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Victorian Budget delivers on election promises and more training, but business costs remain high

"The Victorian Government has delivered on many of its election promises in this year's Budget, despite difficult budget circumstances," Victorian Head of Ai Group, Tim Piper, said today.

"The Government has delivered a budget surplus, despite reduced revenue from property transfer taxes. Victorian businesses are significant contributors to this surplus with the Government expecting higher revenue from payroll tax.

"Like the other states, the Victorian budget is clearly over-exposed to downturns in property transfer taxes and there is a need to develop an approach to make the State's revenue more sustainable and less in need of calling on ad hoc revenue sources.

"We welcome the additional infrastructure expenditure over the next four years. Funding for major projects in and around Melbourne will reduce congestion on freight transport routes.

"We welcome an extra $6 million to develop a suite of higher apprenticeships. These initiatives are important steps in the development of the skills needed for the future workforce.

"The Government's reduction in payroll tax for regional business and further support for regional development will help to spread the benefits of growth further and deeper into the regions. However, it is disappointing that the payroll tax changes for all Victorian businesses are several years out into the future.

"Victoria's ongoing waste recycling issues remain unaddressed despite the availability of hundreds of millions of dollars raised by the Sustainability Levy.

"Regional businesses also continue to face the cost burden from the installation of Rapid Earth Fault Current Limiters (REFCL) being imposed on large regional manufacturers.

"Ai Group encourages the Government to pursue local procurement policies that enable the full and fair participation of competitive, locally-based suppliers. These policies are vital to ensuring the Government maximises the benefits of these major projects, especially in creating new jobs," Mr Piper said.

Media enquiries: Tim Piper – 0411 430 301

Tim Piper is Head – Victoria for the Australian Industry Group