Accelerating the delivery of regional infrastructure, boosting apprenticeships and traineeships, increasing the payroll tax threshold to $1 million and improving energy affordability are essential priorities for the Illawarra business community in the NSW State Budget to be handed down in June.
Illawarra Business Chamber Executive Director, Adam Zarth, said that with budget day fast approaching, it was also time to formally recognise and invest in Regional Economic Centres, like the Illawarra, to ensure continued growth and productivity gains across the whole of NSW.
“With the NSW Government in a solid budget position, the June budget presents a unique opportunity to unleash the economy through reduced burdens on business and the fast tracking of essential infrastructure projects,” said Mr Zarth.
“It is also an opportunity to tackle a number of key socio-economic challenges affecting the Illawarra including youth employment and housing affordability.”
“Illawarra businesses would benefit enormously from an increase in the payroll tax threshold from $750,000 to $1 million, which would deliver administration savings and ensure that the payroll tax system in NSW remains competitive with other jurisdictions.”
“We are also calling for the Government to formally recognise Regional Economic Centres such as the Illawarra and the Hunter, so that greater infrastructure investment funding can flow to key economic projects, such as the South West Illawarra Rail Link and key roads.”
“The Government has committed $6 billion as part of Rebuilding NSW towards regional projects, together with the $4 billion proceeds from the sale of NSW’s share in Snowy Hydro, and without a change to this definition parts of the Illawarra risk missing out.”
“There are segments of the Illawarra with unemployment rates at almost 30 per cent which highlights a disconnect in our economy that needs to be rectified through changes to our education and training systems and greater incentives to boost apprenticeships and traineeships in key growth sectors of the economy.
“We have also renewed our call for greater certainty for investment in energy exploration, production and distribution to ensure affordable and reliable energy supply.”
“The strength of both the NSW Government’s budget position and the State’s economy provides an opportunity to look longer term and build capacity in both infrastructure and human capital across NSW,” said Mr Zarth.
The NSW Business Chamber’s Pre-Budget Submission is available at: https://www.nswbusinesschamber.com.au/NSWBC/media/ABI/NSW-Business-Chamber-Pre-Budget-Submission-(FINAL).pdf