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Mayor urges federal government to have 'laser-like' focus on cost of living in budget

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Sunshine Coast mayor Rosanna Natoli is urging the federal government to address cost of living pressures, housing affordability and infrastructure in Tuesday night’s federal budget.

The issues were hot topics during her recent election campaign and were key elements of her 10-point plan.

Cr Natoli said the region was grappling with cost of living challenges and housing affordability.

“With an aging population and increasing numbers of young families, cost of living pressures are particularly pronounced for the many members of our community who are on fixed and/or lower incomes,” she said.

“I therefore urge the Australian Government to maintain a laser-like focus on providing relief now to those members of our community who are most vulnerable to cost of living pressures and those struggling to find affordable housing.

“The Australian and state governments have many more policy levers at their disposal than council to alleviate the burden of rising prices and household costs and I encourage them to do everything they can in this space.”

Housing affordability is under the microscope. Picture: Shutterstock

Cr Natoli said more support for pensioners, increasing subsidisation of medicines available on the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme, accelerating the rollout of the outcomes of the National Housing Accord or further taxation relief measures for those on lower incomes was needed.

Meanwhile, Cr Natoli welcomed a $1.15 billion commitment from the federal government to ensure a heavy rail line could be built from Beerwah to Maroochydore.

But she also called on the government to reinstate the $7 million in funding withdrawn from the Caloundra Transport Corridor Upgrade project, and restore the $160 million commitment to jointly fund, with the state, Stage 1 of the Mooloolah River Interchange.

“What is equally important for a community like the Sunshine Coast – which for nearly three decades has experienced one of the highest growth rates of any region in the nation and will continue to do so – is that we have the infrastructure that supports and accommodates that growth,” she said.

“Our council’s ask is very simple. We want to see the Australian government reinstate what we lost last November when the Australian government revised its Infrastructure Investment Program.”

Do you have an opinion to share? Submit a Letter to the Editor at Sunshine Coast News via news@sunshinecoastnews.com.au. You must include your name and suburb.
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