State Budget needs to support business growth

The state’s peak business organisation, the NSW Business Chamber, believes the upcoming State Budget provides the re-elected Berejiklian Government with the opportunity to turbo charge business growth and economic activity across the State.

The Chamber has formally lodged its pre-Budget submission, ahead of the Budget on 18 June.

“Business confidence has been subdued throughout most of 2019 because of the uncertainty associated with State and Federal elections, but with those behind us, the NSW Government has the opportunity in next month’s Budget to really hit the ground running,” said NSW Business Chamber Chief Executive Stephen Cartwright.

“The NSW Business Chamber spent the last year prosecuting the case to Keep NSW Number 1, and we need to maintain our position as the engine room of the national economy,” Mr Cartwright said.

“A good start would be to renew and reconfigure the Jobs Action Plan rebate to maintain current incentives which provide relief for businesses that create job opportunities in their communities.

“The business community expects the Budget to be a reflection of the commitments the Government took to the electorate in March, with emphasis on key areas such as investment in skills and training, regional infrastructure, and making energy costs more affordable.

“With energy being consistently rated as a top cost control priority for NSW businesses, it’s essential that substantial support be provided to reduce the impact of energy prices on business.

“This could be achieved by removing state taxes and levies on energy, taking steps to simplify processes for the funding and delivery of new renewable energy projects and committing to fast track new investments to increase the supply of gas to NSW businesses.

“NSW is facing new economic challenges which will make the job of government more difficult than in recent years. A weaker property market, both in terms of housing prices and property market turnover, is starting to impact other parts of the economy.

“That’s why robust expense management remains the most important mechanism to ensure proper fiscal management over the longer term.

“The Chamber remains disappointed that, with such a significant pipeline of new infrastructure projects, the Government has not committed to an Infrastructure Coordination Authority, which, guided by a private sector board, would help ensure the efficient delivery of infrastructure and assist with advising on contracting and monitoring performance.

“The Authority would also assist in ensuring that, through better project identification and monitoring, the Government would meet, on an annual basis, its target of 30 per cent of the proceeds in Restart NSW being spent in regional NSW.

“This post-election Budget is not the time for the Government to take the foot off the pedal, but rather it’s the time to proceed with a clear agenda to ensure the State is able to face any potential headwinds,” Mr Cartwright said.

/Public Release. View in full here.