Media Releases

Business Chamber urges ACT budget support for local business and the economy

image of paper with the word budget seen through magnifying glass

The ACT’s peak business group has called on the ACT Government to ensure their next budget prioritises initiatives for the now almost 34,000 local businesses who are managing spiralling costs, falling consumer confidence, workforce shortages, and ongoing supply chain pressures.

The Canberra Business Chamber’s pre-budget submission lists 14 actions that will deliver tangible benefits for the ACT economy, local businesses and not for profits. Given the fiscal challenges facing governments, 10 of those 14 actions require minimal or no investment.

Chamber CEO Graham Catt said: “One of the best ways governments can support business is to avoid, or at least minimize legislative and regulatory changes that add costs, divert precious time from both government and businesses, but deliver no clear benefit.”

The ACT Government’s 2022 Better Regulation Report says, “…we want to support businesses to start, run and grow by putting in place better regulatory settings, and simplifying interactions between business and government.”[1]

But, Mr Catt said: “despite a genuine commitment from some areas, the feedback from local businesses is that across portfolios and directorates the ACT Government continues to adopt regulation and legislation which creates new requirements and adds cost. We need a whole of government commitment to reducing – not adding to – regulatory burden for small businesses and NFP’s.”

The Chamber has also renewed calls for the ACT Government to invest in major projects including a new convention centre, stadium, and affordable housing.

“Projects like these provide jobs and continue to deliver a significant economic benefit to the ACT Economy for many years to come,” said Mr. Catt.

“Our members want to see decisions and action. Let’s make these critical projects part of a clearly articulated infrastructure implementation strategy, and let’s commit to developing business cases in 12 months and having shovels in the ground in five years. This will help attract secure investment in the territory for major hotels and other visitor economy-related infrastructure.”

The Chamber also continues to push for investment in better data to support economic growth, long-term planning, and policies to address issues that threaten the long-term survival of the Territory’s small to medium-sized businesses.

Mr Catt said: “There is a lack of good data available about how the ACT business community operates, the issues that affect it, and what policy tools will assist the growth of our private sector and specific industries. Government needs a dynamic, research-driven data set if it is to understand the private sector, set policies and measure the impacts of policy and external factors.”

Download the Business Chamber’s pre budget submission here.

 

-ENDS-

Media Contact: Graham Catt, CEO
CBC Office: 02 6247 4199

[1] CMTEDD, Publication number 22089, May 2022