over the next five years. Another 60,000 patients at risk of chronic heart failure will benefit with the listing of new drugs at a cost of more than $510 million.

Commonwealth funding for hospitals will increase by $2.8 billion. This brings additional support for hospitals across Australia delivered under the Coalition Government to $7.7 billion.

We are delivering a $115 million boost for mental health support, treatment and research, including $9.1 million for tele-health services for regional areas.

A Prime Minister’s Walk for Life Challenge, to be led by the Heart Foundation, will support up to 300,000 Australians to become new regular walkers. This measure will cost $10 million.

$15.5 million to support our athletes and help inspire young Aussies ahead of the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games.

$10.8 million to fight childhood cancer. This includes $1.4 million for paediatric brain cancer clinical trials and $4.4 million for Cancer Australia, and a new $68 million for a Proton Beam Therapy facility and research in South Australia.

We are continuing to significantly increase current medical research funding with $1.4 billion allocated under the Medical Research Future Fund – including $642.9 million in 2020-21.

$5.5 billion extension of the funding arrangement for the Commonwealth Home Support Program over two years from 1 July 2018, which covers services such as meals on wheels.



$428 million to ensure all children have access to 15 hours of preschool in the year before school. This extension to preschool support combined with our landmark $2.5 billion child care and early learning reforms makes the Coalition Government’s commitment to quality early education crystal clear.

Long-term funding certainty for Australian schools with an additional $18.6 billion over the next decade that will be distributed according to a real needs-based model that fixes the 27 different special deals Labor stitched up. Having a fairer funding model with real and record funding support means we can focus on how that money is used to support initiatives that boost student outcomes. David Gonski will lead a new inquiry that will look at how our funding should be used to improve student achievement.

The Coalition Government will spend $27.9 billion for Commonwealth supported places in higher education, $11.8 billion on research, $592 million for the Higher Education Participation and Partnerships Program and $33.5 billion on student loans over the forward estimates. Our reforms to higher education will better share the contributions to the cost of a degree and drive better outcomes for students and taxpayers.


National Security

An additional $321.4 million will be provided to the Australian Federal Police (AFP) to bolster their resources and capability to strengthen the protection of all Australians.

This represents the largest single funding boost for domestic policing capabilities in a decade, reflecting the Coalition Government’s unwavering commitment to the AFP and to keeping Australians safe. Key elements of this increased funding will comprise:

  • Specialist Response Capabilities: Police negotiators, tactical response officers, bomb response technicians and canine resources specialising in drug, cash and explosive detection.
  • Covert Physical and Technical Capabilities: Physical surveillance teams, covert online investigators, undercover operation members and police technical teams. Federal capabilities will also be provided to support Victoria Police in tackling violent criminal gang challenges.
  • Forensics and Intelligence Capabilities: Digital forensics, crime scene investigators, firearms and armoury specialists, biometric experts, forensic intelligence analysts, and operational intelligence professionals.

Support for national counter terrorism capability building though counter terrorism exercises and specialised counter terrorism training. This will keep Australians safe by allowing law enforcement and security agencies to better prevent, respond to and recover from, terrorist incidents in Australia.

Support for the development of a National Fire Danger Rating System prototype to ensure that Australian communities have the tools they need to prepare and plan for bushfires.


Contact: Charlotte Edmunds – 8531 2466