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What the State Budget means for you

Wondering how the 2018-19 WA State Budget will impact on you and your business?

Unlike the new Federal Budget, the WA State Budget provides no targeted tax relief for small business owners, but there are a number of opportunities being made available via construction and maintenance projects and increased funding to a number of industry sectors.

If you missed our Federal Budget recap, make sure you find out what the Federal Budget means for small business to get the full budget picture.

2018-19 WA State Budget for small business:

Opportunities to work on government projects

The State Government’s focus on procuring local suppliers for construction and maintenance projects will provide a number of opportunities for small and medium businesses including:

  • hospital expansions
  • school maintenance, upgrades and construction
  • Metronet projects
  • road upgrades
  • grade separations
  • removal of dangerous level crossings
  • upgrades to dangerous metropolitan intersections
  • construction of affordable housing at the new Metronet transport hubs and existing train line precincts

Increases to utilities and government services

A number of fee increases to utilities and public sector services will have an impact on your operating costs. The breakdown of fee increases is:

  • 7% increase on electricity
  • 5.5% increase on water charges
  • 1.5% increase on public transport
  • $28 increase on the metropolitan Emergency Services Levy (ESL), and an increase of $8-$17 across the regions
  • 5.8% increase on vehicle licence recording fee
  • 3.7% increase on drivers licences
  • 2.4% increase on motor injury insurance

To help counteract these increases, read our 7 ways to slash your expenses in 2018.

New fees for practices that don’t help the environment

The Government has made a commitment to helping mitigate the environmental impacts of mining and other companies through the creation of the Pilbara Environmental Offsets Fund and an increase in fees for Water Licences.

As part of the Pilbara Environmental Offsets Fund, businesses that are unable to mitigate their environmental impacts will be required to make financial contributions to the fund, which will then be used to fund strategic environmental improvements in the Pilbara.

New fees will be introduced to Water Licence holders in the mining and public water supply sectors as well as the introduction of charges for approvals to construct wells and for permits to interfere with river beds and banks. The new water licence fees will range from $5,357 to $8,929 for a new licence, and licence renewals will cost between $4,001 and $6,668.

Greater business sector funding and new grants

The State Government has made commitments to help with the development of a number of business sectors including:

Agriculture

  • building Western Australia’s grains research and development capacity ($20 million allocated for 2020-21 and 2021-22)
  • $1.5 million towards the Asian Market Success program
  • $33 million over three years for the Myalup-Wellington and South Forest Project

Regional economic development
Through Royalties for Regions, the Government is establishing a $22.5 million Regional Economic Development Grants Scheme. This Scheme will make $550,000 available each year in each region to support community initiatives with an economic growth focus. It is anticipated that applications for the Scheme will open in the middle of the year.

Aboriginal procurement
The Government is committed to supporting Aboriginal businesses through its Aboriginal Procurement Policy. To help build the capacity of Aboriginal businesses, $500,000 a year has been set aside for the next three years to fund grants for businesses to access expertise in business development, governance, contractual compliance and tendering.

Supporting local music
The local music scene will be assisted through the establishment of a Contemporary Music Fund. This fund will support home-grown contemporary music artists by assisting them with marketing, promotional, performance, recording and production costs. $3 million has been allocated over the next four years for this fund.

Looking for help to manage the impact of these changes?

If you’re concerned about the impact of these fee increases on your business you can:

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