The release of Victoria’s 2020 budget is a step on the long path to recovery after an extended and punishing economic shutdown, Business Council chief executive Jennifer Westacott said.
“The government’s focus on jobs will be welcome news to thousands of Victorians working fewer hours or not at all in the wake of severe restrictions over the past few months.
“Investments in infrastructure and social housing are good first steps towards supporting the critical construction sector and driving the economic activity that will create new jobs. These projects can help create jobs immediately and help position the state for the future.
“New spending to develop innovative models for apprenticeships and trainees as well as short course micro-credentials could help displaced workers re-train and re-skill quickly for new industries and opportunities. We also welcome the government’s commitment to a wage subsidy, particularly targeting those hardest hit by restrictions and most at risk of falling into long term unemployment.
“It is also good to see that Victoria has joined other jurisdictions with reforms to modernise road user charges to keep the system fair.
“Businesses will need to do the heavy lifting in the recovery and will be responsible for creating the majority of new jobs, so it is crucial that the Victorian government work with employers to keep the economy open safely and put in place policies that unleash balance sheets and drive new job creating investment.
“Any genuine business led recovery would be put at risk by placing further burdens on businesses, whose focus must now be on safely reopening and growing to fuel new job creation.
“Employers are ready and willing to work with governments across the country to boost investment, create jobs and lock in a strong recovery.”