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The Rebuilding of Flood Ravaged Australia Seen as an Immense National Challenge for the Gillard Government

Canberra, Australia (News4us.com) January 27, 2011

The Rebuilding of Flood Ravaged Australia Seen as an Immense National Challenge for the Gillard Government

The Rebuilding of Flood Ravaged Australia Seen as an Immense National Challenge for the Gillard Government

The Prime Minister today announced the Gillard Labor Government’s response to the immense national challenge of rebuilding flood-affected regions across Australia.

Preliminary estimates, following consultation with the Queensland Government, indicate that the Government will need to invest $5.6 billion in rebuilding flood-affected regions, with the vast majority going on rebuilding essential infrastructure.

Two-thirds of that funding will be delivered through spending cuts.

The other third will be provided by a modest one-year progressive levy that won’t be paid by people directly affected by the floods or by low-income earners.

The Government will deliver the funding through the following measures:

  • $2.8 billion in spending cuts, including removing industry assistance and cutting back other green programs by abolishing the Green Car Innovation Fund and the Cleaner Car Rebate Scheme and making other cuts.
  • $1 billion in delaying some infrastructure projects– which will free up funds and skilled workers at a time of skilled labour shortages around the country.
  • $1.8 billion through a progressive levy on people earning over $50,000. This will only apply to income above the $50,000 threshold. For example, someone earning $60,000 a year will pay less than a dollar a week, while someone on average annual adult full-time total earnings of $68,125 will pay $1.74 a week. Anyone directly affected by the floods will not have to pay the levy at all.

Every cent raised through these measures will go directly to flood-affected regions across Australia.

The Government recognises many Australians have already donated to people affected by the floods to help them with personal costs. That is a great contribution, but entirely separate from the job of rebuilding essential infrastructure in flood-affected regions – which is what today’s announcement, including the progressive levy, is focused on.

To ensure recovery and rebuilding can start as soon as possible, and to provide certainty to the Queensland Government and Queensland local authorities, the Australian Government has agreed to make an advance payment of $2 billion to Queensland.

The decisions the Government has taken have been necessary to meet the scale of this disaster while keeping the economy strong.

The Government will rebuild Queensland while delivering the budget surplus as promised in 2012-13.

It is important to note that estimates of the impact of the floods are preliminary, and do not take into account what is expected to be a hit to government revenues as tax receipts fall in the aftermath of the floods.

Please find below five factsheets containing further information.

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