Federal Member for Page Janelle Saffin said this is a Budget for our times.

“The Treasurer Wayne Swan and Prime Minister Kevin Rudd had made it clear that this Budget had to be about three things; jobs, nation building and a path back to surplus, and it is,” she said.

“We’re all starting to understand the effect the global recession is having on Australia, and this Budget was framed in very tough times.

“The global recession has whacked the Budget, wiping close to $200 billion from Government revenue.

“This Budget is an investment in the future, with the infrastructure spending protecting jobs. And with the increases in pensions, it also looks after the vulnerable.

“It’s a responsible Budget by any measure. Around 70 per cent of our stimulus package invests in infrastructure, including the largest school modernisation program in the nation’s history.

“Our borrowings are responsible. Even with the Government’s stimulus, Australia’s position remains strong compared to the rest of the world. Australia’s public debt is modest, 5 per cent of GDP, close to the lowest of global nations.

“Australia’s public debt will be the lowest of any major advanced economy in the world.

“The Rudd Government is redressing the historic under-funding of this electorate caused by the neglect of successive National Party Coalition members. In this Budget alone, the Government has invested more than $195 million in Page.”

This includes:

  • Ballina bypass $170 million

And as previously announced:

  • Better Regions: $8,125,000
  • Strategic Projects: $6,176,668
  • Roads to Recovery: $4,394,634
  • Community Infrastructure: $4,102,000
  • Black Spot Program: $2,968,300

On pensions Ms Saffin said: “I’m really pleased that about 32,000 pensioners, both singles and couples in Page, will receive pension increases. 

“This includes age Pension, Disability Support Pension, Carer Payment and recipients of Veterans Service Pensions.

“This is the first real reform in pensions in decades. Pension reform was the key issue that I strongly advocated on in this Budget. 

“I thank all the pensioners who took part in the seven income support forums I held around the electorate last year and had input into the pension review.”