The Federal Government has put forward a budget designed to capitalise on the momentum of Australia’s recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and transform our economy from being stimulus-driven to market driven growth. Businesses have reason to celebrate as $74.6 billion will be put forward to create 250,000 jobs over the next two years - accelerating Australia’s economy and growth.
In his Budget speech to Parliament, the Treasurer declared “jobs are coming back. The economy is coming back. Australia is coming back. And this Budget will ensure we come back even stronger, securing Australia’s recovery.”
Click the link below for a full overview of the 2021-22 Federal Budget and to see how it directly impacts Victorian businesses:
The Victorian Chamber has welcomed the Budget and the Government’s commitment to supporting women in the workplace and assisting Australia’s youth to enter the workforce and grow our country’s skills base.
“This is a ‘Bounce Back’ Budget that recognises the importance that women and young people will play in our economy’s rebound from COVID-19 as well as celebrating the role of business as the engine room of our economy and the heart of our community,” said Victorian Chamber Chief Executive, Paul Guerra.
“The Victorian Chamber is passionate about making Victoria the best place in Australia to live, work, learn and operate a business and the Federal Budget will help guide us on that path.”
The Victorian Chamber also celebrates the extension to temporary full expensing and temporary loss carry back, with both now extended until 2023 – something the Victorian Chamber has been advocating for on behalf of our members.
Jobs and skills
Despite a better-than-expected recovery in unemployment following the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic in Australia, the Federal Government has set a clear agenda to reduce the unemployment rate even further, along with addressing Australia’s chronic skills shortage.
The Federal Government has announced it will spend $2.7 billion to extend the Boosting Apprenticeship Commencement Program. The extended program is expected to help more than 170,000 new apprentices and trainees by offering employers a 50 per cent wage subsidy over 12 months.
A further $500 million has been committed to expand the JobTrainer Fund - a program providing free or low-cost training in areas of identified skills such as healthcare, disability care, IT and some trades.
Support for women
Acknowledging the vital role women play across all sectors of Australia’s economy, the Federal Government has planned to invest more than $1.7 billion to make childcare more affordable and bring up to 300,000 hours of work per week to the Australian economy by helping women return to the workplace.
This change is expected to boost the level of GDP by up to $1.5 billion per year.
Another $20.5 million has been put forward for the Government’s Respect@Work Report response to prevent and address sexual harassment in the workplace, $6 million will go to the Workplace Gender Equality Agency.
The Federal Budget also outlines support for women to reach their potential in the workforce by investing $43.6 million to enable women to pursue STEM qualifications, along with expanding the National Careers Institute Partnership Grants program.
Industry and innovation
The COVID-19 pandemic has forced businesses to shift their business models and adopt 21st century technologies. The Federal Government has acknowledged business’ need for technological support and need for investment in digital technologies.
The Federal Government has announced an investment of $1.2 billion in Australia’s future through the Digital Economy Strategy. As part of the strategy, $111.3 million has been allocated to accelerate the roll out of the Consumer Data Right (CDR) across the economy, $100 million will be invested in initiatives to build digital skills, along with $124.1 million being invested in Australia’s research and industry capability in artificial intelligence.
The Federal Government will also develop a new digital skills cadetship to promote training in digital skills that ‘meet the needs of our economy’. $10.7 million will be allocated to trial four industry-led pilots to develop new pathways to build high level digital skills.
The Federal Government will dedicate more than $3.4 billion for major infrastructure projects in Victoria, including an initial $2 billion investment towards a new Melbourne Intermodal Terminal – a key component of the proposed Inland Rail Project.
Two sites have been earmarked as potential sites for the intermodal terminal - one at Truganina in Melbourne’s west and another at Beveridge to the city’s north.
The Federal Government has also put forward a further $660 million for road upgrades throughout the state, including:
- Pakenham Roads Upgrade
- Monash Roads Upgrade
- Melbourne to Mildura Roads of Strategic Importance corridors
- Hall Road Upgrade
- Western Port Highway Upgrade
- Dairy Supply Chain Road Upgrades; and
- Mallacoota-Genoa Road Upgrade
Advocacy and campaigns
For more information on the Victorian Chamber’s advocacy work and current campaigns, along with submissions and taskforces, visit the Policy and Advocacy section of the VCCI website.
If you have any questions or would like to be involved in our advocacy work, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
Victoria Summit 2020-21
Federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg will be a keynote speaker at the Victorian Chamber-powered Victoria Summit 2020-21 Vision Day on 28 May 2021. Tickets are available at victoriasummit.com.au.