The 2016 Federal Budget has received widespread support across Australia’s transport industry, with a renewed commitment to infrastructure funding and additional tax benefits for businesses.
According to the Victorian Transport Association (VTA), Treasurer Scott Morrison’s first Federal Budget has achieved a "sound balance" between investment in road and rail infrastructure.
“Over time that will create productivity and efficiency gains on the nation’s major freight corridors, benefitting thousands of operators and the broader national economy,” said Peter Anderson, VTA CEO.
“As important as these infrastructure investments are, equally important are reductions in the company tax rate to 27.5 per cent for businesses turning over up to $10 million, as is a change in the small business threshold from $2 million to $10 million in turnover.
“The changes are particularly relevant for the transport industry given small and medium sized operators comprise such a sizable proportion of our industry, and will free up their capital for reinvesting in people, maintenance, equipment and new technology.”
Innes Willox of the Australian Industry Group called the small business tax cuts, “a shot in the arm for up to 60,000 small to medium-sized businesses and for the economy from 1 July this year.”
Other notable road infrastructure commitments in the Budget include $350 million for Western Ring Road improvements as part of $1.5 billion allocated for Victorian road projects; $920 million to extend the Roads to Recovery, Black Spot, Heavy Vehicle Safety and Productivity, Bridge Renewal and National Network Maintenance programs; and $500 million for the Monash Freeway.
The Australian Logistics Council (ALC) also pointed out the $594m funding for the country’s inland rail network as a positive, saying it will have a flow on effect to roads.
Mayor Troy Pickard, President of the Australian Local Government Association(ALGA), said the road funding was a step in the right direction, “ALGA has called for additional funding for the Roads to Recovery program and the extra funds indicated in the budget will be welcomed in helping to address the challenge of maintaining more than 640,000 km of local roads.
“But more needs to be done to ensure the local road network has the capacity required to address access, productivity and road safety issues, especially in regional areas. Additional investment in local roads must be part of the solution to increasing transport productivity on the nation's transport network.”
Key take-aways from the Budget: