(NSW Business Chamber Media Release)
Latest jobs data out today highlights the strong performance of the NSW economy and reinforces the state’s standing as Australia’s number one performing economy, according to the state’s peak business organisation, the NSW Business Chamber.
The NSW economy recorded strong job gains with more than 27,000 new positions created in June, according to data released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics. This brings the total to 150,434 jobs created over the year with NSW accounting for 44 per cent of the 339,000 jobs created nationally.
“That’s almost 1,000 new jobs created each day last month, a consequence of booming construction activity and a positive economic plan encouraging business growth across the state,” said Mid North Coast NSW Business Chamber Regional Manager, Kellon Beard.
The ABS figures confirm unemployment in NSW fell to 4.7 per cent.
“These figures show businesses want to invest, and that they are upbeat about the future and the broader economic outlook. Going forward, the lift in the payroll tax threshold will provide even more support to smaller businesses looking to hire,” said Mr Beard.
The NSW economy is transitioning from the residential construction boom and the focus for Government now needs to be on the next wave of public and economic infrastructure.
“It’s very important that regional NSW shares in the economic benefits of the state. That is why we need to see the proceeds from the sale of the Snowy Hydro invested as soon as possible as this will ensure that NSW stays Number 1.”
The Snowy Hydro Fund should deliver long term economic development for regional NSW and provide essential infrastructure to help address issues such as drought mitigation and improved transport connectivity”.
“To keep NSW as the number one performing state in Australia we need a concerted effort to reduce operating costs for business, deliver critical skills training, (particularly for young job seekers) and fast track the delivery of infrastructure that will provide long term economic and community benefit,” said Mr Beard.
The Mid North Coast NSW Business Chamber believes the State Budget will be positively received by the business community across the Region as it provides both tax relief and invests in infrastructure and skills for the future.
“This is a Budget which provides some welcome relief for small business in the form of an increased payroll tax threshold and builds future capacity through record investment in infrastructure and skills,” said Mid North Coast NSW Business Chamber Regional Manager, Kellon Beard.
“Importantly, the budget recognises the need for fiscal responsibility with an average surplus of $1.6 billion per year projected over the forward estimates, despite revenue from stamp duty being lower than expected over the coming years,” Mr Beard said.
“The NSW Business Chamber actively supported the proposal to lease the state’s electricity assets to drive investment in much needed infrastructure, and provide financial security for years to come. That has come to fruition.
“The NSW Business Chamber has long cautioned that stamp duty revenue was providing somewhat of a false picture of the strength of the State’s finances, however this is a Budget that recognises the role the business community, particularly small business plays in getting the economy firing.
“The previously revealed extension of the payroll tax threshold to $1 million over the next four years has been celebrated by businesses of all sizes. Already a number of businesses have commented they will be taking on more staff on account of not being slugged with payroll tax or associated administrative expense.
“The NSW Business Chamber made an increase in the payroll tax threshold the central plank of advocacy efforts and we are pleased the Government have listened to the needs of small business.
“More than $35 million has been set aside to extend the Easy to Do Business program, a concept enthusiastically championed by the NSW Business Chamber during its trial stages when it assisted restaurants and cafes – its extension to the housing construction sector will make it easier for new players to set up operations.
“One of the growing challenges for businesses in NSW, particularly regional businesses is in the ability to attract and retain skilled staff, to do the jobs now and into the future.
“The Government is looking to close the gap on the skills shortage through the provision of 100,000 free apprenticeships, and a mandate that new Government infrastructure projects must have a workforce of at least 20% apprentices.
“Regional NSW will also see an additional $4.15 billion from the sale of Snowy Hydro. The Snowy Hydro Legacy Fund will provide funding for regional infrastructure across regional and rural NSW.
“This Budget focuses on making Sydney and regional centres better connected through increased spending on major transport systems, which has been a long frustration for business and regional communities.
The Budget confirms $87.2 billion in infrastructure investment across a number of significant projects including:
“With an election in NSW now just nine months away, the Government has made its pitch through this Budget on the back of solid economic management being able to provide opportunities to support business growth, investment and job creation. However it’s vital that regional NSW is not left behind, and we expect to see activity on the ground in the coming months,” Mr Beard said.
Making apprenticeships more accessible and affordable will ensure NSW builds capacity and with it the workforce of the future, according to the State’s peak business organisation, the NSW Business Chamber.
The Premier has announced that the State Budget will feature a package that provides for a very large number of free apprenticeships over the next four years across a range of skill specifications.
“This is an important announcement – not just for those looking at starting an apprenticeship, but for business owners across the State who are keen to take on more staff,” said Kellon Beard Regional Manager, Mid North Coast NSW Business Chamber.
