• Hannah Phillips

Flow's Regional Budget Breakdown

The federal budget was handed down last night by Treasurer Scott Morrison.

It details a wide range of new measures that are to be introduced in Australia, with Inside Canberra providing a detailed summary earlier today.

Here at Flow FM, we care about our listeners living in regional areas and wanted to find out how the new budget will affect you.

Image Source: Flow regions shown on Google Maps

Wayne began with a budget overview on today's Morning Show.

He also explained how rural and regional Australia will be impacted, discussing:

  • the continuation of the Inland Rail Project

  • continuation of the $20,000 instant tax write-off for small businesses

  • University training for doctors and medical students in NSW and Victoria

  • $300 million for Murray-Darling Basin projects

  • $200 million to continue the Better Building Regions Fund

  • $260 million for new satellite technology and GPS enhancements for smart farming

For more region-specific overviews of how the budget will affect your local area, Flow has been busy contacting the Federal Member local to each broadcast location.


Andrew Broad is the Federal Member for Mallee and has detailed to Flow FM how the new budget will affect people living within Victoria's Wimmera-Mallee.

Anita gave a brief overview on today's Country Viewpoint.

Mr Broad said: “The Government has delivered a fair and responsible budget for the people of the Wimmera and Mallee. More take home pay with tax relief, better health outcomes, safer roads, support for our children, more jobs so our children and grandchildren don’t have to leave our regions to get the job they what. All the while ensuring Australians are kept safe and the Government lives within its means."

Major budget measures impacting people in the Wimmera-Mallee include:

  • Tax relief: for low and middle income earners with relief of up to $530 every year from 2018-2019 and 2019-22. Across the Wimmera Mallee and Mildura regions approximately 73.8% of workers are set to receive this from 1 July 2018.

  • Supporting young doctors: $550 million will be invested into a Stronger Rural Health Strategy to support regional doctors. Under this, the Government will invest $95.4 million to establish the Murray-Darling Medical School Network to support training for rural students to study medicine in regional Australia. This is a key initiative to attract rural students to study, train and work in regional hospitals across the Wimmera Mallee and Mildura regions.

  • Mental health: $338.1 million will be invested into mental health funding with a focus on suicide prevention, research and older Australians – with an additional 1 million people to receive diagnostics, treatment and recovery through a new Million Minds Mission into mental health research.

  • An investment of $33.8 million to Lifeline will significantly boost their telephone crisis service. With over one million Australians reaching out to lifeline each year; they will be able to answer close to 100 per cent of their calls.

  • Free whooping cough vaccine for every pregnant woman in the electorate from July 1 2018 investing $39.5 million to see the vaccine added to the National Immunisation Program.

  • $200 million for Round 3 of the Building Better Regions Fund to support more projects being delivered across the region.

  • Education: Every school in the Mallee will receive more funding with a 50% increase in per student funding on average over the next decade.

  • The National Chaplaincy Program has been given permanent ongoing funding to ensure students across the Wimmera Mallee and Mildura region have access to support services at their school when they need them.

  • More families across the Wimmera Mallee and Mildura regions whose children choose to study at university will be supported with 77.3% qualifying for Youth Allowance to help assist their studies.

  • In 2018 major infrastructure projects will continue to roll out in the electorate with the $440 million Murray Basin Rail Project being constructed across the regions.

  • The $20 million upgrades continue on the Calder Hwy and Western Hwy with the $44 million Western Hwy duplication also underway.

  • Regional roads will continue to be upgraded and maintained with $10.2 million committed to Roads to Recovery which will be split between local councils in the Electorate of Mallee.

  • $920,000 has been invested in the Bridges Renewal Program, supporting the upgrade and replacement of vital bridges.

  • Extension of the Remote Airstrip Funding Program continuing to connect the electorate to the rest of the state. Recently this program supported the upgrade announced at the Hopetoun Airstrip.

  • $60 million in Financial Assistance Grants will support local councils in the Electorate of Mallee with the funding free to be allocated as they choose.

  • Pension: As of 1 July 2019 pensioners can each earn up to $300 per fortnight from work before it is counted in the income test.

  • Indigenous Affairs: $5 billion over four years has been committed to deliver and support the Indigenous Advancement Strategy.

  • Agriculture: $51.3 million investment to grow Australian agriculture exports by extending the positions of five current overseas Agricultural Counsellors and funding a further six to strengthen trade relationships.

  • $121.6 million will be invested in biosecurity systems to support increased trade and better manage future risks in the sector to support our growers.

  • $260 million in GPS technology will deliver a Satellite-Based Augmentation Strategy to improve the performance of positioning data from 5 metres to 10 centimetres, great news for our broad acre farmers across the Wimmera, Mallee and Mildura regions.

  • Water: The Murray Darling Basin Plan will unlock $300 million of investment in Electorate of Mallee for seven environmental water projects to be delivered.


Federal Member for Riverina and Deputy Prime Minister Michael McCormack has been contacted for a breakdown of the budget in the Riverina.

Flow FM will continue to update people as information comes through.


In South Australia, Rowan Ramsey is the Federal Member for Grey, which covers a large part of Flow's broadcast region.

He today described the impact the Federal Budget will have for residents of Grey in a media release:

Tony Pasin is the Federal Member for Barker, which also covers a large area of Flow's SA region.

He today welcomed the 2018 budget, explaining what it will bring for locals of Barker.

  • Tax relief: supporting low and middle income earners and 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.

  • Jobs: The Coalition have delivered small and medium business tax cuts – 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.

  • Extending instant asset write off for small business: 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.

  • Agriculture: $224 million investment in agriculture, helping to grow agricultural exports, jobs and support economic growth. This includes 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.

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

  • Greater assistance for regional students with 685 additional Commonwealth Supported places for students commencing study at regional institutions and regional study hubs.

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

  • Aged care: 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.

  • 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.

  • Pensioners: $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. It will continue to provide grants for local security infrastructure, such as fixed and mobile closed-circuit television (CCTV), lighting and bollards etc.

  • Roads: 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.

  • Building Better Regions: 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.

  • Stronger Communities: $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.

  • Regional health: 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.”

With a wide range of initiatives being introduced, Flow FM will continue to keep people updated in the coming weeks and months as specific project details are released and people begin to see the new budget measures filter through.

Regardless of where you live, will this federal budget help the Government win the election? Check out what Inside Canberra had to say.

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