COLAC Otway Shire Council chief Rob Small says Colac is “reaping the rewards of being in a marginal seat” with Federal Election promises turning into cash.
“The budget is showing us the benefit of how well we lobbied before the election; it’s following on from the hard work between the council and Colac Area Health before the election,” Mr Small said.
Corangamite MP Darren Cheeseman said the 2012-13 budget included $1.2 million for a Colac Youth Hub and it had committed a total of $6.5 million for Bluewater Fitness Centre’s hydrotherapy pool, extended basketball courts and a show court.
Mr Small said “many people” in the community from arthritis sufferers to school-age children would benefit from funding for the health hub and fitness centre.
“The youth health hub is really significant; these services can turn young people’s lives around,” he said.
Mr Cheeseman said the budget also included a $515-million dental program aimed at reducing public dental waiting lists.
“This program will ensure that those in need or emergency or preventative care on public dental waiting lists are able to get the treatment they need sooner rather than later.
“Colac families with children at school may also be eligible for the Schoolkid Bonus.
“Eligible Colac families will receive a total of $410 a year for each child in Primary School and $820 a year for each child in high school,” he said.
“There’s no doubt families are finding pressure in economy and these measures will make it easier for families at the right time; the start of school year and start of winter when they are buying uniforms and books for the second semester.”
Mr Cheeseman said Colac’s part-time workers would also benefit from the government’s taxation changes.
“We’ve lifting the tax-free threshold to $18,000 so there’ll be a lot of part-timers who won’t have to submit a tax return,”