This Budget will get us back in the black, get more Australians into better jobs and spread the opportunities of the mining boom.
A strong economy
Despite the impact of natural disasters at home and abroad, Australia's economic prospects remain strong.
While these disasters have dampened growth in 2010‑11, the economy is still expected to grow at above‑trend rates over the next two years.
This strong outlook is supported by the highest sustained levels in the terms of trade in 140 years and an unprecedented mining investment boom.
This is generating strong jobs growth, lower unemployment and enormous opportunities, but will also put pressure on the economy's capacity.
A strong fiscal position
The Government is taking the necessary steps to return the budget to surplus in 2012‑13, despite significant challenges such as the recent natural disasters.
The strong economic outlook highlights the importance of returning the budget to surplus, to avoid compounding capacity pressures that are expected to re‑emerge.
The return to surplus also strengthens the Government's balance sheet, and supports Australia's capacity to respond to unanticipated shocks, including those related to the uncertain global economic outlook.
Investments for the future
The Government has focused attention on measures aimed at expanding the productive capacity of the economy in the medium term.
This Budget responds to Australia's workforce needs through better and more targeted skills and training and new measures to boost participation. The Budget also expands our health care system, invests in infrastructure, makes regional Australia a better place to live, and continues to assist families.
The measures taken in this Budget aim to ensure that all Australians have access to the opportunities and prosperity from the mining boom.