Smaller 2017 Budget initiatives to improve community lifestyle

What's in it: Cowper MP Luke Hartsuyker gives a precis of some of the smaller 2017 Federal Budget initiatives that will impact on the Mid-North Coast.
What's in it: Cowper MP Luke Hartsuyker gives a precis of some of the smaller 2017 Federal Budget initiatives that will impact on the Mid-North Coast.

In case you missed it

By now most people have seen the key details in the 2017 Federal Budget, including the government’s $18.6 billion investment in Australian schools, and the extra $2.4 billion to guarantee the security of Medicare into the future.

But in all the “millions” and “billions” in the Budget, it’s easy to miss the smaller initiatives that contribute to making our communities better places to live and work.

Over the course of last week, my team and I poured over countless pages of budget papers, reports, and statements, and we’ve picked some of the interesting additions to this year’s budget that you may not have seen.

The Keys2Drive program has been extended for a further four years, with an investment of $16 million. This program provides a free coaching session from a driving instructor to learner drivers. These sessions are to be delivered by the Australian Automobile Association and relevant state motoring clubs.

Specialist Domestic Violence Units (DVU’s) have been trialled in some legal centres throughout Australia recently. The $3.4 million in this year’s budget will provide for more centres to be established in a number of centres across the country. DVU’s assist with legal advice and other help for those experiencing domestic or family violence.

The Stronger Communities program has been funded for a third round, with $27.7 million to provide small grants of $5,000-$20,000 for community infrastructure upgrades.

Rounds one and two supported some fantastic local projects, including a kitchen upgrade at Rotary Lodge, and I am sure many local community groups will benefit from this new funding.

The government has also set aside $2.1 million to deliver our election commitment to implement a ban on cosmetic testing on animals – lipstick doesn’t belong on pigs.

You can find out more about these initiatives, and everything in the 2017 budget at www.budget.gov.au.