Budget Statement: A future in the making, but we're still a bit short

14 May 2024

Budgets are about priorities and whilst it was good to see the government prioritise our transition to clean technology with the Future Made in Australia plan, it missed the mark in action on climate change with no funding for essential measurement and monitoring of methane and had little to no funding for adaptation and preparation to climate change impacts for the vast majority of Australians. 

Locally, the government has failed to fund the much needed and successful climate resilience support for regional children delivered by Royal Far West.  

Whilst priding itself on a surplus, the government continues to fail to address entrenched revenue challenges and generational inequity. The budget papers noted that gas companies traditionally have not paid much taxes yet the proposed PRRT is set to recoup less revenue than beer despite gas companies making record profits. 

The government assisted cost-of-living with legislated Stage 3 tax cuts, energy relief to all households of $300 and energy relief for small businesses. It finally extended the Small Business Asset Write-Off to 2025 but as this was announced in the 2023 budget and is still not legislated, the real test will be in the government’s ability to actually deliver the support. 

I welcome the changes to HECS HELP indexation and small increases to Housing Assistance but ultimately, there is still no increase to JobSeeker and Austudy, keeping many Australians in dire need of assistance below the poverty line.  

Finally, for the government to address the urgent crisis of women’s safety, significant additional funding was required to Legal Aid and frontline services in addition to the announced $5,000 grants for Leaving Violence but disappointingly there was no increases in the budget. This is not good enough.