Jobs and business support the clear focus of Federal Budget
The regions peak business organisation, the Hunter Business Chamber, has welcomed the Federal Budget focus on supporting businesses to hire new staff and to strengthen business conditions to position the economy as it recovers from the ravages of COVID -19.
“This Budget will be welcomed and supported by the regions business community as we look forward to a more optimistic operating environment in coming months,” said Hunter Business Chamber Chief Executive Bob Hawes.
“A suite of investment and job friendly measures have been announced as part of the Budget which will assist many of the businesses struggling in the region, said Mr Hawes.
“These include investment incentives, an apprentice and trainee subsidy, a wage rebate for employers hiring young people (Jobmaker credit), business investment and tax concessions and ongoing financial support until the unemployment rate reaches 6 per cent.
“The focus on job creation and investment is the right for these times and the Government should be commended for listening to the legitimate concerns of the business community when preparing this financial blueprint.
“We know there are businesses out there baulking at employing more people so we’re trusting this budget package will provide sufficient incentive for them to now commit and start hiring, Mr Hawes said.
“The Chamber has been pleading for assistance in supporting existing employment and creating incentives for business owners to take on additional staff, particularly young people given the unacceptably high rates of unemployment of 15 to 24 year old’s in Newcastle and Lake Macquarie, Mr Hawes noted.
“In addition, allowing any business to deduct the full cost of eligible depreciable assets will provide a boost and incentive for businesses in our region to look closely at investing in new equipment and innovation. This for example, is going to be particularly important for converting equipment to energy-efficient technologies as a way to reduce energy costs, emissions and demand on the grid while creating local jobs.
“We’re also pleased that the Treasurer has confirmed the details of project, industry including defence and infrastructure initiatives announced recently; the Hunter region is directly and indirectly well placed to take advantage of these.
“Project wise, the inner-City by-pass, Singleton by-pass, the Newcastle to Sydney fast rail feasibility are all exciting and important projects and it’s vital they benefit from certainty of funding notwithstanding the ‘use it or lose it’ caveat announced by the Treasurer.
“The Chamber would have liked to have seen positive announcements concerning the M1 link from Black Hill to Raymond Terrace and the Newcastle airport runway upgrade and we’ll have to keep working to make sure those projects gain focus in the funding frame in the future.
“The government's expanded plans and commitments to support the growth of the nation's defence industry as a fundamental driver of economic growth and development will also benefit the Hunter. Along with HunterNet, Newcastle Airport, RDA Hunter and industry interests in the region, under the Hunter Defence banner, the Chamber has been working hard to attract the gaze of the government and we’re confident this will bear fruit for Defence industries in the short term.
“The $250m Regional Tourism Recovery Package is also welcomed and from the Hunter perspective, our businesses and visitor economy interests will be able to bid for a share of these funds which needs to be successful given the plight of this sector in recent times.
“Announcements around export assistance for businesses investigating new markets also bodes well for the Hunter region. This is an area where the region boasts natural and competitive advantages and we have enormous scope to grow the economy on the strengths of the global gateways of the airport and port, both of which have bold ambitions beyond the COIVID recession.
“Overall, the Hunter Business Chamber is pleased to see that the Government has focused on a business led recovery. By providing employment support and incentives for business, as well as reducing the costs of being in business is the right way to go,” Mr Hawes said.