News & Views

6th May 2022

2022-23 Victorian Budget Overview

On Tuesday 3 May, the 2022-23 Victorian Budget was delivered by the Treasurer, Hon Tim Pallas MP.

Whilst NECA continues to assess the budget and its implications for NECA members, the electrotechnology industry in Victoria and the state’s economy generally, the purpose of this bulletin is to provide an early high-level snapshot of the budget relative to NECA’s advocacy agenda and priorities.

NECA Victoria would like to make the following initial observations with regard to the 2022-23 budget:

  • NECA is satisfied the government’s multibillion-dollar commitments to major infrastructure projects, and to construction and upgrade projects (such as hospitals and schools) will continue to generate work pipelines for members during and beyond the four-year forward estimates period.

  • Similarly, the government’s ongoing Big Housing Build – now incorporating funding of some $5.3bn – will have obvious benefits to businesses of all sizes in the electrical industry.

  • A $40 million program to cut red tape on projects in the construction sector is welcome: NECA is supportive of any measures that help facilitate the timely commencement and completion of projects.

  • A 25% increase in TAFE funding is welcome (as is all investment in skills training), and will assist those NECA members who utilise TAFE for their apprentice training requirements.

  • The abolition of payroll tax across Australia is a longstanding NECA policy objective; while NECA acknowledges increases in employment and the state economy boost state revenues, an increase in payroll tax of 20.88%, from $6.82bn in 2022-23 to $8.24bn in 2025-26, is concerning.

  • Growth of Victoria’s economy will be moderate, from 3.25% in 2022-23, falling to 2.25% in 2023-24 before recovering to 2.75% for the final two years of the four-year forecast period.

  • Unemployment will fall to 4% in 2022-23, then rise to 4.75% over the balance of the forecast period.

By its own admission, the unambiguous primary focus of the government’s 2022-23 budget is Health.

Several issues that have underpinned NECA’s recent advocacy efforts in Victoria and across Australia, which to NECA’s disappointment were not addressed in this budget. These include addressing chronic skills shortages in the short term, substantial resource allocations to boost participation for mature age candidates in trades careers; and a long-overdue reform in the area of Security of Payments, which has presented problems for NECA members in recent times.

Between now and the state election scheduled for 26 November, NECA will continue to advocate on these issues, and will actively lobby the opposition, minor and crossbench parties in addition to the government to seek commitments to implementing NECA’s policy changes from whomever is elected to govern Victoria for the ensuing four years.

Click here to access and read the 2022-23 Victorian State Budget papers.