Ahead of the Federal Budget being handed down this evening, the Illawarra Business Chamber has outlined the measures required to support the region’s economy through the COVID-19 pandemic and into recovery.

Illawarra Business Chamber Executive Director Adam Zarth said that the government has a difficult task in balancing support for businesses and individuals experiencing widely varying conditions across different states, regions and sectors, but that maintaining confidence would be key to the Illawarra’s recovery.
 
“As a diversified regional economy, the Illawarra is tracking well on all available indicators to recover in line with the rest of the state of NSW, although we have a stronger reliance on JobKeeper with 47 percent of businesses registered against a state figure of 41 percent,” said Mr Zarth.
 
“This budget must boost business confidence, and encourage them to trade, employ and invest throughout the COVID-19 recovery. I welcome the measures that have been foreshadowed, including tax relief, wage subsidies for apprentices and support for key manufacturing sectors.”
 
“Consumer confidence must be supported to keep people spending, which in turn supports small business. Income tax cuts will put more money back into people’s pockets, and the government has also committed to maintaining fiscal support in the economy until a six percent unemployment rate is restored. This was in response to our call, and will provide people with confidence that they will continue to benefit from government support as long as is required.”
 
“State and local government have already brought forward infrastructure projects as a stimulatory measure and so I welcome the foreshadowed measure that would see federal funding provided to states on a ‘use it or lose it’ basis.”
 
“However, there are no projects listed in the broader Illawarra region, the Shoalhaven or the South Coast, which is disappointing when transformative projects like the Mount Ousley Interchange remain stuck in the planning phase at a state level,” said Mr Zarth.
 
Media Contact: James Newton (0424 254 281)
 
Available for comment: Adam Zarth will be available for comment throughout the day and after the Budget is handed down.