State Budget 2019

This State Budget should be about job creation.

Queensland small businesses are the engine room of private sector job creation and as such, this State Budget must deliver a suite of policies to make Queensland the best place in the world to start and grow a business.

The 2019-20 State Budget must also demonstrate to Queensland employers that the state economy is robust, no new taxes or charges will be imposed on small and medium enterprises and the government has a clear plan to address the South East Queensland versus Regional Queensland divide in economic opportunity.

Small business profile in Queensland

  • Small businesses with less than 20 employees represent 97.7 per cent of total private sector businesses in 2018.

  • Close to 1 million persons are employed in a small business (44.3%) in Queensland, and around 500,000 are employed by medium business (23%).

  • Small and medium businesses contribute around $100 billion to Queensland’s Gross State Product.

  • With 86 per cent of jobs created in the private sector, it is critical that the business community has the confidence, opportunity, and certainty required to continue creating employment opportunities for Queenslanders.

CCIQ’s pre-budget submission puts forward a series of policy levers available to the State Government to which all sides of politics can pledge their mutual support to ensure small business remains front and centre in driving Queensland’s economy forward into the future.

The Queensland Government states in Our Future State: Advancing Queensland’s Priorities that creating jobs in a strong economy is a chief government objective. The government’s stated aims are to create jobs, increase private sector investment, and engage more Queenslander’s in education, training or work. CCIQ is of the view that it is the small business sector that is key to achieving those specified outcomes and identified priorities of government.

To achieve job creation, the State Government must use this budget to remove inhibitors to small business growth such as the complexity of taxation and compliance activities, the challenges of staff recruitment and attainment, and skills shortages in addition to unlocking the factors that spur small business growth such as increased export capacity, innovation, and digital investment.

The challenges facing Queensland’s economy are diverse, but the current and emerging opportunities for businesses are also varied, particularly in sectors such as the service and visitor economics, advanced manufacturing, health and defence. For Queensland businesses to best take advantage of such opportunities, they need to be operating in a cost competitive environment with access to world class infrastructure and skills.

Small businesses are change agents and agents of change. With deep knowledge and access into the small business sector, CCIQ are the acknowledged experts all things small. We constantly communicate with our members and the broader business community to ensure our advocacy speaks to their collective needs. The following recommendations for the 2019-20 State Budget are what Queensland small businesses most need to ensure they continue to grow, invest, and employ.

CCIQ implores the Queensland State Government to carefully consider the recommendations contained herein. This State Budget must the vision for Queensland’s economy, and the foundations for our economic trajectory, to give small businesses confidence and certainty to employ more Queenslanders. 

Payroll Tax

The State Government has made job creation a priority. Given that more than 86 per cent of jobs in Queensland are created by the private sector, the most efficient way to incentivise small business job creation is by lifting the payroll tax threshold. 

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There are serious concerns across Queensland’s small business community that the State Government’s signature Buy Queensland Policy is failing to demonstrate its intended effect, thereby failing to increase opportunity for local small employers to do business with government. 

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Energy & Waste

Rising electricity costs are still a pain point for many businesses and not enough is being done to see a reduction in electricity costs. This is exacerbated by a lack of policy certainty at the federal level. More competition and investment in the National Electricity Market (NEM) is needed but this will only be achieved once there is policy certainty. 

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Skills, Training & Workforce Development

Queensland’s labour market will be fundamentally reshaped over the next few decades. Unprecedented change and opportunity are on the horizon, with several key disruptors playing a major role in the changing face of Queensland’s labour market. 

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A lack of infrastructure investment is holding back the potential of the Queensland economy. Public infrastructure investment is at decade long lows and going forward we will require private sector involvement to help secure funding for projects.

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Export & Trade

It is critical to the future success of Queensland’s economy that small and medium businesses are optimally placed to access global markets. As Australia’s domestic consumer market is relatively small, the overwhelming benefits of accessing a larger customer base in the global economy are clear. Despite this, small businesses face unique barriers when seeking out global opportunities. 

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Overall, businesses are feeling relatively confident in their transition to the digital economy. Businesses are excited by the opportunities the digital economy brings but many businesses are unsure where they are positioned as this transformation takes place. 

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