Monday, 13 May 2024

Call for cost-of-living relief in Budget 

Cost of living relief should be the number one priority for the Albanese Government when it hands down its Budget tomorrow, says Federal Member for Hinkler Keith Pitt.

“People in my electorate are doing it tough. Cost of living pressures are hitting families and businesses from every angle. Almost everything is more expensive – electricity, food, housing and insurance,” he said.

“Jim Chalmers thinks he can play Jimbonomics with the Australian economy like it’s some sort of monopoly board that he can just rewrite with a Nikko pen. It’s a high-risk gamble with the Australian taxpayer’s money and their financial future.

“If interest rates go up because of Labor’s failures the Australian people should park that failure at the Treasurer’s feet.

“We can’t forget about Labor’s pre-election promise to cut power bills by $275 a year, which never eventuated. Australian families and businesses need affordable and reliable electricity, but I don’t know anyone who has had a reduction in their electricity bill.”

Mr Pitt is also calling on the Albanese Government to reiterate its commitment to Paradise Dam and retain the funding earmarked for its restoration in the Budget.

“After the Queensland State Labor Government announced that the dam couldn’t be rebuilt, I wrote to the Minister to seek a reassurance that the funding would be retained.

“The response from the Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water stated that due to a replacement wall downstream being a ‘fundamentally different project to the project originally committed to’ the Australian Government ‘will need to carefully consider all available information provided by the Queensland Government’.

“This is hardly a glowing endorsement that the funding will be retained for its intended purpose: to provide water security for the growers and producers in the Bundaberg region.”

Mr Pitt said the Albanese Government has continued to ignore community support for a North Bundaberg Evacuation Route, to assist residents in the event of another flood emergency.

“Instead, they are investing millions of taxpayer funds into the East Bundaberg Levee, which is dividing the community. Like all levee projects, the cost has already blown out from initial costings, and I wouldn’t be surprised to see the cost increase more.

“At what point will both Federal and State Labor Government’s start to prioritise the needs of North Bundaberg residents?”

The Federal Budget will be handed down at 7.30pm on Tuesday 14 May 2024 in Canberra.

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