The Morrison Government is continuing to invest in our regional communities to make Barker an even better place to live, work and raise a family.

Member for Barker Tony Pasin said significant funding commitments in the 2022-23 Budget will drive the growth of towns and communities across Barker, creating jobs and driving our economic growth into the future.

As part of the Budget 2022-23, the Government is continuing to deliver for the people of Barker:

  • For 6 months fuel excise will be cut for owners of around 110,000 cars in Barker.
  • Further tax relief for around 68,700 taxpayers in Barker.
  • 24,137 pensioners in Barker will get a $250 cost of living payment.
  • 22,600 businesses in Barker can write off the full value of any eligible asset they purchase.


The Budget includes a new $1.3 billion telecommunications package to expand mobile coverage across 8,000km of regional transport routes.

“Mobile phone connectivity is no longer a luxury but a necessity. There are estimated to be 499 blackspots across Barker which the Federal Government is attempting to address.” Mr Pasin said.

“Whilst we have a proven record to address gaps in coverage across Barker, there is much more work to be done.”

“The needs of communities that continue to struggle to achieve mobile phone connectivity remains foremost in my considerations and my actions in Canberra.”

“I’m proud to be part of a Government that is listening and delivering. Our continued investment in telecommunications is further proof of the Coalition’s commitment to connecting Australians, wherever they are, particularly in regional communities across Barker.” Mr Pasin said.


The Government is increasing access to childcare for families in regional and remote areas by providing $19.4 million to support the establishment of up to 20 new childcare services.

The funding will target regional areas in need. This builds on grants to more than 1,000 services in vulnerable and disadvantaged communities in largely regional and remote locations.

“It’s important we address barriers to childcare participation, particularly in disadvantaged, regional and remote communities across Barker.”

“This is a fantastic initiative for regional communities in need of childcare, like Kingston SE who have almost 50 families on their waiting list. I remain committed to working with the Kingston community to deliver these much needed services.”

“Furthermore supporting families prior to childcare the Budget is providing parents with increased choice and flexibility to decide what is best for their family in managing work and care. These changes will increase eligibility for financial support for working parents, encouraging women’s workforce participation and provide families with full choice and control over how they wish to use their leave.” Mr Pasin said.


“Our efforts to protect the next generation of Australian workers from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have paid off, with low unemployment and a record number of trade apprentices.”

“This Budget is about building on that success, so we can ensure a pipeline of skilled workers for the Australian economy.”

“In Barker, we currently have 3,160 apprentices and trainees in-training with expectation to continue to surge.”

“The Morrison Government is investing a further $2.4 billion from 1 July 2022 in a new Australian Apprenticeships System, with targeted incentives to employers, apprentices and trainees to continue to drive apprenticeship numbers even further.”

“By backing apprentices and trainees in Barker we’re getting more people ready for the jobs that will set them up for life,” Mr Pasin said.


“Our Government understands the huge mental health challenge facing many Australians, particularly young Australians.” Mr Pasin said.

“Across Barker there are three headspace centres – Murray Bridge, Berri and Mount Gambier. These centres provide young people in Barker a single-entry point to friendly primary care that includes early intervention services and support for physical and mental wellbeing.”

The Budget provides additional support to mental health services:

  • $4.2 million to support headspace centres in regional, rural and remote areas to attract and employ GPs, enabling headspace services to deliver the complete model of enhanced primary care.
  • $14.3 million for programs delivered by headspace to provide services to support young Australians in need, which builds on the current network of 78 headspaces in regional, rural and remote areas.
  • $42.7 million to establish specialised regional initiatives for suicide prevention through primary health networks, strengthening the capacity for communities to implement system-wide responses to reduce risk of suicide in their region.


The Budget includes $66 million to deregulate and expand access to Medicare funded magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) services and provide critical diagnostic imaging services to more regional and rural Australians.

“This reform will deregulate the current MRI Medicare equipment eligibility requirements, known as licencing, from all MRI machines in regional, rural and remote areas (Modified Monash Model (MMM) 2–7 areas) from 1 November 2022.” Mr Pasin said.

“Reforming the licencing requirements will mean people in Barker can find the most appropriate quality diagnostic scan in a timely and affordable manner closer to home.” Mr Pasin said.

