Member for Barker Tony Pasin has today welcomed the 2018 Federal Budget, sighting good news for residence in Barker.

“This Budget delivers on the Coalition’s commitment to build a stronger economy, to create more jobs and guarantee the essential services Australians rely on,” Mr Pasin said.

“Last year we saw the strongest year of jobs growth on record, with 415,000 more jobs created nation-wide, three quarters of which were full time.

“At the same time the Budget deficit is less than half what it was two years ago, and we are on track to bring the budget back to balance with a projected surplus of $11 billion in 2020-21.”

Mr Pasin said the Government had again delivered the investments needed to ensure the national and local economy can reach its potential, by creating jobs, improving productivity, and better connecting residents and businesses.

Key highlights for Barker include:


The Government is providing responsible tax relief – starting in the Budget year for low and middle income earners – to ensure Australians keep more of their hard earned income. The Government is also lifting tax brackets over time to ensure that wages don’t get eaten up by higher taxes.

58,429 taxpayers in Barker stand to benefit from the low and middle income tax relief in the upcoming 2018-19 financial year.


The Coalition have delivered small and medium business tax cuts – benefiting over three million small and medium businesses that employ over half of working Australians.

This will help the 19,201 local businesses (with turnovers up to $50 million if they are incorporated, and up to $5 million if they are unincorporated) in Barker invest, employ and pay their workers more.


This Budget extends the popular instant asset write off for small businesses for a further twelve months. Small businesses with turnovers up to $10 million can benefit from writing off assets costing less than $20,000.

“Well over a thousand local businesses in Barker have benefitted from this popular small business measure already. It’s fantastic news that it has now been extended,” said Mr Pasin.


A $224 million investment in agriculture, helping to grow agricultural exports, jobs and support economic growth.

Included in this investment is $51.3 million to grow Australian agricultural exports by extending the positions of five current overseas Agricultural Counsellors and funding a further six. Our agricultural counsellor network is central to strengthening trade relationships and working through trade barriers overseas.

“This will ensure we capture the gains from new free trade agreements like the TPP-11, the Pacific Alliance Free Trade Agreement and the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership,” Mr Pasin said.

Also included is a $15 million business engagement package to continue tackling non-tariff barriers on trade, which to help Australian exporters compete.

“Trade is key to our farmer’s future and our nation’s future, and the government is delivering better access to global markets and jobs to rural and regional Australia,” Mr Pasin said.


Ensuring students and families can continue to receive pastoral care and other support the Government is providing a further $247m to continue the National School Chaplaincy Program (NSCP). Last year in Barker, 88 schools had a chaplain funded under the NSCP.

There will be greater assistance for regional students with 685 additional Commonwealth Supported places for students commencing study at regional institutions and regional study hubs.

And, the Coalition will make Youth Allowance more accessible for regional and remote students, through increasing the parental income means tested cap for independent students.


The Government is supporting older Australians to remain living in their homes by delivering an additional 14,000 new high level home care packages on top of the 6,000 announced in September 2017.

Additionally, the Government is increasing capital investment and 13,500 new aged care places and 775 short term restorative places to be made available where they are most needed.


The Budget includes $227.4 million for pensioners (including self-employed) who from 1 July 2019 can each earn up to $300 per fortnight from work before its counted in the income test.

Safer Communities

An additional $30 million has been committed over 2018–19 and 2019–20 to expand on the success of the existing Safer Communities Program and continue to boost efforts of local communities to reduce violence and improve safety.

The Safer Communities Fund program aims to enhance community safety by providing grants for local security infrastructure, such as fixed and mobile closed-circuit television (CCTV), lighting and bollards etc.

Roads of Strategic Importance

A new investment of $3.5 billion for upgrading key freight corridors in regional Australia, to increase productivity by connecting our major agricultural and resource areas with our cities and ports, and increasing road safety.


The Government is providing $200 million to deliver a third round of the Building Better Regions Fund (BBRF), bringing the total commitment to $641.6 million. Round one of BBRF saw 257 projects delivered across regional Australia. Successful round two projects are expected to be announced in mid-2018.


The Government will provide $22.5 million to deliver a fourth round of the Stronger Communities Program in 2018-19 – providing small grants for community groups for new equipment and upgraded facilities. As with previous rounds, Members of Parliament will continue their role chairing committees to identify projects in their electorates.


The ‘Stronger Rural Health Strategy’ will deliver around 3,000 additional doctors for rural Australia, more than 3,000 additional nurses in rural general practice and hundreds of additional allied health professionals in the regions over 10 years.

Mr Pasin said the Strategy will ensure people living in Barker would have better access to health services.  

“The Strategy will provide greater opportunities for Australian doctors through better teaching, training and retention,” Mr Pasin said.

“This means better qualified GPs, nurses and allied health professionals will have opportunities, through training and other incentives, to live and practice in our regions, instead of remaining in metropolitan areas.”