The Motor Trade Association of South Australia today welcomed the Marshall Liberal Government’s focus on lowering business costs, creating jobs and investing in education and Vocational Training in the 2018/19 State Budget.
MTA CEO Paul Unerkov said that the MTA had strongly advocated on behalf of its members to lower state government taxes and increase investment in skills and training so the automotive industry can plan for the future with confidence.
“The abolition of payroll tax for small businesses will provide much needed relief for many of our members who have indicated that this tax is a handbrake on job creation, as will reductions in Land Tax and ESL obligations,” Mr Unerkov said.
“Similarly, the consolidation of industry assistance programs and the focus on supporting current South Australian businesses provides greater opportunity to protect and grow the automotive industry as we move forward.”
The MTA also welcomed the positive steps being taken to fix the skills shortage, which is the single largest roadblock to increased productivity in the automotive sector.
“While the Skilling South Australia program is a significant and much needed investment in improving vocational education, we are particularly pleased that the Government has decided to also invest in lifting literacy and numeracy rates in schools, as well as fast-tracking driver’s licences for 1st and 2nd year apprentices,” Mr Unerkov said.
“Further investments in changing community attitudes towards the value of vocational education and career pathways will also have a significant impact on increasing the number of apprentices in South Australia.”
While there are a number of positive announcements in the Budget, the MTA expressed concern that TAFE continues to receive significant financial assistance in this Budget to achieve compliance. At the same time, private training providers have had to bear compliance costs without the benefit of government bailouts.
The MTA is also concerned with the introduction of higher EPA licensing fees for the underground storage of petroleum, which is inconsistent with the Government’s aim of lowering business costs.