The announcements in last night’s Federal Budget are welcomed by the Victorian building and construction industry. Victoria has been the hardest hit by the COVID-19 economic downturn, and our industry will require government support to lead the economic recovery.
The Federal Government’s continued program of large infrastructure builds for Victoria, instant asset write-offs and new employment incentives, together with its previously announced First Home Loan Deposit Scheme (FHLSDS) expansion, will be important steps towards recovery. The support for apprenticeships is also a vital step in securing the skills our industry will need to thrive into the future.
We encourage both State and Federal Governments to work collaboratively and ensure that this Federal funding is immediately unlocked, so projects can get moving.
Looking forward, we remain hopeful for an extension to the HomeBuilder grant scheme, so that Victorians can reap the benefits already experienced in other states. This could include an expansion of the criteria in line with the FHLDS, and a lowering on the price cap for renovations to support this sector of our industry which is struggling most.
Key Federal Budget Outcomes for the Victorian Building and Construction Industry:
- Share in the $680 million HomeBuilder initiative
- First Home Loan Deposit Scheme extended to provide 10,000 additional guarantees for new builds;
- Share in $102.8 million for Community Development projects over three years
- Share in$28.1 million for round 6 of Stronger Communities over two years from 2020-21 for small capital projects that benefit local communities across Australia
- Share in $1 billion to extend the Local Roads and Community Infrastructure Program over two years form 2020-21
- $1.1 billion in new funding for infrastructure projects, including:
o $320 million for the Shepparton Rail Line Upgrade Stage 3
o $292 million for the Barwon Heads Road Upgrade
o $208 million for the Warrnambool Rail Line Upgrade Stage 2
- Share in $2 billion over two years to deliver small scale road safety projects
Tax & Deregulation
- Temporary tax incentive to support new investment. Businesses with a turnover up to $5 billion will be able to deduct the full cost of eligible depreciable assets of any value in the year they are first used or installed ready for use.
- Temporary loss carry-back. Companies with a turnover up to $5 billion will be able to offset tax losses against previous profits to generate a refund. Losses in 2019-20, 2020-21 and 202122 can be carried back against profits made in or after 2018-19.
- FBT exemption for employer-provided retraining activities.
- Share in the $4 billion JobMaker Hiring Credit. Provided over three years form 2020-21 this initiative provides a hiring credit for businesses to employ additional workers.
- Share in the $1.2 billion Apprentice subsidy. Provided over four years from 2020-21 to increase the number of apprentices and trainees
- $130.3 million for the JobTrainer Fund to provide a rapid increase in free or low cost training places for job seekers and young people.
Budget Media Release from the Federal Treasurer can be read here.
Further analysis of todays budget announcement will feature in these bulletins in the coming days.