Damian Drum delivering a plan for a stronger economy, job creation and guaranteed essential services for Murray

The Coalition Government has now handed down the 2018-19 Budget. The electorate of Murray will benefit from a range of government grant programmes, the first steps of government decentralisation and a new medical school.

Federal Member for Murray, the Hon Damian Drum said it is an exciting time to be living in regional Australia, in particular the Murray community.

“This Budget will give tax relief of up to $530 for hard working low to middle income earners, some 53,708 taxpayers in Murray will benefit from this change.

“The Coalition Government is providing tax relief to encourage and reward working Australians, backing business to invest and create more jobs (especially small and medium sized businesses), guaranteeing the essential services Australians rely on, Keeping Australians safe and of course we are ensuring the Government lives within its means,” Mr Drum said.

Small Business

Mr Drum said, “We have delivered small and medium business tax cuts – benefiting over three million small and medium businesses that employ over half of working Australians.

“This will help the 18,036 local businesses – with turnovers up to $50 million if they are incorporated, and up to $5 million if they are unincorporated, in Murray invest, employ and pay their workers more.

“This Budget extends the popular instant asset write off for small businesses for a further twelve months. Small businesses with turnovers up to $10 million can benefit from writing off assets costing less than $20,000.

“Well over a thousand local businesses in Murray have benefitted from this popular small business measure that has now been extended.”

Aged Care and Health

Under the new agreement, Victorian public hospitals will receive over $32.2 billion over the five years to 2024-25, delivering an additional $7.35 billion in funding compared to the previous 5 years. This is a funding increase of 30 per cent.

“We are helping older Australians stay in their own home for longer through more high level home care packages. In this Budget we are funding more than 14,000 additional places – adding to the 6,000 extra places already released in MYEFO – bringing the total of additional in home places funded since last Budget to 20,000, Mr Drum said.

“We are also ensuring better quality of care and greater transparency of care to protect older Australians who can no longer stay at home.

“Further we are investing in skills programmes for workers over 45 years; allowing people on the Age Pension to keep more of what they earn from part time work and extending this to those on the pension who are self-employed; expanding the Pension Loans Scheme to all people of Age Pension age; and allowing recent retirees to make further contributions to superannuation.

“This will support the 31,213 people aged over 65 and their families in Murray to live longer, happier and healthier lives.

“This budget guarantees the funding of the National Disability and Insurance Scheme (NDIS).   Australians with a permanent and significant disability deserve the best care we can provide.

“Once fully rolled out, the NDIS will directly help an estimated 3,931 people and their families in the electorate of Murray.”
Community Grants Programmes.

This Budget will continue the Stronger Community Programme for a fourth round. Similar to the first three rounds of the programme round four will make $150,000 to each federal electorate, with the grant funding to be matched in cash or in-kind on a dollar for dollar basis.

The Building Better Regions Fund will come back for a third round, with $200 million being made available.

We are backing community sporting clubs with $29.7 million for the sports infrastructure grants program.

Community sporting clubs will share in infrastructure grants of up to $500,000 for small to medium scale projects or for improvements to existing or ageing facilities.  This funding will provide an opportunity for community clubs to ensure they are able to meet the increasing demand by ensuring they have appropriate facilities.

Continue to watch my website and social media feeds to find out when these grant opportunities become open for applications.


Children of pre-school age across Australia will benefit from a multi-million dollar preschool funding boost.

“We are ensuring 2,402 children in Murray can access 15 hours of quality early learning in the year before school.

“We know that childcare is incredibly important to help families balance work and caring responsibilities in Murray. We are making child care more accessible and affordable – providing the greatest level of assistance for those that need it most. Across Australia, around a 1 million families stand to benefit from our reforms.

“On 2 July, our new child care system will come into place, with 4,235 local families in Murray standing to benefit from our reforms.

“We are also implementing a National Energy Guarantee to ensure that Australian families and businesses can have affordable and reliable and affordable energy. We are repairing energy markets so they put consumers first, making the energy companies work harder in giving households and businesses the best deal. We have secured agreements from gas companies to guarantee supply, pushing down prices.


The $550 million Stronger Rural Health Strategy is a landmark and transformational package for the 7 million rural and regional Australians living outside our capital cities. It will strengthen local health services and deliver more Australian doctors in rural Australia.

“As part of this interconnected Strategy to support teaching, training, recruitment and retention in the regions, the Coalition Government is investing $95.4 million in the Murray Darling Medical Schools Network.

The network will include the:

  • University of NSW (Wagga Wagga)
  • University of Sydney (Dubbo)
  • Charles Sturt University/Western Sydney University (Orange)
  • Monash University (Bendigo, Mildura); and
  • University of Melbourne/La Trobe University (Shepparton, Bendigo, Wodonga).

“Government and Independent Schools funding in the electorate of Murray increases substantially, with funding rising by $34.2 million comparing this school year to the 2027 school year for Government and Independent schools in the electorate.

“The Catholic school system across Australia also receives significant funding increases – funding growth for Catholic schools will be $2.93 billion from now until 2027 – a growth of 46.3%.


The 2018-19 Budget includes $3.5 billion over 10 years to deliver our Roads of Strategic Importance initiative that will upgrade key freight corridors in regional Australia and increase productivity by connecting our major agricultural and resource areas with our cities and ports.

“Funding from the Roads to Recovery Programme is provided to all local government authorities to assist them maintain and upgrade their local roads, the Murray electorate will receive $7.3 million to go to our roads, said Mr Drum.

Shepparton will have positions moved from the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet’s Indigenous Affairs Group Regional Network Melbourne office to Shepparton. Mr Drum said, “This is a start to the Nationals hard work of decentralising federal government departments.”


The Explosives Ordnance Depot Mangalore would be upgraded under the Turnbull-McCormack Government Explosive Ordnance Logistics Reform Programme, including the construction of an administration building, two earth covered storage buildings, one small arms ammunition building, and one hardstand for the handling of explosive ordnance. Expenditure in 2018-19 is expected to be $13.3 million.

For more information visit https://www.budget.gov.au/