“From July, apprentices can undertake their training free of charge, and there’s no requirement for them to have to fork out for an upfront fee, nor for their employer to reimburse them for their studies,” Mr Beard said.
“The Government has made it as easy as possible for students to take up this offer, it won’t be limited simply to TAFE, but also offered through other Registered Training Organisations (RTO’s).
“NSW is in the middle of an unprecedented infrastructure boom, but sadly there are gaps between the skills our young people possess and those needed to take on these jobs.
“This skills gap is especially prevalent in regional NSW where our quarterly Business Conditions Surveys tell us that the number two issue for business owners behind rising energy costs is the inability to find workers with the skills needed for the vacant jobs that they have.
“Given apprenticeships have a higher employment success rate than university degrees, this is further good news for apprentices entering the workforce, with trades leading the top 10 occupations in demand for our future workforce.
“Getting young Australians into an apprenticeship and building a quality workforce is fundamental to future economic and social prosperity, and a mission that the business community in NSW will support to help close the skills shortage gap,” Mr Beard said.
A lift in the Payroll Tax threshold to $1 million over the next four years will be celebrated by businesses across NSW, particularly those who were approaching or are just over the current threshold, says the State’s peak business organisation, the NSW Business Chamber.
Premier Gladys Berejiklian has announced the change as part of the State Budget, to be delivered on Tuesday.
“This is a very positive step and something that the NSW Business Chamber has been campaigning for over a long period,” said Kellon Beard Regional Manager Mid North Coast NSW Business Chamber.
“Payroll tax, and the very low threshold in NSW, has discouraged small businesses from hiring additional staff, and worse still it costs many small businesses thousands of dollars each year in administration costs for relatively little additional state revenue,” Mr Beard said.
“Lifting the payroll tax threshold was a central plank of our Keeping NSW Number One campaign which was launched in March, and of our pre-budget submission, which was released in April.
“Payroll tax is a tax on jobs and job creation and serves as a disincentive to employ more people.
“An increase from $750,000 to $850,000 in the first year, and then by $50,000 per year for the next 3 years means a business with an annual payroll of around $750,000 can hire two extra young job seekers without being slugged by a tax penalty and extra administrative costs.
“Being penalised for creating new jobs is just ridiculous.
“As cost pressures on doing business in NSW increase, especially energy prices, the State Government has heard the message loud and clear from the business community that they need relief if they are going to employ more of their fellow Australians.
“What’s important about this announcement is that it’s not just Sydney centric – in fact, regional NSW has a higher relative share of businesses just over the payroll tax threshold, and these are “mum and dad” businesses that shouldn’t be caught up in the complication of processing and remitting payroll tax.
“With a State Election in March next year, the NSW Business Chamber will continue to advocate for both major parties to develop and articulate policies that drive business confidence, investment and more jobs in this state,” Mr Beard said.
The NSW Treasurer is set to hand down the State Budget on Tuesday and while NSW is currently the nation’s strongest economy, now is not the time for timidity or half measures.
The strength of the NSW Budget and economy provides an opportunity to build future capacity and provide the economic settings necessary to ensure NSW remains the number one state for investment, business and jobs growth for the next decade and beyond.
Key to this future are the small businesses of NSW who employ half our workforce, and contribute $300 billion dollars a year to the state’s economy. This is also a sector of the economy that is doing it tough with cost pressures threatening their viability and ability to grow. The NSW Business Chamber has spelt out the benefits of increasing the payroll tax threshold as a practical and immediate way to provide a direct stimulus to jobs growth and much needed support for NSW small business.
Let’s be clear, Payroll Tax is a tax on jobs and for those small businesses approaching, or above the existing NSW payroll tax threshold, the second lowest in Australia, there is a direct financial penalty on employing additional staff. Increasing the threshold will remove a barrier to employment growth and reduce costly administrative red-tape on businesses across the Mid North Coast.
The NSW Business Chamber has also stressed the importance of investing more in trades and related training. Boosting investment in skills and training particularly in the construction, hospitality and community service sectors was a key plank of the NSW Business Chamber’s Pre-Budget submission.
The Budget provides an opportunity to outline measures to tackle our unacceptably high youth unemployment rate and help ensure NSW has the skills required for the future. On the Mid North Coast, current youth unemployment is far too high, with some areas as high as 22 per cent.
The pre-Budget announcements to ensure 20 per cent of jobs on new public infrastructure projects provide training opportunities and the commitment to boost apprenticeship numbers are positive steps. However, there is a need to bolster training availability and accessibility for young job seekers and for targeted measures to address the crippling skill shortages faced by employers.
