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Hunter Valley

Budget Back on Track

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The Budget has been delivered and what a Budget it was for the Hunter Electorate.

The 2022 Federal Budget brings enormous spending to regional Australia, with investment in roads, skills, cheaper childcare, affordable housing, and providing a huge boost to aged care, the NDIS, childcare and services.

The Budget also delivers targeted cost-of-living relief and invests in the Hunters future, by delivering on our election commitments.

I was elected to be a strong voice for the Hunter and the Government has certainly heard me.

The election commitments delivered in Budget span right across the Hunter electorate.

The Muswellbrook Bypass is the big-ticket item along with $10.5 million for the Muswellbrook Town Centre Project, $5.5 million for Muswellbrook Olympic Park and $7000 for the Muswellbrook Preschool Playgroup.

Singleton Council will receive $3 million for the Alroy Oval Precinct and $250,000 for the Singleton Rugby Club amenities fit out and women’s change rooms.

Cessnock Council will receive $1 million for the Cessnock Regional Skate Park, $500,000 for the BNX Facility upgrade at Carmichael Park and $373,000 for Cessnock Goannas lighting upgrade. Cessnock will also receive the much-needed Urgent Care Clinic at Cessnock Hospital.

Lake Macquarie Council will receive $56 million for Mandalong Road upgrades, $10 million for a dredge for Lake Macquarie and $10 million for a grouting fund, $250,000 for Mums Cottage upgrades, $250,000 for Urban River projects and $65,000 for Edgeworth Eagles fencing and lighting. There is also money for the GP Access After Hours Clinic at Toronto to have its services restored and for the North-West Lake Macquarie Catalyst Area.

It’s great to have a Government that delivers on its promises and delivers for the regions. This is a great start for the Hunter electorate, and I will continue to fight for our fair share.

This week, Workplace Relations Minister Tony Burke will introduce the Secure Jobs, Better Pay Bill into Parliament.

The Bill will include a number of measures designed to help workers across Australia negotiate higher pay packets and better conditions. It will also deliver on a number of the measures outlined by the Jobs and Skills Summit in September.

We will be working towards the laws being passed before the end of the year.

We have seen a number of major security and data breaches in the last few months, and our Attorney General has been working on Legislation to significantly increase penalties for repeated or serious privacy breaches.

When we are asked to hand over our personal data, we have a right to expect it will be protected.

Unfortunately, significant privacy breaches in recent weeks have shown existing safeguards are inadequate. It’s not enough for a penalty for a major data breach to be seen as the cost of doing business.

The Bill will increase the maximum penalties that can be applied from the current $2.22 million penalty to whichever is the greater of $50 million or three times the value of any benefit obtained through the misuse of information; or 30 per cent of a company’s adjusted turnover in the relevant period.

As always, my office is open and ready to assist you with any Federal Government issues you may have. I look forward to hearing from you and working with our community to deliver for the Hunter.

Dan Repacholi MP

Federal Member for Hunter

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