MPs react to 2021 Budget

Hume MP Angus Taylor with Australian Treasurer Josh Frydenberg
Hume MP Angus Taylor with Australian Treasurer Josh Frydenberg

The 2021 Budget has been met with mixed reviews from the region's two federal MPs.

Macarthur MP Dr Michael Freelander (Labor) decried the lack of funding for a South-West Rail Link to extend beyond the Aerotropolis and said more should have been done to recruit GPs to outer metropolitan areas.

Meanwhile, Hume MP Angus Taylor (Liberal) praised the commitment to infrastructure in the ever-growing Macarthur region.

"This year's budget is all about securing our recovery, creating jobs and strengthening our economy," Mr Taylor said.

"In this region, we are seeing massive investment in infrastructure - $18 million in additional funding for Appin Road, $1.7 million for Wollondilly and Camden councils' for Phase 3 of the Local Roads and Community Infrastructure Program, $231 million for the M12 Motorway and a further $2 million for The Northern Road."

Despite the cash injection into road infrastructure, Dr Freelander thinks more attention needs to be paid to rail.

"The establishment of the South-West Rail Link is a necessary step to create jobs in Macarthur, and support struggling families and businesses in the process," he said.

"Our economic recovery depends on a bipartisan response to this crisis - it is not sufficient for the government to play politics with taxpayers' money and continue to ignore the needs of south-west Sydney.

"While the Coalition is spending large amounts of money, this is a Budget of missed opportunities. We have one trillion dollars of debt and yet rel wages are still going backwards. Australians are worried about the cost of living and this government consistently fails to do anything about it."

Mr Taylor said budget allocations would make life easier for young families in the region.

"We are increasing funding for preschools and making childcare more affordable for young families in Camden and Wollondilly," he said.

"There will also be tax cuts of up to $2745, record investment in aged care to help the 23,500 senior Australians living in Hume and we will be extending the JobTrainer Fund to upskill job seekers and young people, which is already assisting 2095 apprentices in this region."

Dr Freelander was less impressed by the Budget's commitment to aged care.

He said it had 'ignored' the Royal Commission into aged care's recommendation that a registered nurse be present at all times in aged care establishments.

"The $10 per day for each aged care resident is likely to improve the bottom line for providers, but may do little to improve the standards of care," he said.

Dr Freelander also criticised the Budget's lack of funding to recruit GPs to outer metropolitan areas like Macarthur.

"The government has done nothing to address the huge gap costs for specialist care, which have led to major difficulties in accessing high level specialist care in Macarthur," he said.

"When it comes to providing our region with desperately-needed funding for infrastructure, transport and the future of our communities, the Coalition continues to remain completely absent."

Check out the full budget here: budget.gov.au/

This story MPs react to 2021 Budget first appeared on Campbelltown-Macarthur Advertiser.