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QLD Govt's business measures – win for industry in hard times

17 February, 2009

"Industry commends the Queensland Government on it announcements that will ease red tape and costs pressures for many of the State’s businesses during these difficult times," Ai Group Queensland Director, Chris Rodwell, has said.

"Plans to reduce reporting obligations on business water use, provide a freeze on land tax valuations in 17 local government areas, and provide new terms for a payroll tax penalty amnesty on contractors are especially welcome during this period of economic difficulty.

"As industry tightens its belt during these difficult economic times, all savings are welcome. This is a good first instalment of measures taken in response to issues raised with the Jobs Squad and will relieve pressure on many Queensland businesses.

"Its important to realise that more can be done as there is no single antidote to the changed conditions being felt by many in the business community, and Ai Group will keep talking with Queensland Government and the Opposition about such policies."

"On the issue of water, Queensland firms have shown great leadership in making savings. On average, they have reduced their consumption in South-East Queensland by more than one-third (37%) since 2004/05.

"The current quarterly reporting obligations through the Water Efficiency Management Plan (WEMP) process are expensive and time-consuming – costing Queensland businesses about $8.5 million a year, or $8,000 on average per company per year.

"As a result, changing WEMP reporting obligations from a quarterly to annual basis will result in an immediate benefit for business.

"It is also a change that Ai Group has long urged the Government to make, and we thank the Government for listening to our members’ concerns on this issue.

"Queensland industry also warmly welcomes the land valuation freeze.

"Rents, land-use charges, and rates are a significant cost burden for local industry, and the Government's plan to freeze land valuations for the 17 local council areas is a step in the right direction.

"The announcement that the payroll tax penalty amnesty in relation to contractors will only apply for last year, not the last three years, is a step in the right direction. The issue has been a significant one for many of our members, particularly in the construction sector.

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