Budget 2013 - Stronger, Smarter and Fairer

14 May 2013

Sharon Bird, Federal Member for Cunningham, and Stephen Jones, Federal Member for Throsby, said this year’s Budget keeps Australia’s economy strong, makes the smart investments for the future and ensures everyone in the Illawarra gets a fair go.

“Make no mistake, this is a government absolutely determined to support jobs and economic growth, and that’s exactly what this budget is all about,” Sharon Bird said.

“The Budget is a big win for the Illawarra, with huge investments in our classroom and our kids to give them the best possible start in life,” Stephen Jones said.

“The Gillard Government is fully funding and delivering DisabilityCare so our nation is a fairer place with the most vulnerable members of our community left behind no more.

The 2013-14 Budget builds on the Gillard Governments investments in the infrastructure for the future and puts the Budget on a sustainable path to surplus.

The Gillard Government is providing funding for local projects in the Illawarra that include:

• The 2013/14 Budget will provide $42 million towards the $84 million Mount Ousley Upgrades under the Nation Building Program.

This project will construct two new northbound climbing lanes (Cataract Creek; and Bellambi Creek) and two new southbound climbing lanes (Bulli Pass; and Cataract Creek) on Mount Ousley Road between Bulli Tops and the Picton Road interchange.  This stretch of road has gradients of between 8-10% and a high proportion of traffic (14%) is heavy vehicles. It is expected that heavy vehicles traffic will continue to grow at 2.7 per cent a year until 2025.

The upgrade will provide benefits to the approximately 35,000 vehicles per day by improving the traffic flow along Mount Ousley Road.  This will lead to improved freight efficiency, connectivity and productivity within the Wollongong and Illawarra region, particularly between Port Kembla and key regional industries.

• It is estimated that around 6000 local people with disability may be eligible for Labor’s DisabilityCare Australia scheme, which gives people with disability and their carers the lifetime support and care they need.

“Unlike almost any other country, in Australia we have an enviable combination of solid growth, low unemployment and low interest rates because this is a government that has got the big economic calls right,” Sharon Bird said.

Stephen Jones said interest rates were now lower than at any time under the previous Government, with a family paying around $5500 less in mortgage repayments if they have a typical $300,000 mortgage.