From the Chief Executive - 9 November 2018
The State Election countdown has started… We are only two weeks away from November’s election and both major parties have officially launched their campaigns.
As part of our Stronger Business, Stronger Victoria campaign, we have continued to promote member case studies to further highlight the importance of our key business priorities. We interviewed Martin and Pleasance about export in Victoria, Successful Endeavours on the benefits of collaboration between research institutions and businesses, and SCT Logistics who reflected on the importance of investing in Victorian infrastructure to keep businesses competitive across the state.
There have been many business-related announcements made by both sides of Government in the past few weeks. We were pleased by the Liberal National Coalition’s commitment to, if elected, create a position of Victorian Chief Innovation Officer to drive growth in regional Victoria.
We know that Australia is last on the list of OECD countries when we measure business-research collaboration, and this appointment would help change that statistic, helping business growth and productivity. We have seen the first-hand benefits of such collaborations through our ignite innovation series and we look forward to continuing this work in 2019. If you haven’t seen it, I encourage you to read the first edition of our ignite magazine, showcasing Victoria’s innovative leadership and our first three ignite events.
Recognising the longstanding policy priority of Victorian Chamber members and businesses across the state, we also welcomed the Liberal National Coalition’s commitment to cut payroll tax in regional areas from 2.45% to 1%.
However, Victoria’s payroll tax threshold remains the worst in Australia with more small businesses captured by Victoria’s anti-jobs payroll tax than any other state. While the rate cut is welcome, if Matthew Guy and Daniel Andrews are serious about encouraging businesses to grow and hire more people they will commit to increasing the payroll tax threshold.
Along with the Victoria Tourism Industry Council (VTIC), we were pleased to welcome the Morrison Government’s announcement to match the Andrews Government’s funding for the Geelong City Deal, including upgrades to the Shipwreck Coast and the Geelong Convention Centre.
The Victorian Chamber and VTIC have advocated for State and Federal Government commitments to the Geelong City Deal and for infrastructure upgrades, so it is pleasing to see this come to fruition.
On a final note, we hope you can join us for lunch on Thursday 6 December to hear from the founder and inspirational woman behind multi-award winning active-wear brand, Lorna Jane Clarkson, at the last event in our Victorian Chamber Presents series for 2018.
Mark Stone AM
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