“Currently, over 50% of rural and remote patients travel significant distances to receive their Medicare funded MRI. This will also help reduce the pressure on out-of-pocket costs and improve disease detection and management for regional, rural and remote patients. Mr Pasin said.


Barker continues to benefit from the Morrison Government’s record infrastructure investment, with funding for major infrastructure projects included in the 2022-23 Budget.

Mr Pasin said these projects will make roads safer, reduce travel times, create jobs, benefit locals, and drive economic growth.

Key local projects funded through the Budget include:

  • An Additional $10m for the Rural Roads Package – Safety Package (bringing the total Federal Government commitment to $124.4m)
  • $60 million for the South East Freeway Managed Motorways – Stage 2

“The Federal Government’s record infrastructure investment pipeline continues to deliver better outcomes for the people of Barker,” Mr Pasin said.

“The Rural Roads Package is targeting critical areas of the regional and rural South Australian Road transport network, including the Riddoch, Sturt and Dukes Highways, to improve pavement conditions, install overtaking lanes, improve access, provide shoulder sealing and upgrade road junctions.” Mr Pasin said.

“We are also investing significantly in other transport infrastructure projects via the Roads to Recovery Program, Bridges Renewal Program, Heavy Vehicle Safety and Productivity Program and Black Spot Program.” Mr Pasin said.


“Forestry is foundational industry in the Limestone Coast in my electorate of Barker which employs 7,500 people across the sector and contributes $2.6 billion to the South Australian economy and $23.7 billion nationally.” Mr Pasin said.

“The Government will provide $90.6 million over 5 years from 2021 22 to support the sustainability of the forestry industry and to respond to emerging challenges.” Mr Pasin said.

“$86.2 million over 5 years will support work with states and territories to establish new plantations to secure future wood supply across the nation. I am strongly encouraging the South Australian Government to support this initiative to see our local forestry industry benefit long term,” Mr Pasin said.

“In addition, the budget includes $4.4 million over 2 years will strengthen Australia’s illegal logging traceability and timber identification systems.” Mr Pasin said.


The Budget unveiled a new instalment to the Murray–Darling Communities Investment Package.

“We’ve made great strides in the past 18 months to put people back at the centre – putting a stop to buybacks, empowering local people to improve their stretch of river and boosting the economic outlook of their towns and businesses,” Mr Pasin said.

“This investment in our regional and rural communities is about maintaining the momentum and the cornerstone measure to achieve this is Healthy Rivers – Healthy Communities, a $97 million grant program that will keep delivering real, on-ground benefits to communities while improving the health of our rivers.” Mr Pasin said.

“We’ve listened to communities and we’re adding a 4th pillar to our commitments in the Murray–Darling Communities Investment Package – improving water security for all water users.” Mr Pasin said.

In the Budget, the Government also announced $6.9 billion in funding for the next tranche of water infrastructure projects to secure the future of the National Water Grid.

The National Water Grid program has delivered vital project in Barker including:

  • $3.5 million in a Detailed Business Case to bring a sustainable alternative water source to the Barossa.
  • $4.5 million to construct new infrastructure that supplies 800ML/annum of additional water from a new source (urban stormwater) into an existing agricultural irrigation water supply system in the Western Barossa Valley for wine producers.
  • $1.1 Million to complete a preliminary business case to investigate the merits of constructing a water distribution network in the Eden Valley area.


The Morrison Government is continuing to deliver for local communities across Barker through the 2022-23 Budget

“Councils in Barker will receive a share in an additional $8,886,531 million via the Local Roads and Community Infrastructure Program, a major boost to communities across the country. Our additional funding brings the total Commonwealth Government commitment to the Local Roads and Community Program in Barker to more than $46 million” Mr Pasin said.

“A further $150,000 has been committed for an additional round of the Stronger Communities Program, delivering more funding for small capital projects in Barker.”

“We are committing to a second round of the oversubscribed and in-demand Agricultural Show Development Grants Program. This funding can be used to repair, upgrade, build or buy showground infrastructure or attractions in regional areas.” Mr Pasin said.

Mr Pasin said this is a Budget that eases cost of living pressures, creates more jobs, guarantees the essential services we all rely on and continue to deliver for local communities across Barker.

Budget documents are available at