Victorian State Budget 2016/2017
This Communique is dedicated to the main features of the budget handed down this week by the Treasurer of Victoria, Tim Pallas.
The Treasurer delivered a well padded State Budget this week, focused on education, infrastructure and an increase in the payroll tax threshold, and which includes some significant new spending commitments.
The Government has projected an operating surplus of $2.9 billion for 2016-17, after which it is projected to average around $2.1 billion per year over the forward estimates. This is premised on the assumption of a robust economy which will deliver to the Government’s coffers an average revenue growth of 3.4 per cent per year. The State’s revised net debt is forecast to fall from 5.9 per cent to 4.8 per cent of Gross State Product by June 2020.
Priority has been given to funding some essential infrastructure upgrades for our growing city, such as the Melbourne Metro Rail Project. The declared commitment to an extended 10year capital planning horizon for transformative infrastructure projects is welcomed by the Committee. It should help deliver important planning certainty and support Infrastructure Victoria’s independent mandate to advise on longer term infrastructure priorities free from the strictures of the political cycle.
Less spectacular, but significant items designed to make it easier to do business in Melbourne include the Smarter Victorian Planning System to halve the average number of days to process planning permit applications and a streamlined public land use and development system. We also welcome the commitment to further test the potential of new technologies such as Building Information Modelling (BIM), a digital process designed to generate efficiencies in design, construction and ongoing asset management for improved project delivery and asset management of public infrastructure.
Increasing the payroll tax threshold for small businesses is a small, but significant step towards reducing the tax burden on SMEs, key contributors to the city’s economy.
The Committee for Melbourne strongly supports Melbourne’s status as a global city with strong links into Asia, and looks forward to seeing the details behind the initiative to position Victoria as the Australian leader in Asia Capability.
A summary of the notable budget initiatives for the Andrews Government’s 2016-2017 Budget which we believe are of particular interest to our members can be found HERE.