FEDERAL BUDGET 2019: Did Frydenberg deliver for our state
EDUCATION and training in regional Australia have been targeted for a multimillion-dollar boost, with a suite of budget measures aimed at improving students' skills.
But the Federal Government is yet to identify where the money will be spent for major new initiatives.
A skills package worth $525 million over five years is the government's key commitment to education in regional Australia.
Treasurer Josh Frydenberg announced ten national training hubs would be built in areas with high youth unemployment to create better links between schools and local industries.
But the locations for the hubs are yet to be identified.
A $134.8 million plan to strengthen higher education in regional Australia will fund study places, scholarships and enhance facilities.
The government has also pledged to create 80,000 new apprenticeships in industries with skills shortages.
A payment to employers who take on an apprentice will double to $8000 for each placement.
Jobseekers will be encouraged to take up seasonal work in regional areas, with the government allocating an additional $24.1 million to its Harvest Labour Services plan.
The plan will expand the number of horticulture regions where there is a demand for seasonal work. But like the promised training hubs, where the program will be expanded to has not yet been decided.
The budget also promised a range of funding initiatives targeting regional areas ahead of an imminent election.
"Our regions and their vitality have always shaped the Australian story," Mr Frydenberg told parliament.
"These investments make our regions stronger and our country stronger."
These promises included a funding boost for regional roads with the government allocating an additional $500 million to its Roads to Recovery Program and $200 million to the national Black Spot Program.
Both are part of the Federal Government's $2.2 billion Road Safety and Upgrade Package.
The Building Better Regions Fund will be expanded with an extra $206 million up for grabs to improve community infrastructure.
Fast rail will move closer to reality with the government allocating $14.5 million to establish the National Faster Rail Agency.
The agency will identify and support the development of fast rail connections between capital cities and key regional centres from July 1.
The Federal Government will provide $300 million to Queensland for grant assistance to primary producers affected by the North Queensland floods.
Under the National Health Reform Agreement the Federal Government will provide $5.2 billion in 2018-2019 to Queensland for public hospitals.
Mr Frydenberg also promised improved access to doctors for regional Australians
A national mental health strategy worth $461 million will aim to reduce the rate of youth suicide, an issue especially prevalent in remote and rural communities, through $375 million in additional funding to Headspace.
In his first budget as treasurer Mr Frydenberg unveiled a larger-than-expected $7.1 billion surplus.
He promised $45 billion in surpluses over the next four years.
The government will go to the election promising an additional $158 billion in tax relief for regional and metropolitan families.
A single income family will be $1080 better off each year while dual income families will get $2160 at tax time.
"This tax relief will lift household incomes, ease cost-of-living pressures and boost spending at local businesses," Mr Frydenberg said.