Bendigo business budget 'wish list'.

Leah Sertori, CEO Bendigo Business Council says, ‘Victoria cannot afford to continue to lag behind other states, where current payroll tax thresholds are far more business and jobs friendly,’ Ms Sertori says. ‘With the state budget currently in a healthy position, we believe the government can fund a higher payroll tax threshold while continuing to manage Victoria’s finances responsibly.’

Bendigo’s business community has released a top six wish list ahead of today’s state budget, which includes raising the payroll tax threshold and extra support for skills training.

Ms Sertori called on the government to raise the threshold at which businesses are subject to payroll tax from an annual wages bill of $550,000 to $850,000.

“Increasing the payroll tax threshold would help keep many small businesses out of the payroll tax net and provide welcome relief for those already in it,” Ms Sertori said.

“At a time when the prices of many business inputs such as insurance, fuel, electricity, gas and water have been rising, savings in payroll tax would enable businesses to put their money to better use, such as taking on new workers.”

Ms Sertori also called for increased support for the vocational education sector, which she said was crucial to address a recent fall in apprenticeship and traineeship numbers. She called on Treasurer Tim Pallas to support the Bendigo Kangan Institute and restore support for TAFE to work with schools to increase pathways into a trade.

Topping the list, however, was funding for the Railway Station Masterplan, with Ms Sertori calling on the state to improve reliability in V-Line Services to encourage greater business use.

The list also calls on state government support for business’ push to generate more street festivals and vibrancy in the CBD, and to better engage with growing markets in Asia.

Finally, it asks that Bendigo be among the first places in the state to receive court upgrades recommended in the recent Royal Commission into Family Violence.

“Preventing family violence in our community and providing clear pathways for those effected is important for the vibrant and safe Bendigo that Bendigo Business Council strives to achieve,” Ms Sertori said.

“Bendigo should be one of the first places in the state to receive those improvements and the specific hubs, particularly because we have the expertise of some world leaders in the field.”


This article courtesy of the Bendigo Advertiser