The Pillar met on 8 October via Zoom.
Presentation from URBIS – “Igniting Our Recovery”
Richard Gibbs, Urbis Chief Economist & Nathan Stribley, Urbis Director of Strategic Advisory Business, Future State.
THE BIGGER THE DOWNTURN, THE STRONGER THE RECOVERY
- Deeper contraction than GFC but drivers are different & rebound is expected.
- Steep rise in job losses & people have withdrawn from job market.
- Decline in O/S immigrations will drag on Australian population growth.
OUR RESPONSE POSITIONS US WELL AMONGST GLOBAL PEERS
- Government’s fiscal support is significant and proportionate to manage the health and economic shock.
- The response has rightly increased our debt but they remain modest by world standards.
- Fiscal COVID Support as a percentage of GDP – Australia 13%, UK 8%, Japan 21%.
- We are one of only 8 economies in the world that remains AAA rated.
BUDGET PRIOROTIES TO DRIVE A BUSINESS & HOUSEHOLD LED RECOVERY
- Business investment – R&D Tax Incentive, Company (SME’s) loss carry-back, business investment allowance (3.5 million businesses that employ 11.5 million people received funding).
- Job Creation – JobMaker Hiring Credit, Apprenticeship wage scheme, Shovel-ready transport infrastructure.
- Household spending – Personal income tax (more than one million taxpayers to receive cuts), extension to rebate for low income earners, temporary boost for age and disability pensions.
RECOVERY OPPORTUNITIES TO FOCUS ON DOMESTIC RESILIENCE
- High quality sustainable manufacturing.
- Rediscovering and reimaging local tourism – Great Ocean Road.
- Boosting higher education
- Prioritising and leveraging the health
- Infrastructure that enhances productivity – Received 50% of Victoria’s Federal Gov funding for G21 region.
Presentation – State budget submission – Elaine Carbines
Five Geelong region peak organisations have combined to call on the State Government to include specific projects and initiatives in its 2020-21 budget to be delivered in coming weeks.
(G21, Committee for Geelong, Chamber of Commerce, TGGB, GMC).
The key commitments include:
- Upgrades to the road network servicing GeelongPort – Spirit of Tasmania arrival ($15M).
- Finalise Stage 5 of GMHBA stadium ($20M).
- Anam Cara House development at Deakin University’s Waurn Ponds campus ($5M).
- Integrated transport strategy for the G21 region strategy ($100k).
- Northern Aquatic and Community Hub ($20M).
- Funds to establish the Great Ocean Road Coast & Parks Authority.
- Duplication of the rail line between South Geelong and Waurn Ponds.
- Bellarine Railway Track upgrade ($3.4M).
- You Yangs Master Plan.
- Support for Deakin University – due to COVID international travel bans.
- Expediting all projects associated with the City Deal.
- Business Package – support business post COVID recovery.
- Advanced Manufacturing for the Future ($1.4M).
- Brand Geelong – implement the campaign.
- Creative spaces in Geelong CBD – program to support creative industries/artists.
- Future of Work – post COVID recovery.
- Co-working spaces strategy.
- Extension of JobKeeper – for Victoria.
- A focus on local and social procurement.
Update from Surf Coast (Matt Taylor)
Cape Otway Road Australia (CORA) $350 million project received State Government planning approval for the sport, health and wellness tourism facility to be built at Modewarre. Building will commence early 2021 and create more than 1,000 jobs (including a commitment to 750 local jobs) and at least 670 full time jobs ongoing. https://cora.net.au/.