FEDERAL BUDGET: How Bundaberg fared

INDUE'S Cashless Debit Card and the Hinkler Regional Deal were among the 2020 Federal Budget announcements for Bundaberg locals today.

Treasurer Josh Frydenberg's multi-billion dollar spending spree confirmed the controversial Cashless Debit Card is not going anywhere.

The card will continue to operate in Bundaberg, on the Fraser Coast, the Ceduna region of South Australia and the East Kimberley and the Goldfields areas of Western Australia.

The government said it would provide 'further investment to enhance the technology that sits around the CDC to improve user experience'.

The budget also delivered for the Port of Bundaberg project, including the construction of new common use infrastructure, as part of the Hinkler Regional Deal.

There was also a commitment to continue funding major road works around the area. 

A green sea turtle swims above coral in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. PICTURE: BRENDAN RADKE
A green sea turtle swims above coral in the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. PICTURE: BRENDAN RADKE

Bundaberg's tourism sector should benefit from the $51m Regional Tourism Recovery fund, which will help regions like ours to go from a reliance on international visitors to taking advantage of the domestic tourist market.

The Government will also provide $11.6m over the coming three years for the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority to continue managing the reef and supporting businesses significantly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The $30.3m national Regional Connectivity Program will help improve telecommunications connectivity in regional areas.

Other commitments that may benefit our residents and businesses include:

•An extension of the $200m Building Better Regions Fund (BBRF) for a fifth round;

•$41m for a Research and Development Program to pay for research and development activities that will benefit regional industries;

•An additional $28.1m to extend the Stronger Communities Program;

•The $5.7m Building Strong, Resilient Regional Leaders initiative; and

•The $5m for the Regional Australia Institute's research program and promotion of regional living.

Agriculture Minister David Littleproud also announced more than $300 million in funding to help modernise Australia's agriculture export systems.

"Agricultural exports are critical to Australia's economic recovery. That's why this Budget is delivering the $328 million Busting Congestion for Agricultural Exporters Package," Mr Littleproud said.

"This suite of reforms will modernise Australia's export systems by slashing red-tape and streamlining regulation and service delivery for our farmers."

"We're making it faster and cheaper for farmers to get their product to market, while retaining the levels of quality and assurance that have made our exports world-class."

The package includes $222.2m over four years for digital services to take farmers to market, including a 24/7 touch point for exporters and $10.9m over three years to create a more competitive meat export industry. - WITH GEOFF EGAN


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