We also hope to see in the Budget plans to speed up the delivery of promised infrastructure. Sydney is booming off the back of the Government’s pipeline of projects but there is a need to expedite the delivery of infrastructure in the Mid North Coast and surrounding region.
The NSW Government, backed strongly by the NSW Business Chamber, made the right decision to raise substantial funds through asset recycling, there is now a need to focus on the timely investment of these proceeds in projects that provide the long-term economic infrastructure required on the Mid North Coast.
Tuesday’s Budget should be about Keeping NSW Number 1, to achieve this it is essential the Budget supports small business, invests more in training and skilling the next generation and fast-tracks the delivery of infrastructure across the Region. These three areas are vital to improve productivity and economic capacity.
Council are partnering with youth focused groups , services and businesses and are in the processes of planning a program for Youth Week 2018 - Unity Through Diversity . Stay tuned for further information via http://www.pmhc.nsw.gov.au/Community-Culture/Youth/National-Youth-Week
National Youth Week is an opportunity for young people to share ideas, attend live events, have their voices heard on issues of concern to them, showcase their talents, celebrate their contribution to the community, take part in competitions but most of all have fun!
YAC presents - Fright Night Friday
Artwalk- Creative Youth Zone
Creative Wauchope Festival
YACAM Presents - Rainbow Rhythms
Locals Talk @ The Library
Youth Week Library Techie Stuff
ETC has today announced $250,000 in community funding via the ETC Community Support Fund.
Organisations can apply for up to $20,000 each, with smaller grants encouraged.
Applications will be assessed based on how well they align with ETC’s focus on employment and training, and meet one or more of the funding objectives:
Contribute to reducing disadvantage faced by the unemployed and/or other disadvantaged groups
Support the availability and/or sustainability of employment and training opportunities
Enhance community support services and/or build community capacity
For further information and to apply online visit etcltd.com.au/csf
Applications close 5pm Friday 13 April.
Despite the blustery weather we had a great turn out to the "Lose Yourself in the Bago Maze" Chamber event last night, 26th Feb 2018 at Bago Maze & Winery.
As the weather settled in we replaced the Maze experience for a tour of the Bago Vineyard wine processing plant. Jim Mobbs talked us through the process and demonstrated the equipment used.
An update from Wauchope Chamber of Commerce and Industry President Gary Rainbow shared the status of projects such as the Wauchope Main St Plan, the Chamber Volunteer Program, the proposed Heritage Riverside Walk the Wauchope District Historical Society are working on and the forum on the 27th Feb for the Hastings Regional Sporting complex planned for Wauchope.
Vana from Vasnas Designs - Out of the Ordinary shared an update on Creative Wauchope who are in talks to join the Wauchope Chamber of Commerce and Industry as a subcommittee which will foster a closer partnership.
We were joined also by Mark Wilson of the Port Macquarie Chamber of Commerce sharing a concept for a buy local campaign which we look forward to hearing more about in the coming months.
The next meeting will be Monday 19th March 2018 (3rd Mon each month) and details will be out soon!
More pics on Facebook here
The Wauchope Chamber of Commerce and Industry Inc are delighted to share correspondence from the Port Macquarie-Hastings Council (PMHC) that the Wauchope Main St Plan works are to progress in the near future.
State Government funding to the tune of $1.8 M has been made available for the project. While this funding offer was presented to Council a few months ago certain criteria required PMHC to contribute further ratepayer dollars to employ an RMS approved Project Officer which was not part of the original cost estimate.
PMHC has made representations to Roads and Maritime Services (RMS) to revise this criteria and the variation has been accepted. Council can now take the next steps to secure a Project Officer and commence with procurement of contractors.
The Wauchope Chamber highlighted the Wauchope Main St Plan as a key Agenda item and advocated on this issue this year. We thank Melinda Pavey MP - Member for Oxley and Minister for Roads, Maritime and Freight, RMS and PMHC for their work to progress this project and we cannot wait to see the results.
See more information on the Wauchope Main St Plan Here
The Port Macquarie-Hastings Council recently announced they were successful with a $147,000 EPA Clean up and Prevention Grant to target Illegal Dumping in the LGA in partnership with PMHC and Forestry NSW and NPWS in 2017/18.
We are excited to see things are underway with several abandoned vehicles being picked up from the Bago area.
The Wauchope Chamber of Commerce and Industry Inc thank PMHC for their work in this area. Dumping of rubbish in the State Forests and National Parks was highlighted as a Chamber Agenda item and raised with Council earlier this year.
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