Australian Government, 2007–08 Budget


AusLink 2

The Australian Government will invest $22.3 billion in Australia's land transport system from 2009–10 to 2013–14, under the second stage of its National Land Transport Plan—AusLink 2. AusLink 2 is the biggest investment in land transport infrastructure ever made by an Australian Government. It is 41 per cent per cent larger than the current AusLink programme, which runs from 2004–05 to 2008–09. Further information: Page 90.

Regional Partnerships

The Australian Government has allocated $270.6 million under the Regional Partnerships programme to fund projects that stimulate growth in regions, improve access to services, support planning and help communities adjust to changed circumstances. Further information: Page 76.

Remote Aerodromes

The Australian Government is providing $22 million to 2010-11 under the Regional and Remote Aerodrome Funding Scheme to upgrade and maintain airstrips in regional and remote areas. This initiative will improve remote communities' access to essential services, and increase safety at remote and isolated aerodromes. Further information: Page 92.

Water management

The National Plan for Water Security is a bold new approach to ensure that rural water use is placed on a sustainable footing by improving water use efficiency and allocation reliability within the next decade. Building on the National Water Initiative, the $10 billion plan will herald a new era of investment confidence in vital rural industries. Further information: Page 96.

Drought assistance

The Australian Government has provided more than $1.4 billion of drought assistance to farmers since 2001. Since the Australian Government's improvements in accessibility to drought support announced in October 2006, more farmers have been able to access Exceptional Circumstances assistance than ever before. Further information: Page 6.

Mental Health

The Australian Government is providing $1.9 billion over five years to the National Action Plan on Mental Health 2006-11. The Plan sets out agreed outcomes and specific policy directions for action that emphasise coordination and collaboration between government, private and non-government providers in order to deliver a more seamless and connected care system. Further information: Page 68.

Royal Flying Doctor Service

The Australian Government is providing an additional $156.6 million for the Royal Flying Doctor Service (RFDS) to help ensure the RFDS is on a sustainable financial footing for the long term. Under the new arrangement the Australian Government will fully fund RFDS traditional services in rural and remote communities. Further information: Page 67.

Natural Heritage Trust Phase Three

The Australian Government is providing $2 billion over five years to Phase Three of the Natural Heritage Trust to maintain the momentum of community and industry action in partnership with the Australian Government to build capacity and deliver practical initiatives to restore, conserve and sustainably manage our environment and natural resources. Phase Three of the Natural Heritage Trust will continue to address biodiversity decline, salinity and water quality issues, and increased coastal and peri-urban pressures. Further information: Page 44.

Agriculture Advancing Australia

The Australian Government is providing $254.7 million over four years to continue to help farmers manage changing circumstances through the Government's Agriculture Advancing Australia (AAA) policy package. AAA is an integrated package of programmes to help primary producers and rural land managers in agriculture and fishing to be more competitive, sustainable and profitable. Further information: Page 6.

Migration to our regions

The Australian Government is committed to having regional Australia share the benefits from our migration programme. For 2007-08 the Australian Government has approved an increase of 5,000 places in the skill stream. Within the skill stream it is estimated some 750 places will be available under State-Specific and Regional Migration initiatives. Further information: Page 74.

Clever Networks

The $113 million Clever Networks programme is part of the $1.1 billion Connect Australia Package and is intended to support the improved delivery of broadband enabled health, education, government, community and emergency sector services in regional, rural and remote Australia. Further information: Page 81.

Rural and Regional Skills Shortage Special Commencement Incentive

Under the Rural and Regional Skills Shortage Special Commencement Incentive, the Australian Government is boosting training in rural and regional Australia by providing a special commencement incentive for rural or regional employers who employ Australian Apprentices in occupations where there are skills shortages. Further information: Page 32.

Realising our potential – additional support for regional and remote schools

The Australian Government will provide $121.1 million over four years to fund a regional/remote loading in addition to current funding delivered to non-government schools. State and territory governments will be required to provide an equivalent increase in resourcing for regional/remote government schools in 2009-12 schools funding agreement. Further information: Page 23.