The Committee for Adelaide has welcomed a number of initiatives in the State Budget designed to attract, grow and retain businesses but says the focus also needs to be on growing South Australia’s population to drive the economy.
“Payroll tax cuts, the Future Jobs Fund and extra funding for the Investment Attraction agency are all designed to turn our high unemployment rate around and we welcome this,” Committee for Adelaide Chief Executive Officer Jodie van Deventer says.
“The $120m being made to businesses to drive jobs growth in areas such as defence, energy and mining, tourism, health and IT and advanced manufacturing will hopefully provide a much needed boost to medium sized businesses with capacity to grow while payroll tax should give the small business sector a boost.”
Of concern was the State Government’s surcharge on foreign investments.
“South Australia prides itself on having an open door but this tax sends an entirely different message to global investors despite being limited to residential purchases,” Ms van Deventer said.
She also raised concerns the tax on banks would most likely be borne by consumers with banks expected to pass these cuts on.
The State Government’s $150,000 support for the Committee for Adelaide’s Boards without Borders program was also welcomed with details about the program to be released in the coming weeks.
“Again, this initiative is designed to drive economic growth and will make a real impact on repositioning Adelaide as a great place for doing business.”
Ms van Deventer said population growth was a major concern for South Australia and a taskforce was needed to come up with strategies to boost the city’s population, stop regional towns from dying and generate increased interest in South Australia by high-end global migrants.
“Population growth is critical to our future and we look forward to working with the Government and Opposition to develop strategies around this.”