THE VOICE of the nation’s second largest industry is calling on the Federal Government to support growth in the $222 billion building and construction in the Federal Budget.
Releasing Master Builders Australia’s Pre-Budget Submission, CEO Denita Wawn said the Budget should back the nation’s builders so that they can continue to play their role as drivers of growth, builders of a stronger economy, creators of jobs and opportunities for young people in every community around the country.
“A strong building industry means a strong economy," Ms Wawn said. "Our industry has done the heavy lifting over recent years to support the economy’s transition from the mining construction boom and is now underpinning much of the economic growth supporting the return to surplus that’s forecast for 2019/20. What we need now are Budget measures to help our industry sustain that growth.
“Master Builders is the only industry peak body that represents small, medium and large businesses in the building and construction industry. We are calling for Budget measures that will underpin construction activity for contractors and sub-contractors across the residential, commercial and civil construction sectors,” Ms Wawn said.
Master Builders’ key priorities for the Federal Budget 2019 leading into the Federal Election include:
Backing Small Business:
A new independent small business agency to more rigorously test the impact of legislation and regulation on SMEs and spearhead changes to make the Federal Government a ‘model procurer’ making taxpayer funded projects more accessible to small business.
Tax Incentives to Drive Growth:
Tax incentives including keeping negative gearing and the capital gains tax discount, increasing the instant asset tax write off to $30,000 and make it permanent and a time scale for the 25 per cent company tax rate to apply to all businesses.
Creating More Jobs and Boosting Vocational Skills:
New funding for an additional kick-start apprenticeship program in 2019-20 and greater support for pre-apprenticeship programs to ensure the industry has an appropriately skilled future workforce. Help revive the apprenticeship brand with parents, teachers and young people with a new $10 million for the Real Skills for Real Careers campaign.
Increase Housing, Boost Infrastructure, Improve the Built Environment:
Increase direct government funding of public infrastructure, expand cross-government activities to boost supply of housing and infrastructure, increase the provision of adequate stock of public housing and tie NAHHA funding to performance in meeting targets and boost funding the Australian Building Codes Board (ABCB) with a focus on implementing the recommendations of the Building Confidence Report (Shergold Weir Report).
Support for Safety and Workplace Relations Agencies:
Support a safer and more productive building and construction industry by adequately funding the agencies charged with stopping building union bullying and best safety outcomes on construction sites including the Australian Building and Construction Commission (ABCC), the Registered Organisations Commission, Safe Work Australia and the Office of the Federal Safety Commissioner.