King hails ‘cost of living’ budget

May 12, 2023 BY

Good plan: Member for Ballarat and Federal Minister for Infrastructure, Transport, Regional Development and Local Government, Catherine King, has unsurprisingly, backed her government’s second budget. Photo: LUKAS COCH/ AAP IMAGE

MEMBER for Ballarat, Catherine King, has said Tuesday’s Federal budget is about reining in inflationary impacts on Australians.

Dubbed a “cost of living” budget, the fiscal plan contains a range of spending measures targeting health, welfare, and energy costs.

“All of those combined really are important cost of living measures,” Ms King said.

“There are always going to be people who say we’ve done too much… but then you’ll have people who say we don’t have enough.

“We’ve got the balance right.”

With cost of living a focus for the budget, Ms King rejected the idea an increase in the levy paid by road transport providers would drive up prices at the supermarket checkout.

“It’s a road recovery charge for the use of our roads by heavy vehicles,” she said.

“We know that living in our country areas there’s a lot of damage done by heavy vehicles on our roads and we’ve been struggling to keep up with the maintenance.

“This is just making sure that road users charge is doing what’s it’s intended to do, which is compensate for the cost that heavy vehicles are on our roads.

“We got treasury to model the inflationary impact of that and it’s absolutely minimal.”

When it comes to unique spending in Ms King’s electorate of Ballarat there’s not lot new in the budget.

However, a range of already announced and election commitment projects still have money set aside for their completion.

“It reconfirms our commitment to really important projects across Golden Plains and Hepburn Shire,” she said.

“Woady Yaloak, Maude, Glenlyon, and Linton are all getting major sporting upgrades. We’ve got the Sebastopol Senior Citizens Centre, we’ve got the urgent care clinic in Ballarat. All of that money is still there.

“What we want to make sure is we’re delivering on the commitments we’ve made. We’re building those and making sure that money comes into local communities rather than focusing on the press release announcement.”

While the budget contains $3.4 billion over 10 years for Brisbane Olympics, no money was allocated for the Commonwealth Games.

“This puts pressure on Premier Andrews to honour his commitment to deliver the Games in regional cities… without increasing the costs for local communities,” she said.

Yet Ms King said there was never any expectation that the Federal Government would contribute to funding for Regional Commonwealth Games.

“We’ll continue working with the Victorian State Government about what commitment the Commonwealth will put,” she said.

“It’s unusual we [the Federal Government] would participate in a Commonwealth Games. It’s unusual we would participate in an Olympic Games, but we inherited a commitment without any money, there was no money in the budget for the Olympics at all.

“We inherited an agreement between the two governments of 50/50 on the Olympics that we’ve had to find money for.”


What’s in the Federal budget?



– Budget surplus of $4.2 billion in 2022/23

– Deficit of $13.9 billion in 2023/24

– Commonwealth net debt rising to $574.9 billion (22.3 per cent of GDP) in 2023/24

– Economic growth to fall to 1.5 per cent in 2023/24

– Unemployment rate of 4.25 per cent in 2023/24

– Inflation as measured by CPI to be 3.25 per cent in 2023/24

– Wages to rise by four per cent in 2023/24

Cost of living

– Energy bill relief of up to $500 for five million households and up to $650 for one million small businesses

– 170,000 households save on energy bills by financing energy saving home upgrades

– Reducing out-of-pocket health costs by tripling bulk billing incentives

– Cutting the cost of medicine by up to half for at least six million people

– Supporting 57,000 single parents by expanding eligibility for Parenting Payment (Single)

– Increasing the base rate for JobSeeker and other payments by $40 a fortnight

– Increasing Commonwealth Rent Assistance


– $106.5 billion in total funding for 2023/24

– $5.7 billion over five years to strengthen Medicare

– 15 per cent pay rise on award wages for aged care workers


– Tax break to reduce energy costs

– $20,000 instant asset write-off


– Tax breaks for investment in build-to-rent projects

– $7.5 billion in National Housing Finance and Investment Corporation


– Cheaper childcare for 1.2 million families

– More flexible paid parental leave scheme

– Extra $589.3 million for women’s safety


– $400 million for regional clean energy industries

– $1 billion extra for pest and disease controls

– $200 million for disaster support


– $42.8 billion total budget in 2023/24

– $64.1 million to clear up veteran support claims backlog


– $48.3 billion in total for 2023/24

– $72.4 million for skilling early childhood workers

– 20,000 extra university places in 2023 and 2024

Aged care

– $166.8 million for an additional 9500 home care packages

– Funding for better regulation to lift care standards

– $487 million for disability support program for older Australians