Ai Group looks for measures to maximise NSW growth opportunities

“The Australian Industry Group will be looking to tomorrow’s (June 18 2019) NSW Budget to deliver a range of policy priorities critical to building the productive capacity of the state and delivering lasting benefits for the State’s industry, workforce and community,” Ai Group NSW Head Mark Goodsell said.

“Despite healthy headline figures, NSW conditions are mixed across sectors and pressures on profit margins persist due to elevated energy costs which can’t be passed on to consumers in the highly competitive pricing environment. There are also risks to the outlook for the NSW economy and considerable challenges to navigate.

“This means that the NSW Government must use the 2019-20 Budget to put in place meaningful and lasting measures that lift opportunities for growth, investment and job creation. This will be critical in providing the foundation for a strong and competitive state while also underwriting NSW’s financial position over the longer term.

“In particular, we call on the NSW Government to focus on reducing business costs and promoting long-term economic growth for the wellbeing of the local community through genuine taxation reform and ensuring that NSW businesses are not at a competitive disadvantage with their interstate competitors. We also caution against imposing new or increased taxes on investment and job creation to make up for the reduction in stamp duties on purchases of residential property.

“We also call for measures to address the considerable cost burden and impediments of doing business imposed by inefficient, outdated and anti-competitive regulations. This includes creating more flexible regulatory measures to promote room for innovation and “breakthrough” improvements in industry performance while reducing costs and other burdens on industry.

“The Government also has a key role to play in building a responsive and flexible workforce by investing in education and skills development to enable all NSW businesses and employees to reach their full potential in the context of rapidly evolving technologies and the emergence of new work opportunities.

“In addressing this issue, we believe that the Government must show a commitment to lifting funding and developing the focus of NSW VET systems (in cooperation with the Commonwealth) so that it is best placed to meet the emerging vocational skill needs of industry, including the next waves of technological and business model change.

“We commend the Government’s commitment to maintaining a substantial level of investment in high quality infrastructure projects throughout NSW. It is important that the on-going roll-out of these major projects is strongly focussed on competitive local capacity, capability, skills and supply chains to ensure that we maximise the benefits of these investments for our local communities. All proposed infrastructure projects must be subject to thorough and transparent cost-benefit analysis to ensure the government gets the best possible use of taxpayer funds,” Mr Goodsell said.

Source: Ai Group