"This call is made in light of recent State Budgets in Victoria and Queensland, which introduced new taxes and increased some existing taxes to compensate for reduced revenue from stamp duties on residential property. Particularly with the national economy softening, it would be foolhardy to put in place additional barriers to investment and job creation in South Australia.
"On the positive side, Ai Group is looking to the State Budget for initiatives to build industry capacity and capability in line with the Government’s commitment to create over 20,000 new apprenticeships.
"As part of that process, the Budget should put in place incentives to encourage previous employers of trainees and apprentices back into the system and provide incentives for existing employers of trainees and apprentices to take on additional numbers.
"In relation to industry policies and programs, Ai Group has called on the Government to focus on three things:
- Fostering industry’s interaction with new technologies;
- Improving industry’s capability and capacity; and
- Providing the tools for companies to improve their business models.
"In relation to energy, which is a major cost for SA business, Ai Group calls for the Government to introduce programs to facilitate improvements to energy demand management of industrial users.
"We encourage the Government to continue to support the work of the Industry Participation Advocate. It might be an opportune time for Government to join with industry and lead an employer delegation to the UK, particularly in light of the confusion over Brexit, to encourage skilled employees to migrate to South Australia.
"Finally, The Budget is being framed at a time when the state is facing some great opportunities on the back of defence and GFG's investment in the Whyalla steelworks, as well as in horticulture and advanced manufacturing.
"We encourage the Government to use this budget as a long-term platform to set up the state to maximise opportunities out of these projects," Mr Myatt said.
Further Comment: Stephen Myatt 0419 818 048