MP calls for local solution to Burnett ice addictions
EFFORTS to combat addictions to drugs like ice in the South Burnett have been boosted by additional funding.
This week's Federal Budget announced there would be an additional $337 million allocated to help tackle drug addictions.
Member for Maranoa David Littleproud said his electorate would secure some of the funding pie.
This investment will lead to extra counsellors in Kingaroy, and the introduction of the recently launched South Burnett Local Drug Action Team.
"I'm hoping with this extra funding we'll get even more services in regional Australia to tackle ice and drug addictions," Mr Littleproud said.
"We want a local solution, not a Canberra solution."
Mr Littleproud said it was important to have these extra resources in the Maranoa.
"Invariably, when someone decides they want help, it is a small window of opportunity for someone to grab them and give them help," he said.
"We need to make sure we get more of those counsellors on the ground."
The budget also announced $461 million for mental health services, focusing on teenage mental health and suicide prevention strategies.
Mr Littleproud said he planned to make sure the Maranoa region got its fair share of the funding.
Another major infrastructure investment is the $160 million to address mobile blackspots in the community.
And funding for education in Maranoa schools had received a nearly 50 per cent increase per student.
"That's going to be a significant increase to our local schools which is fantastic in keeping our families knowing they can have the best education out in Maranoa," Mr Littleproud said.
The Maranoa MP said the budget was good overall as it was paying back a dividend to the Australian taxpayer.
About 60,000 taxpayers will get a tax cut, and almost 23,000 of these will receive the full amount of the offset.
Mr Littleproud was also pleased by the announcement of tax cuts for small business owners.
The budget will allow small to medium business owners a $33,000 instant asset write-off, allowing them to buy a ute or motorbike for their business.
"They should try and buy that equipment locally, because of the flow-on effect, and it benefits the local economies even better," Mr Littleproud said.
The cost of living pressures will also be eased, thanks to an increase in the aged pension.
Mr Littleproud said the $6.3 billion in drought support, which would mostly go towards farm household assistance, would make it easy for farmers to get help.
The government has also put in place a future drought fund to go towards research and infrastructure.
An emergency response fund for natural disaster recovery efforts worth $3.9 billion will also be established.
"That way if a disaster hits, we have a way to support the communities immediately," Mr Littleproud said.