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Media Release 7 April, 2020

Budget boost for young people and business reaches outer suburbs

The outer suburbs will benefit from the 2020-21 Federal Budget focus on jobs, skills and higher education, along with support for small business and manufacturing and investment in local roads and community infrastructure. Vulnerable growth area communities have been hard hit by COVID-19, but at 20% of Australia’s population they also have a leading role to play in economic recovery.

Councillor Matthew Deeth (Wollondilly, NSW), Chair of the National Growth Areas Alliance, welcomed the 2020-21 Federal Budget’s youth focus, with nearly one million young people in growth areas who will be looking for further study and employment opportunities within the next decade.

 “The NGAA has long called for a concerted effort to skill up our large young workforce. We welcome the Federal Budget announcements around apprentices and trainees and hope they translate into meaningful and long-term education and job opportunities for the nearly 1.7 million young people living in growth areas. We are also pleased that growth areas around Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Perth will share in the $62.8 million Local Jobs Program to coordinate local employment and training,” said Cr Deeth.

Councillor Deeth commended the additional funding in the Federal Budget for mental health, a pressing problem for young people in growth areas with limited access to local mental health services.  One area to benefit is Mount Barker in South Australia, with $2.3 million to upgrade the local headspace service to a full centre.

“Initiatives for manufacturing and businesses, such as the $1.3 billion modern manufacturing plan, are a positive for growth area economies. We have a 2.2 million-strong workforce and 340,000 small businesses in growth areas, ready to power up the national economy,’ said Cr Deeth.

 “Local infrastructure funding announcements and new and ongoing transport infrastructure investments across outer urban growth areas are also welcome, including many projects that NGAA Members have long advocated for.

“With one in five Australians living in an outer urban growth area, the right investment in these areas not only impacts on local communities, but the nation.

“We look forward to working with the Government to continue to address the significant deficits in access to transport, education, health and recreational infrastructure, created by long-term underinvestment in growth areas during the last two decades of unprecedented population growth. Population growth may temporarily slow, but growth area communities are here to stay.” said Cr Deeth.

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