Federal Budget 2020-21: CME Position

In responding to a recession like no other in living memory, the Treasurer has a significant challenge on his hands to ensure the Australian economy can emerge from this unprecedented crisis. 

The Government entered the pandemic in a position of economic and fiscal strength and has consistently recognised the important role the resources sector has played. A strong foundation has enabled the Government to respond quickly to the challenges posed by COVID-19 and to roll out an unprecedented support package including the $101 billion JobKeeper program.  It is pleasing to see the Government’s AAA credit rating has been reconfirmed during this time. 

A fiscal recovery strategy focused on putting confidence back in the economy to stimulate investment and create jobs is strongly supported by CME and its members. In this time of global economic uncertainty, targeted investment incentives for small, medium and large businesses, support for research and development and commitment to emerging industries and supporting downstream opportunities will build business confidence, grow existing projects and stimulate new investments.   

Continued commitment to regulatory reform and maintaining stable, sustainable policy and taxation settings will support global competitiveness and safeguard our economic resilience. CME therefore welcomes a commitment by the Government to deliver their fiscal recovery strategy without increasing taxes.  

The increased focus on skills and apprenticeships to promote a jobs-led recovery is also welcomed by CME. With an interstate and international hard border in place for some time, the WA labour market will become stressed and it is clear additional targeted measures for promoting free labour will be needed. 

The Government has also made a strong commitment to investing in productive infrastructure projects across Australia including investment in transport infrastructure in Western Australia’s Pilbara, Goldfields and Kimberley regions. CME welcomes these announcements and maintains funding should be committed to economic infrastructure with demonstrated whole-of-life benefits for business, industry and local communities.  

CME will review the Budget in more detail over the coming weeks and CME’s Economic and Tax Committee will discuss the relevance of key Federal and State budget measures to the resources sector in Western Australia when it meets later this month.