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Australia: 2008-2009 Budget Passed

(June 2, 2008) The Australian Parliament has passed six appropriations bills to implement the government's 2008-2009 budget. The budget will amend legislation to provide for, among other things:

• amendments to increase the personal income thresholds;

• an increase in the Child Care Tax Rebate (from 30 to 50 percent);

• amendments to Australia's universal health insurance program to include dental check-ups for teenage children; and

• establishment of three new sovereign wealth funds in three nation-building funds: the Building Australia Fund (national transport and broadband infrastructure), the Education Investment Fund (capital expenditure in Australia's higher education institutions), and the Health and Hospitals Fund (hospitals and health facilities and fund major medical research projects).

(Australian Government, Budget 2008-2009 Web site, (last visited May 21, 2008).)