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NECA sees opportunities for electrical contractors in 2017/18 Budget

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Scott Morrison

NECA chief executive Suresh Manickam says that even though there are no major items for the electrical industry in the 2017/18 Federal Budget, he is pleased with the outlook the government is taking towards it infrastructure.

“While there are no big ticket items for our sector in the 2017/18 Federal Budget, a stable economic outlook, coupled with increased infrastructure spending and small business concessions will be a benefit to the industry,” Suresh says.

“NECA is pleased with the Government’s commitment to infrastructure expenditure through their pledge of $70 Billion towards the Building Australia Fund. Not only does this Fund include the establishment of the new Western Sydney Airport, but also upgrades to rail infrastructure including, full funding for the Melbourne to Brisbane Inland Rail project, Perth’s Metronet rail project and Victoria’s regional rail network. All these projects present strong opportunities for growth across our sector.”

While the reduction to company tax takes it to 27.5%, there will be a big push from NECA to get it to the proposed target of 25% set out by the government. As well as this, Suresh says there will be a good opportunity for SME businesses to replace equipment they don’t need.

“The extension of the $20,000 Instant Asset write-off program for another twelve months along with an increased turnover threshold to $10 Million also presents opportunities for our SME businesses to improve cash flow and replace or upgrade assets and tools,” Suresh says.

While there is not much complaint from NECA, Suresh says it does feel like an opportunity has been missed when addressing some of the issues surrounding high demand of mature-age apprentices.

“Earlier this year, NECA put together its Pre-Budget submission to the Government and like many other industry bodies, the bulk of our suggestions has not been taken up.  We see this as a missed opportunity for the Government, particularly in the area of mature-age apprentices to help solve and fulfil skills gaps within industry sectors with high demand, such as electrical work.”

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