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The Federal Budget commitment to infrastructure spending and new investment initiatives are good news for regional areas according to the Nationals Duty Senator for Hunter John Williams.

Senator Williams said the Turnbull-Joyce government has announced $75 billion will be spent over the next ten years for critical airport, road and rail infrastructure, including an $8.4 billion injection for the Inland Rail.

He said the Inland Rail fast-track freight line will link Melbourne and Brisbane by 2024 and is projected to create 16,000 new jobs at the peak of construction.

Senator Williams said a new $472 million Regional Growth Fund will invest in transformational projects to unlock the potential of regions, with $200 million in additional funding to increase the commitment to the Building Better Regions Fund to almost $500 million for projects in rural, regional and remote Australia.

“A Regional Investment Corporation will be established to streamline the delivery of up to $4 million in concessional loans, and more than $1 billion will be invested in the National Landcare programme over 5 years.

I am also pleased to hear the Treasurer announce that pensioner concession cards will be restored to those people who were impacted by the pension assets test change that was introduced earlier this year.

Taking into account the pre-budget announcements of funding reforms in the education sector, this is a good Budget which I am sure will be welcomed in regional areas”, Senator Williams said.


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