Federal Budget ticks boxes for Victorian business

The Victorian Chamber’s advocacy has helped secure significant wins in the Federal Budget with increased funding for skills and training, commitments for two Victorian freight terminals and a much-needed boost for regional tourism.

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The following highlights in the 2022-23 Federal Budget align with the Victorian Chamber’s key advocacy pillars of building back business, building for our future and easing the cost of doing business:

  • $365.3 million to extend the Boosting Apprenticeships Commencements program for three months to allow hundreds of thousands of Australians to train for skilled jobs across in-demand industries including care, hospitality and construction.
  • $52.8 million over five years from 2021-22 for a new pre-employment ‘ReBoot’ program designed put more young people in jobs, providing more than 5,000 participants aged 15 – 24 with mentoring and hands-on learning experiences.
  • $1.2 billion to expand the Transition to Work employment service for disadvantaged young Australians.
  • $1.2 billion for a freight terminal at Beveridge and $740 million for a freight terminal at Truganina, as well as a further $1.2 billion committed for surrounding road and rail connections.
  • $9.5 billion for rail infrastructure including the Melbourne Airport Rail Link and an inland rail link between Melbourne and Brisbane.
  • $45 million for Tourism Australia to fast-track the return of international tourists to regional tourist destinations hardest hit by COVID-19 border closures, including advertising, direct partnership activities and events bids.
  • $76.7 million for travel agents and tour arrangement service providers. 
  • A 10-year strategic partnership between the Federal Government, Moderna and the Victorian Government to produce 100 million Australian-made mRNA doses.
  • $247.1 million over five years from 2021-22 (and $0.3 million per year ongoing) to support increased private sector investment in low emissions technologies including hydrogen and the continued development of a hydrogen Guarantee of Origin scheme.
  • Tax concessions for farmers who sell Australian Carbon Credit Units and biodiversity certificates, with an estimated benefit of $100 million over four years, as part of the government’s commitment to get to net-zero by 2050.

Victorian Chamber Chief Executive Paul Guerra welcomed the Budget.

 “The Federal Budget ticked many of the boxes in the Victorian Chamber’s submission including funding for freight infrastructure, tourism, hydrogen technologies and regional economies as well as tax cuts and reduced regulatory burdens for small and medium businesses.

“We know, from speaking and listening to our 50,000 strong network of businesses across Victoria, that these are the areas that will help turbocharge our local recovery from the pandemic and set us up for success.

“We welcome further funding for apprenticeships and traineeships; however, clarity is required on the subsidy for employers, and it’s also unclear how businesses and the State can participate in the National Skills Agreement.

“While we are pleased to see investment into collaboration between universities, CSIRO and industry for commercialisation, we really needed support for the return of international students to Victoria.”

Several measures to reduce red tape and boost the cash flow for more than 2.3 million small and medium businesses and sole traders were also announced, generating an annual compliance saving of $800 million every year; money that businesses can use to invest, innovate and create more jobs.

Federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg said “Starting tonight, for every hundred dollars a small business spends on training their employees, they will get a $120 tax deduction.

“In this Budget, we are also backing small businesses that are embracing the digital revolution.

“From tonight, every hundred dollars these small businesses spend on digital technologies like cloud computing, invoicing, cyber security and web design will see them get a $120 tax deduction.”

They include:

  • $9 million to recognise international safety standards, saving businesses $136 million per year through reduced duplication and compliance costs.
  • $2.8 million towards digitising legal documents to save time and money for individuals and businesses.
  • Lowering tax instalments that apply to PAYG and GST to two per cent for the 2022-23 income year, delivering $1.85 billion in cash flow support for eligible businesses.
  • A $5.6 million investment into a dedicated small business unit in the Fair Work Commission to provide tailored support to small businesses and reduce time, cost and stress.
  • $8 million to the Australian Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman to work with service providers to offer business planning, capacity building and financial literacy.
  • Increased tax breaks for small and medium businesses investing in new technology, employee training and skills development.

For a direct download of the Victorian Chamber's 2022-23 budget overview, click here.

Our broader state and federal budget coverage can be viewed here.

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